Activate Your IELTS: Be Determined-logo

Activate Your IELTS: Be Determined

Language Learning Podcasts >

More Information


United States






Episode 60: How to Improve Your Timing for IELTS Writing and Speaking Tasks

Timing is an important element to nailing the IELTS writing and speaking part of the exam, but unfortunately it is also often overlooked in preparation. In this episode, I reveal exactly how to manage timing for both parts of the exam in your IELTS preparation. Episode Links: IELTS Timing Guide Freebie Win a Free 30 Min Video Consult Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode 59: My Favorite Authentic Texts

Authentic texts are an essential part of your IELTS preparation. What are authentic texts? These are real-life examples of English in use, things like newspapers, videos, podcasts, and music. I want you to use authentic texts for a variety of reasons which I go over in detail in this episode. I also talk about some of my favorite texts and provide a freebie for you to download so you can click directly on them and don’t have to go searching for them on your own. Click the link below to get...


Episode 58: Commonly Misused Words in English

In this episode, I go over 10 of the top commonly misused words in English. These are words that I see both native speakers and non-native speakers struggling with. I wanted to create a quick and easy guide to help you out. Episode Links Study with Me Freebie Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode 57: Fluency, Hesitations and Long Pauses

In this episode, I highlight three areas of difficulty that students have with fluency in speaking. These areas are using pauses, hesitations, and fillers in their speech. I discuss what the issues are, why people have them and how they can improve them. Episode Links Freebie Link Survey Link Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode 56: How Can You Reduce Your Nervousness?

One of the major issues that students often have when it comes to IELTS speaking is reducing their nervousness enough to give a confident response with effective delivery. In this episode, I give some quick tips for reducing your nervousness for exam preparation. Episode Links Study with Me Speaking Guide Freebie Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode 55: How Indranil Went from a 5 to a 6 Band Score in IELTS Writing in Just a Few Weeks

In this episode, I take time to interview one of my students, Indranil Saha. Indranil took my IELTS writing and speaking video course and was able to improve his writing from a 5 band score to a 6 band score in just a few weeks. In the episode, we discuss exactly how he did that and what his tips are for students. I am also offering a special discount for the IELTS writing and speaking video course. Click below if you are interested. Episode Notes IELTS Writing Video Course: Learn...


Episode 54: Common Mistakes in Academic Writing: Using Passive Voice

This week I wanted to get into a topic that I see students struggling with in the essays that they send me and that is, using the passive voice in writing. Some students generally overuse this point because they think it makes their writing more formal and academic, but the truth is it doesn't have that effect. Listen to the full episode to learn what you shouldn't do and why and when you can use the passive voice. Episode Links Facebook...


Episode 53: 3 Quick Tips to Improve Your Pronunciation for the IELTS Exam

One thing that I noticed is that the IELTS speaking marking criteria doesn't really do justice to the band descriptor for pronunciation. It only describes pronunciation as pronunciation features which can be difficult for students to understand what they are doing wrong and what they need to do to get a 7+ band score in IELTS speaking. Because of this, I decided to dive a little deeper into this area to help give a few quick pronunciation tips for students. Tongue Twister: The pink sheep...


Episode 52: What is the Difference Between a Band 7 and a Band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2?

"What do I need to do to move from a band 7 to a band 8 in IELTS writing?" This is a question that I have received frequently in the past few weeks and I wanted to give a full response to this. The key is to first look at IELTS marking criteria for writing task 2, so this essay takes a deeper look into the band descriptors for band 7 and band 8. Episode Links Study With Me Facebook Group IELTS Marking Criteria Episode 26: Writing Complex Sentences Feedspot Stock Media Provided by...


Episode 51: Attendee Questions from the IELTS Writing Masterclass

A few weeks ago I ran a free IELTS Writing Masterclass. I got several hundred attendees and they all had a ton of questions! I decided to take some of the most pertinent questions and answer them in this podcast. Here are some of the questions I answer: How do I improve my vocabulary skills?Should I know beforehand the theme of the text IELTS will provide me?How do I count words while writing?Should I use contractions when writing?When the test asks to give some examples, and you give...


Episode 50: Stop Believing These 3 Lies About IELTS Preparation

In this episode, I outline the top 3 biggest myths I see students having about the IELTS exam. These three myths, or lies, really keep students from moving forward in their IELTS preparation. I want to show you that you can move past these ideas and choose the path to success. Episode Links IELTS Coaching Is it Possible to Improve from a 5.5 to a 7+ Band Score? Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode 49: How IELTS Vocabulary Can Help You Know What to Write

In my recent IELTS Writing Masterclass, I kept hearing a lot of the same struggles from my students. They were saying things like: “I have issues with ideas, finishing on time, and my grammatical level,” “I don’t know what to write and how to do it.’ “I don’t know what to write” “It takes me a long time to create a brainstorm of a good idea and then to complete the task.” “ I don’t know enough words” “My biggest problem is organizing and finding the right ideas to write” I wanted to...


Episode 48: Is it Possible to Improve from a 5.5 - 7+ Band Score?

In this episode, I answer a listener/student question. Jijo is a long time listener who always has great questions for me. In my facebook group a few weeks ago he asked me, "Is it possible to go from a 5.5 to a 7+ band score?" I wanted to give a long response so I took some time to create this podcast. Well Jijo, the answer is yes! Definitely, and it's possible to do it in a short period of time. Episode Links IELTS Writing Masterclass (free) 10 Step Guide to the IELTS Exam Listen to...


Episode 47: IELTS or TOEFL?

Many times I see students who are wondering if they should take the IELTS exam or the TOEFL exam. This actually depends on a lot of different things. If you are trying to decide which one to take you should consider the following things. What are your future goals? Where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing? How is your English level? Are you an academic expert or do you need some more work? (Hint TOEFL is super academic) What institution or program do you want to gain...


Episode 46: Why I Teach IELTS and How I Got Here

In this episode, I talk about my own language learning journey and how I began teaching IELTS. I discuss the difficulties one has in living abroad and learning a language in addition to how my experience as an English language teacher as well as my education in Applied Linguistics has affected how I view language and how it helps me help my students. Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode: 45 The Updated 10 Step Guide to the IELTS Exam

Over the past year, I've been working more deeply on meeting my student's needs. One repeated need that I see from students time and time again is the need on how to get organized and structured in your IELTS preparation. In order to help students solve this problem, I created a free mini-course dedicated to this called the 10 Step Guide to the IELTS exam. In this episode, I briefly run through the different areas new students need to look at in their exam preparation, but I dive much deeper...


Episode: 44 Is the IELTS Speaking Test 100% Related to Your Real Speaking Ability?

I spend quite a lot of time lurking in facebook groups or answering questions on Quora. One thing that I found is that students get really frustrated when they aren't able to get the score they want on IELTS speaking or writing tasks. Part of this has to do with understanding the difference between social English skills and academic English skills. These are called BICS and CALP. In this episode, I go into detail abou the differences between BICS and CALP and how they contribute to getting...


Episode: 43 What Are the Best Books for IELTS Preparation?

I get so many students who ask me which books they should be using to study. After 13+ years in official exam preparation, I'm able to tell you exactly what tools and resources you should be using and how to use them to help get you the score that you want and need. Episode Links Vocabulary Notebook IELTS Webinar IELTS Writing and Speaking eBook 10 Step Guide to the IELTS Exam Recommended Resources Pre-Sale Workbook Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode: 42 Can You Prepare for the IELTS Exam in 2 Weeks?

In this episode, I answer a listener question. This question focuses on the time that it takes to prepare and the truth is, that this is a super common situation and question. Due to this, I decided to formulate a detailed response. Listen to the full episode. Episode Links 3 Day IELTS WRiting Challenge: Freebie: 10 step guide to the ielts exam: Music: Stock Media Provided by Lndnsounds/Pond5


Episode: 41 How to Maximize New Vocabulary

In this week's episode, I respond to a student question that I received on Quora. This student asked, " How do I use "access to" in IELTS writing?" This made me think a little bit. Firstly, I love this word. "Access to" is such a great academic word that you can use on almost any topic for the IELTS essay or for speaking tasks. So this is a great one to really know and understand how to use. Then I thought about how I want students to have the tools to be able to find the answer to this...