Monthly Archives: October 2017

Reading B – dealing with long sentences

Reading B often has lots of long sentences, some of which can extend over four or even five lines without a full stop. When a sentence is this long, it can be hard for even a native speaker to hold all of the sentence meaning in their head at once. One way you can try to simplify long sentences is by cutting out phrases that are between brackets, commas or dashes – let’s look at some examples.

 

Other ways to minimise stomach upset are to start at a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated (e.g. start with alternate daily dosing then increase to daily or twice daily dosing) or give smaller, more frequent doses (e.g. use oral liquid in divided doses)

If we try to simplify this sentence by removing the information in the brackets, we get a much shorter and easier to understand sentence: “Other ways to minimise stomach upset are to start at a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated or give smaller, more frequent doses

 

The incidence of meningitis changed by −31% (95% confidence interval [CI], −33 to −29) during the surveillance period, from 2.00 cases per 100,000 population (95% CI, 1.85 to 2.15) in 1998–1999 to 1.38 cases per 100,000 population (95% CI 1.27 to 1.50) in 2006–2007.

Again, we can take this quite complicated research sentence, and ignore the information between the brackets to get a much simpler sentence: “The incidence of meningitis changed by −31% during the surveillance period, from 2.00 cases per 100,000 population in 1998–1999 to 1.38 cases per 100,000 population in 2006–2007”

 

Close and prolonged contact – such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters (such as a dormitory, sharing eating or drinking utensils) with an infected person – facilitates the spread of the disease.

Here we have brackets and dashes – we can change this sentence multiple ways. If we ignore what is in the brackets we get: “Close and prolonged contact – such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters with an infected person – facilitates the spread of the disease.”

We can simplify it even further though, by removing what is between the brackets and between the dashes: “Close and prolonged contact facilitates the spread of the disease.”

 

This is an important trick to remember for reading complex sentences in reading B – if you are really stuck try re-reading the sentence but leaving out one of the parts of the sentence, and see if that makes the meaning clearer.

Thanks!

Aug 29, 2017

James Bergfield

IELTS Essays: SIX Question Types and the proven Formats

How do you organise the contents of your paragraphs to achieve high bands in Task Response and Coherence & Cohesion criteria? Just follow the guide below:

Type 1:  Agree/Disagree

  1. Body 1:   Specific reason for A/D + Explanations + Example + Recap statement
  2. Body 2:   Specific reason for A/D + Explanations + Example + Recap statement

Type 2:  Advantages & Disadvantages

  1. Body 1:    Specific reason for Advantage + Explanations + Example + Recap
  2. Body 2:  Specific reason for Disadvantage + Explanations + Example + Recap

Type 3:  Problem & Solution

  1. Body 1:    Statement of Problem + Explanation of Causes + Example + Recap
  2. Body 2:    Possible Solution + Explanation + Example + Recap
  3. Body 3 (optional): Another Possible Solution + Explanation + Example + Recap

Type 4:  Discuss both sides + own opinion

  1. Body 1:    Discuss advantages of Side X objectively + eg + Recap
  2. Body 2:    Discuss advantages of Side Y objectively + eg + Recap
  3. Conclusion:     Say your preferred Side and give your Reason.

Type 5:  Double Questions

  1. Body 1:    Discuss the answer to Q1 + Eg + Recap
  2. Body 2:    Discuss the answer to Q2 + Eg + Recap

Type 6:  Outweigh Question

  1. Body 1:     Specific reason for Advantage + Explanations + Example + Recap
  2. Body 2:     Another Specific reason for Advantage + Explanations + Example + Recap
  3. Body 3:     Specific reason for Disadvantage + Explanations + Example + Recap

Remember that for each type, you need a 3-sentence introduction (General Background + Expand Background + Thesis Statement of what you are going to say in the Body Paragraphs). For the Conclusion, you need a summary/concluding statement regarding the topic + a general reason for the statement.

26 September 2017

Telaga

PTE: FIVE easy-to-follow steps to write PTE Essays (200-300 words)

How do you produce a decent piece of essay within 20 minutes to achieve your target band? Just follow the steps below:

Step 1: Understand the Question Type. (1 minutes)

Read the question (Is it Agree/Disagree, Advantage & Disadvantage, Describe a Situation, Describe a Case study, Discuss both issues, or a Double Question?)
Paraphrase the topic accordingly based on the question type and take your Positionn

Step 2: Brainstorming. (1-2 minutes)

Think of a couple of main points / specific reasons based on your taken position to be developed into full body paragraphs (of 80-100 words each) .

Step 3:   Planning. (1-2 minutes)

Now use a mind mapping, flowcharting or tabling technique to expand the main points. Add specific related details. Think of what example/s (from your experience, observation or knowledge) to use?

Step 4: Writing. (25 minutes)

a. Introduction – (3 sentences of 30-40 words in total, consisting of Background General statement + expansion + Position / Thesis Statement).

b. 2-3 Body paragraphs – 1 sentence of Main Point, 2-3 detailed explanations, 1-2 example sentences AND 1 final Recap to relate back to your Main Point.\

c. Conclusion – 2 sentences of 20-30 words in total, summary / conclusion of your essay + a general reason / prediction / condition / position of the subject matter.

(Timing: Intro 2-3 min + Body 5×2 min + Conclusion 2 min)

Step 5: Checking (2 minutes)

Proofread your essay for Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling, Punctuation and Relevance / Consistency of Content.

Practise your typing skills too so that you can manage 250-270 words to get Score >=65-79+!

Good luck!

26 September 2017

Telaga

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