IELTS Energy English Podcast

Do you want to get a band 7 on the IELTS exam? Your preparation doesn’t have to be hard or boring! It can be fun! Lindsay and Jessica from All Ears English are back with a new way to help you achieve the IELTS score you need for the General or the Academic exam! We’ll give you strategies, practice, tips, tricks, and secrets using real English examples. We’ll show you how to take control of the Speaking Section by reducing anxiety, panic, and fear. You’ll learn what to do when your mind goes blank, how to organize your thoughts and how to use intonation, English pronunciation and native English vocabulary such as phrasal verbs and idioms to impress the examiner. You’ll find out which grammar points you should use on the Speaking Test and which ones you should avoid to get a band 7. You’ll also get guidance on how to prepare for Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2 with help on the opinion essay, graphs and charts, and the argument or discursive essay. You’ll get tips on how to succeed with listening comprehension strategies and how to get the highest possible score on the reading test. You’ll find out how to use IELTS practice tests to get the maximum score increase to go from a 5 or 6 to a 7 or higher. We’ll show you the common mistakes that most students make on test day, what to expect on the day of the exam, and how the exam is structured. You’ll get the best possible resource recommendations from Jessica Beck who has taught IELTS for more than 10 years. IELTS Energy is perfect for you if you want to move from a band 5 or a 6 to a band 7 or higher. Prepare for IELTS with Lindsay and Jessica! We will answer your questions directly so please join us and send in your questions. Join us to get the score you need and have fun doing it! Get motivated for the IELTS exam with IELTS Energy!
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IELTS Energy English Podcast






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Now displaying: Category: All Ears English
Mar 6, 2015

Click here to get 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on IELTS


Are you nervous about talking for two minutes in speaking section 2 of the IELTS?

Today, get some note taking strategies you can use to ace the IELTS speaking section!


In the IELTS speaking part 1, the examiner asks you about three topics.  But in part 2 you are given a single topic card.  No matter what this topic is, you cannot change it. You have one minute to prepare to speak for two full minutes. How you spend that minute is important.

Because you will have such a specific topic, and such a short amount of time, it’s probably best to write everything you can think of about the topic.  You could do this in a bullet list, or as a mind map.  But you need to have enough to say for those two minutes.

If you do not have practice brainstorming like this, you may want to practice.  Use a topic from a newspaper as an example. Give yourself a minute (or more) to make a list of notes on the topic.  Then, see if you can use them to speak for two minutes.


Other tips:

  • Practice brainstorming/note-taking every day if possible.  You’re training your brain for thinking, speaking and writing in English.
  • Take all of these notes in English, not your native language!
  • Ideally, your notes will provide you enough to tell a story. Telling a story will enable you to speak for the full two minutes, and help you remain coherent.


Do you have much experience brainstorming?

How do you think it would go for the IELTS speaking section part 2?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Mar 4, 2015

Click here to get the 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on IELTS


What’s the difference between the IELTS and the TOEFL?

Today, learn what makes these two tests distinct, and how to choose between the them!


The IELTS and the TOEFL have some significant differences.  But that doesn’t mean one is easier than the other.  Many universities will accept either test, so you might be able to choose which one works best for you.  That means it’s a good idea to know how each is unique.


Here is are some points of difference between the two tests:

  • The IELTS exam is completed on paper and by speaking to a person. The TOEFL is done entirely on a computer (even the speaking portion).  For some people, IELTS might feel more “natural.”
  • The listening section in TOEFL uses only North American accents.  IELTS, on the other hand, uses a range of English accents from around the world.  If you have trouble with accents, you might find IELTS more difficult.
  • But IELTS is more predictable.  For example, the test has three reading passages every time.  TOEFL, on the other hand, always has a different number of reading passages.  It also might have longer listening and reading sections.
  • With TOEFL, on one section you have to listen to a conversation and give your opinion.  This means it’s both a writing and speaking section.  IELTS only has distinct listening and reading sections.


Which exam sounds easier to you?

Let us know why in the comments section below!

Mar 2, 2015

Click here to get the 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher


How can you increase your IELTS vocabulary range? 

Today, learn 3 steps for building a more dynamic vocabulary for the IELTS exam!


You need to have words that are useful for academia and formal situations, but also with your friends on the street. This is key to having a more natural sounding English. But how do you build this range of vocabulary?


Jessica has three steps for building it.  They include:

Getting the vocabulary: Newspapers are a great resource for this.  A newspaper like the USA Today is more understandable, while the New York Times is written at a higher level.  A magazine like the Economist is even higher.

Recording it: For every article you read, choose maybe five new words to learn.  Keep them in context. Maybe write a summary of the article that uses these new words.

Remembering it: Develop a system for studying these new vocabulary words.  Try to review the words at least two or three times a week. Also, try to use these new words in conversation.


What are you doing to build a range of vocabulary?

Tell us what you’re doing in the comments section below!

Feb 27, 2015

Click here to get the 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on IELTS


Today you’ll find out why some students lose focus and energy easily and quickly on the IELTS and why others are able to stay awake and energized throughout the entire exam.


How to Keep Your Energy High for IELTS Day:

  • Eat Breakfast: You need protein that will stick with you all day like eggs as well as carbohydrates that will give you the energy that you need like oatmeal. You can also try almond milk, nuts, fruit, etc.
  • Bring Water to the Test: Remember that when you bring your water bottle into the IELTS exam, you cannot have a label on the bottle. Tear the label off before you go in. Prepare for this ahead of time.
  • Get Fresh Air and Exercise: This is a great way to keep your focus alive and to keep your mind awake. Ty to get in a short, brisk walk before you check in and at noon after you finish the Writing section. This will help you be ready for the Speaking test in the afternoon.


Do you have great strategies to maintain your energy on IELTS test day?

Let us know your ideas in the comments below!

Feb 26, 2015

Click here to get the 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on IELTS


Today you’ll find out which accents will be on the listening section of the IELTS and where you can practice those accents for free.

Are you confused about which English accents will be on the IELTS?


There are a variety of accents on IELTS. If you buy books from a British publisher then you will hear mostly British accents.

However, on the test you will hear a variety of accents from around the world. Still, you need to get used to British English and other accents.

You can find British accents on Luke’s English Podcast.


Here are a few other resources with a mix of accents but also a lot of videos from England:


** You can also view transcripts and take quizzes on these sites.


More Hot Resources!

Have you found any other great resources to prepare with a variety of accents?

Please let us know in the comments section below!

Feb 25, 2015

Get our 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on IELTS


Today you’ll learn what grammar risks you should take on IELTS to get a 7 and when to play it safe with your grammar choices.

Do you know how complex your grammar needs to be to get a score of 7?


For a 7 you need a mix of sentence structures. To get a 7 you need simple (subject + verb “I go to the store”) and compound sentences (two simple sentences put together using conjunctions “I go to the store and I like to shop”) and complex sentences (adding a dependent clause such as “I go to the store which is near my house because I love to buy the food that they have”).


However, you also need to be sure that you don’t have a lot of mistakes. It’s ok to make some mistakes. You can make mistakes up to a band score of 8.

You should play it safe on the IELTS and use the grammar structures that you are comfortable with.

Don’t try using rare grammar tenses like the past perfect.

Don’t experiment with new tenses on the IELTS exam.


To sum up, to get a 7 you need 80% of your sentences to have no mistakes. You should get comfortable with relative clauses because it’s a great way to mix in the more advanced grammar that you need and they are easy.

How can you add these more complex grammar points?

Try to make it relevant to you when you practice.


What tenses have you used on the IELTS exam?

Tell us in the comments!

Feb 20, 2015

CLick here to get our 7 Easy Steps to a 7 or Higher on the IELTS


Get show notes on this episode here:


Can’t find anyone to correct your IELTS writing practice?

A lot of people have this problem but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do some great preparation for the test by yourself!


Today you’ll find out exactly how to create a checklist for your writing to grade it yourself.

When you create your checklist you should organize it based on the descriptors. Descriptors are what the examiner looks at in order to give you a grade.


What to look for when you correct your own writing practice tests:

  • Task achievement/task response: Do you complete the required task? Do you actually answer the question? For Task 1, you need to include all the key points. You need a summary or overall trend. You need to say what happens to the numbers in general. For Task 2, did you stick to the topic and fully answer every part of the question. For example, if it’s an argument essay, did you talk about every part of the question?
  • Organization: Does every sentence connect to the topic? Are you repeating anything? Are you being direct and concise?
  • Coherence and Cohesion: Do you have good paragraphs? Do you use linking words between every sentence? Examiners look for the linking words! Don’t forget them. They are important! Don’t let your writing be choppy. It needs to flow with linking words.
  • Do your ideas make sense?
  • Vocabulary: Look for repeated words and circle them. Try to think of different ways to say words when you have repeated them.
  • Grammar: Look for a variety of sentence structures. Underline the complex sentences. Make sure you included them in your writing. A complex sentence is where you use a dependent clause with a simple sentence. Here is an example: “I like writing which has a lot of linking words.”
  • Mistakes: Make a list of the most common errors. Look at verb tenses, circle the different tenses. Make sure you are using them correctly.

It’s better to have a real person correct your IELTS writing but if you can’t do that, try using this checklist above.

Set up a very specific study schedule. Work on it every single day. Leave yourself plenty of time ahead of the test to prepare and you can do it!


Leave us a comment below!

Have you tried correcting your own IELTS writing?

How did it go?

Feb 20, 2015

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Today you'lll find out how to stay cool and confident on the speaking section of the IELTS!

Here are 3 tips from Cathey:


Step 1: Practice and prepare

Step 2: Get out of your head

Step 3: Recognize your current emotions, try to put them out of your head and focus on what you are trying to accomplish.


Feb 20, 2015

Find out what the Examiner wants on the speaking section of the IELTS:


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Do you want that extra edge or advantage to push your score to a 7 on the IELTS exam?

You need some English phrasal verbs to stand apart from the crowd!

Today, Lindsay and Jessica share 5 English phrasal verbs you can use to stand out and get the score you need!



You will probably be asked to talk about the topics of home, shopping, food and studying in Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking Section.  You need to prepare for this.  One way you can do that is have some phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs are a way to sound more natural and native when speaking informally.  Though there are many of these to choose from, you only need to use of a few to stand out.


Here are five that are easy to use and will impress your examiner:

Bone up on: This means to learn.  It’s not only a phrasal verb, but also an idiom.  “I had to bone up on my English studies.”

Figure out: This means to learn the details of something, or discover how it works.  “I figured out how to fix the television.”

Goof off: When you are having fun, but not working or studying, you can say “I spent the afternoon goofing off.”

Clam up: This is another phrasal verb and idiom.  It means that you’re so nervous you couldn’t think of what to say.  “I clammed up when she asked me to answer the question.”

Catch up: If you’re behind, and you’re trying to shorten the distance, you might need to catch up.  This can be used physically, like you’re chasing someone, or with your studies.  “I fell behind in my homework and have to catch up.”


Do you have any other phrasal verbs you’d like to use in the IELTS exam?

Let us know what they are in the comments section below!

Feb 20, 2015

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What’s so difficult about the IELTS Speaking Part 1?

What can you do to prepare?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss some tactics for avoiding the dangers and allowing yourself to stand out!



Speaking Part 1 of the IELTS includes questions about yourself.  You will be asked about three topics, and though it may seem like simple stuff, the danger is that you might become too relaxed and start using one-word answers.

You want to do better than that.  In fact, ideally your answers will be 2-4 sentences each!

How can you do come up with that?  Do some brainstorming.  Think of the question words.  Question words can help you think of better answers.


Vocabulary is also important in Speaking Part 1.  If you want to achieve a higher score, you will need to use a range of vocabulary, including slang and idioms.  The examiner wants to hear that you know more than what’s in your textbook.  A good strategy is to have a short list of slang and idioms ready to use.


What are some good English slang words or idioms that might be helpful to have for Speaking Part 1 of the IELTS test?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Feb 18, 2015

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How can you prepare for the Reading Section of the IELTS?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss two strategies to help you answer questions quickly and correctly!


Timing and strategy are important for success on any test.  For a reading test, you need to be able to figure out answers quickly without having to re-read.  Jessica has two suggestions to help you with this.


  • Skim: Take one minute to skim the title, subtitle, and beginning of each paragraph.  This opens your “brain box,” and prepares you to understand what the passage is about.  If you can follow the passage more easily, you will be able to answer the questions faster.
  • Scan: When you read the text, look for names and key words, and underline them.  For many taking the IELTS exam, the most difficult part of the Reading Section are the matching questions.  Scanning for key words and underlining them is an active behavior that will help you answer these faster.

Do you use the strategy of skimming and scanning?

Let us know how it works for you!

Feb 18, 2015

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How do you build a “Brain Box” for the IELTS Listening Exam?

Today Lindsay and Jessica talk about two strategies to make the listening part of the IELTS exam easier!



If you have a strategy or a system to approach the IELTS Listening Exam, you’ll probably do better.  Your first step should be to listen to the introduction.  It will tell you who will be talking, and what they’re talking about.

Many people who take this exam skip the introduction because they think they don’t need it.  This is a mistake, because the context will help you understand.  The “brain box” concept is that your brain puts topics in “boxes,” and accessing a specific box will put a conversation into context, and make it easier to comprehend.


After you’ve listened to the introduction, you will then have about ten seconds to read the questions before you hear them.  Use this time to circle the key words before they’re read aloud.  Making note of these key words will prepare you to answer the question quickly.  Speed is important, because you don’t want one question mix you up on the next one, and then the next one.


How do you plan to prepare for the listening portion of the IELTS exam?

Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Feb 18, 2015

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What should you bring to your IELTS exam?

When should you go, and what should you watch out for?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss how you can be prepared to succeed on your IELTS test day!


On your IELTS exam day you should try to arrive 45 minutes early.  It’s critically important that you get there on time.  If you are late, you will miss the first section and can’t make it up.  Missing an entire section will make it impossible to get a good overall score.


You should plan to bring your passport for identification.  It is also okay to bring a bottle of water, but you must remove the label.  Your belongings will be stored in a separate room while you take the test.


Usually all four sections of the exam occur in a single day.  In the morning you will have the reading, writing and listening sections.  In the afternoon, you will have the speaking section.

It’s important to understand that the morning will probably be more stressful because it will be so busy.  On the other hand, you will likely have time to wait in the afternoon.  Some speaking sections are scheduled as late as 6PM!  For this reason, it is a good idea to know if there’s anyway near the test station where you could pass the time – a park, for example.


What else do you want to know about the IELTS exam?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Feb 18, 2015

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Are you preparing to take the IELTS exam?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss what you need to know to pass with the score you want!

There are lots of questions about the IELTS exam.  It’s not an easy test to take, but it is the most widely accepted test for getting into universities and even for immigration and work visas.

One reason for this is that the test is face-to-face with another person, which makes it more real.  Though this might sound intimidating, many testers actually find it more relaxing when the examiner is another person, rather than a computer.

When students take the test and don’t get the score they wanted, it’s usually because they didn’t have enough real-life speaking practice – they only worked out of textbooks.  You need to practice speaking with an actual person.  You also need to be honest with yourself about where you are with your English abilities so that you have an obtainable goal.

How are you preparing to take the IELTS exam?

Let us know in the comments section below!