Friday, October 5, 2007

Technique on answering TOEFL, IELTS questions

Here's a useful technique I learned from an English teacher that you can use for your own English exam. This can be used either when taking the Writing or Speaking modules in TOEFL iBT or IELTS.

When being asked your opinion on any subject matter, you can use a simple formula. For example, if you were asked: "What are your favorite tourist destinations in Manila?" You can answer this by using a formula: General statement + List + Explanation of each subject on list + summary.

To apply this formula,this is how I would answer the question:
(1) Manila is a beautiful city with many tourist attractions. (2)Among these attractions, my favorites are Luneta Park, Intramuros, and Manila Bay. (3)I like Luneta Park because I can just sit down on the grass and relax and enjoy a picnic. (4) I like Intramuros because I can look at many historical artifacts displayed there and get to see different products from the provinces that are being sold at a fair inside Intramuros. (5) Lastly, Manila Bay is also my favorite tourist spot because I can watch one of the country's most beautiful sunsets. (6)These are my favorite tourist places in Manila.

As you can see, I started out with a general statement, which basically is just a restatement of the question. Then I enumerated the places I liked. For short answers, particularly when speaking, just mention two things. Then if you have time, add another, but it is best to keep it down to two. Then explain each topic you mention. Just keep it simple, don't try to use heavy words. Always remember that you don't need to impress the test scorer, your goal is to communicate your thoughts and you can do that by using simple words. Then after explaining, summarize your thoughts. If you run out of time, you can skip the summary because you've already said the main points of your speech.

Try practicing this technique and have someone else ask you questions and then ask their feedback. A great lesson I learned in English review school is that you need to be comfortable when speaking. Try not to be intimidated by the computer or by the test scorer asking the questions. Imagine that you're just talking to a friend so that you'll be more comfortable when answering.

I hope this tip helps you. Just send me questions if you need additional help with this simple technique.

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Anonymous said...

your tip is very informative, i like it..i took the ielts and passed only to a score of 7, if i read your tip ahead, maybe i could have gotten a higher score...he3.

Geoff said...

Congratulations for getting a passing score. That's all you need. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

i havent taken the exam... so i think your tip would be of big help! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Your scores are great. specially in speaking section where most paople get lower score.
woulld you please post some tips about integrated part. is there any rule needed to be conducted.

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