Improve Your IELTS by Learning from Donald Trump’s Mistakes

Improve Your IELTS by Learning from Donald Trump’s Mistakes

When it comes to political decisions that impact millions of people in America and around the world, Donald Trump doesn’t make any mistakes. He’s perfect. He wouldn’t say it but he is. Everyone knows that.

But when it comes to English grammar and vocabulary, his record is a bit mixed.

I don’t think it is fair to pick apart a few tweets with mistakes in them and call him an idiot. Twitter is about sending out fast messages. Most of his tweets do not have mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes – we shouldn’t pretend that typos are actually important!

If you think you’re smarter than the president because you can spot some typos he made on Twitter, you need to completely re-evaluate your life.

Still, I won’t judge whatever you need to feel better about yourself – we all need a pick-me up and Donald Trump is picking up the whole world at the moment!

First I’m going to look at his writing (and some speaking) mistakes based on the four IELTS criteria: vocabulary, grammar, fluency/cohesion & coherence, and task achievement. I’ve included spelling as a separate category because there are so, so many spelling mistakes…

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tip: Edit for mistakes if you have an extra minute at the end. Practice this tip by using all of Trump’s mistakes below.

Then I’ll give him his IELTS band scores as if he was a regular IELTS candidate!

Be sure to check out my post and video on Donald Trump’s IELTS speaking score as well (if you don’t have enough Donald Trump in your life already – how did we ever live before Donald Trump was president?).

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube for more content like this.

SPELLING MISTAKES – Can you find all 13!?

 

 

  • I’m honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!

  • China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act!

  • Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are rediculous & untrue – FAKE NEWS!

  • Looks to me like the Bernie people will fight. If not, there blood, sweat and tears was a total waist of time. Kaine stands for opposite!

  • These politicians like Cruz and Graham, who have watched ISIS and many other problems develope for years, do nothing to make thing better!

  • @AndreaTantaros- You are a true journalistic profesional. I so agree with what you say. Keep up the great work!

  • All of the phony T.V. commercials against me are bought and payed for by SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, the bandits that tell your pols what to do

  • Leightweight chocker Marco Rubio looks like a little boy on stage. Not presidential material!

  • Thr coverage … gas been so false and angry

  • The dying @NRO National Review has totally given up the fight against Barrack Obama. They have been loosing for years. I will beat Hillary!

  • If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House waite so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?

ANSWERS:

 

 

  • I’m honored to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!

  • China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act!

  • Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are ridiculous & untrue – FAKE NEWS!

  • Looks to me like the Bernie people will fight. If not, there blood, sweat and tears was a total waste of time. Kaine stands for opposite!

  • These politicians like Cruz and Graham, who have watched ISIS and many other problems develop for years, do nothing to make thing better!

  • @AndreaTantaros- You are a true journalistic professional. I so agree with what you say. Keep up the great work!

  • All of the phony T.V. commercials against me are bought and paid for by SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, the bandits that tell your pols what to do

  • Lightweight choker Marco Rubio looks like a little boy on stage. Not presidential material

  • Their coverage … has been so false and angry

  • The dying @NRO National Review has totally given up the fight against Barrack Obama. They have been losing for years. I will beat Hillary!

  • If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?

 

GRAMMAR MISTAKES – Can you find all 24!?

 

  • So funny, the Democrats have sued the Republicans for Winning. Now he R’s counter and force them to turn over a treasure trove of material, including Servers and Emails!

  • No dream is too big, no challenge is to great

  • Cooper: “Did you use that $960 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes?” Trump: “Of course I do. Of course I do.”

  • This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

  • For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 Election! We can then be even tougher on Crime (and Border), and even better to our Military & Veterans!

  • The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media – over 100 million people! I can go around them

  • No matter how good I do on something, they’ll never write good. I mean, they don’t write good. They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman, and others, they don’t write good. They don’t know how to write good

  • This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign

IELTS Grammar Score: Band 6

IELTS Grammar Score for Donald!

Read more about the most important grammar websites here.

 

ANSWERS:

 

 

  • So funny, the Democrats have sued the Republicans for winning. Now he R’s counter and force them to turn over a treasure trove of material, including servers and emails!

  • No dream is too big, no challenge is too great

  • Cooper: “Did you use that $960 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes?” Trump: “Of course I did. Of course I did.”

  • This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian witch hunt goes on and on. Their was no collusion and there was no obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

  • For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 election! We can then be even tougher on crime (and the border), and even better to our military & veterans!

  • The fake news  media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful social media – over 100 million people! I can go around them.

  • No matter how well do on something, they’ll never write ‘good.’ I mean, they don’t write ‘good.’ They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman, and others, they don’t write ‘good.’ They don’t know how to write ‘good.

  • This Russian connection nonsense is merely an attempt to coverup the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign,

 

VOCABULARY MISTAKES – Can you find all 8!?

  • Ted Cruz is totally unelectable, if he even gets to run (born in Canada). Will loose big to Hillary. Polls show I beat Hillary easily! WIN!

  • We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!

  • I’m not unproud

  • China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.

  • Despite the constant negative press covfefe

  • Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council

  • Buy American & hire American are the principals at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Thank you @exxonmobil

  • Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

IELTS Vocabulary Score: Band 6

IELTS vocab score for Donald!

Read more about the vocabulary words you shouldn’t be studying here.

 

 

ANSWERS

  • Ted Cruz is totally unelectable, if he even gets to run (born in Canada). Will lose big to Hillary. Polls show I beat Hillary easily! WIN!

  • We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY! (You can still have a country without steel)

  • I’m not ashamed,

  • China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.

  • Despite the constant negative press coverage (maybe?).

  • Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. counsel.

  • Buy American & hire American are the principles at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Thank you @exxonmobil

  • Terrible! Just found out that Obama tapped the phones in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

 

COHESION & COHERENCE – Can you find all 1 million mistakes?

 

Talking about his first 100 days in office:

Number one, there’s great responsibility. When it came time to, as an example, send out the fifty-nine missiles, the Tomahawks in Syria. I’m saying to myself, “You know, this is more than just like, seventy-nine [sic] missiles. This is death that’s involved,” because people could have been killed. This is risk that’s involved, because if the missile goes off and goes in a city or goes in a civilian area—you know, the boats were hundreds of miles away—and if this missile goes off and lands in the middle of a town or a hamlet …. every decision is much harder than you’d normally make. [unintelligible] … This is involving death and life and so many things. … So it’s far more responsibility. [unintelligible] ….The financial cost of everything is so massive, every agency. This is thousands of times bigger, the United States, than the biggest company in the world.

IELTS Cohesion & Coherence Score: Band 4

IELTS Cohesion and Coherence Score for Donald!

Read more about cohesion and coherence here.

 

 

TASK ACHIEVEMENT – Does Donald Trump answer the interviewer’s question?

BOB WOODWARD: And the real first question is, where do you start the movie of your decision to run for president? Because that is a big deal. A lot of internal/external stuff, and we’d love to hear your monologue on how you did it.

DONALD TRUMP: Where do you start the movie? I think it’s actually — and very interesting question — but I think the start was standing on top of the escalator at Trump Tower on June 16, which is the day — Bob, you were there, and you know what I mean, because there has. . . . I mean, it looked like the Academy Awards. I talk about it. There were so many cameras. So many — it was packed. The atrium of Trump Tower, which is a very big place, was packed. It literally looked like the Academy Awards. And . . .  .

BW: But we want to go before that moment.

DT:   Before that? Okay, because that was really . . .  .

BW: Because, other words, there’s an internal Donald with Donald.

ROBERT COSTA: Maybe late 2014 or before you started hiring people?

DT: Well, but that was — okay, but I will tell you, until the very end. . . . You know, I have a good life. I built a great company. It’s been amazingly — I’m sure you looked at the numbers. I have very little debt, tremendous assets. And great cash flows. I have a wonderful family. Ivanka just had a baby. Doing this is not the easiest thing in the world to do. People have — many of my friends, very successful people, have said, “Why would you do this?”

BW: Can you isolate a moment when it kicked to yes?

DT: Well, I’ll tell you a moment.

BW: Because that’s what Bob and I are looking for.

DT: I’ll tell you a moment when it kicked to yes. Because it was a monetary moment also. So you saw that it made a lot of money because it was certified. Now it’s much more, because I also have a big chunk of the show. We chose Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place. Okay? And hopefully Arnold will do well; who knows? But there was a moment in, I would say, February of last year, so that would be four months, three, four months before I announced, when Steve Burke, great guy, of Comcast — the head — came to see me with the top people at NBC. And they wanted to extend my contract. And I said, “Steve, I think that I am going to run for president. And if I do that, I’m not allowed to have a show.” In fact, when I did “Saturday Night Live” recently, it was a whole big deal. I’m not allowed to be on, and they actually had to give certain periods of time to other candidates that were running. It was a whole big . . .  . So. I disagree with the equal time provisions. I think they’re very unfair. But nevertheless, you have them. So I said, “Steve, I can’t have a show if I run. I can’t be having a show, so I’m not going to run.” He says, “No, no, no, you’re going to do it.” I said, “Steve, I’m going to.” And they actually went to the upfronts and they announced that “The Apprentice” — in fact, you had a problem with it, because you were hearing that I was going to run, and then they announce that they’re going to renew “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump. And I remember he called one of my people, maybe Hope. But he called one of my people and said, “Wait a minute, he’s going to run, but he just announced he’s doing ‘The Apprentice.’ ” Do you remember that problem?

IELTS Task Achievement/Fluency Score: Band 5 

IELTS task achievement score for Donald!

Read more about Task Achievement here.

 

Overall score (Grammar + Vocabulary + Cohesion & Coherence + Task Achievement divided by 4): Band 5!

 

 

Please comment below – what do you think of Donald Trump?

I think he’s…

I don’t know anything about politics. Still, I feel very strongly that…

In my opinion,

As far as I’m concerned…

How to Brainstorm Ideas (10 Amazing Ways)

How to Brainstorm Ideas (10 Amazing Ways)

Brainstorming is such an important skill that can really help your Task 2 IELTS Writing and Part 3 IELTS Speaking.

If you can brainstorm well, you’ll amaze your friends, bosses, and co-workers as if you were a magician pulling amazing ideas out of your hat.

But the key to brainstorming isn’t pulling out an amazing idea every time – it is pulling out hundreds of bad ideas, not feeling bad about that and then finding a good one every once in a while.

You have to get through the bad ideas to get to the good ones. If you feel bad about yourself, you will give up early and never get to the good ones.

Read some of my sample answers here to see examples of ideas in action!

 

 

Activity #1 Change your Perspective

This is from one of our followers in Azerbaijan on our Facebook Page: 

This is a really common and well-known strategy.

Imagine that you are someone else considering the problem.

For example, ‘Should we ban hunting for sport/fun?’

What would different people say about this and why?

A hunter might say ‘No, because it is a traditional activity handed down for generations that has many benefits related to family bonding and personal enjoyment.’

A cop might say ‘Yes, because it allows people to buy powerful guns that can then be used in violent crimes.’

A doctor might say ‘Yes, because there are countless hunting injuries each year, and these often involve people who were not even hunting.’

A liberal-wuss might say ‘Yes, because we share the earth with animals – we do not own them.’

Even try some strange ones like from the point of view of a famous (or imaginary) person or a different gender, age group, time period or location:

Superman might say with a smirk ‘I don’t really have an opinion about this but if there’s an asteroid coming towards the Earth I WILL stop it and save all the humans AND animals.’

A child might say ‘It is simply wrong to hurt animals because they are cute and friendly.’

A person from the past might say ‘Animals should only be killed to be eaten.’

A person in a poor country might say ‘There isn’t enough time or money to spend hunting for fun.’

See how easy that was to think of tons of great ideas? Try it out on your next Task 2 Writing Essay!

 

Activity #2 Use Humour to Release your Ideas

The best video lecture on creativity was given by John Cleese, the famous comedy writer and actor of Monty Python. You can find it here.

One of his many insights is that humour is a fast way of getting to a creative place and thinking of good ideas.

Tell a joke, everyone laughs and that lowers their defences and helps them think more freely and confidently.

So what can you do on the IELTS exam? Think of a joke from a comedian or a friend or a TV show or movie that you like.

Enjoy the joke for a second. That will relax you. Then write down your ideas after that.

 

Activity #3 Question Words

Who? Where? Why? When? How? How much/many? What? Which?

Use these question words to generate ideas.

For example, the IELTS question is ‘Should we ban hunting for sport/fun?’

Ask yourself:

Who wants to ban hunting? Who doesn’t?”

Where is hunting common?”

Why do people hunt? Why do people want to band hunting?”

How do most people hunt? Is it dangerous?”

How much does hunting cost? How many animals are killed every year?”

What would happen if hunting was banned? What if it becomes more popular?”

Which countries hunt the most? Does this have an effect?”

This makes it a lot easier to come up with some really good ideas!

 

Activity #4 Wishful Thinking

Think about the ideal or perfect solution.

If you were doing a Task 2 Writing about Space Tourism – the advantages and disadvantages – what is the best possible outcome?

“We discover new technology and new planets and learn more about the universe. We come in contact with friendly aliens.”

If it was a Part 3 Speaking question – ‘Will people in the future continue to live in the city rather than the countryside?’

“The ideal future would be most people living in cities for work but still large populations outside the cities so that they are not too crowded. Maybe people will live outside cities if there are more opportunities for work there.”

Alternatively, you can think of the worst possible outcome and that will help you to think of ideas as well.

 

Activity #5 Word Links/Associations

This is a classic brainstorming method.

Write down the main word related to the topic. For example, ‘pollution.’

Now write down all the words that you usually associate with this word – climate change, governments, corporations, taxes, fossil fuels, etc.

Use these words as the basis of your main ideas and support in your paragraphs.

You can also try out this website which is really helpful for starting to think of ideas if you are doing a practice essay at home or practicing your part 3 speaking: WordStorm.com

 

Activity #6 Doodling and Mind Maps

Drawing pictures is a great way to come up with ideas because it allows your mind to drift and naturally think of a large number of related ideas.

So if you find yourself stuck in your Task 2 Writing, and you like to draw, try doodling a little bit on the test to start thinking again.

You don’t want to spend the full hour drawing pictures because the examiner probably won’t give you a good band score no matter how amazing your pictures are.

But taking a minute to draw what you are talking about will get you thinking again.

 

 

 

Activity #7 A Mathematical Equation

The last idea is for people who think artistically and this one is for people who are more logical and mathematical.

If this was a Task 2 Writing Question, for example, ‘What are the disadvantages of too many people living in cities?’ you could rewrite it like an equation:

Too many people + _________________ = Bad for cities

Then write down a few possibilities for the blank space: traffic jams, pollution, cleanliness, expensive, crime, etc.

Then choose the best 1 or 2 ideas and write about those in your essay.

 

Activity #8 Reverse Thinking

This means to think backwards from the solution.

Here’s a problem solution Task 2 Writing Question: Children today are becoming less healthy. Why is this a problem and what possible solutions are there?

Start with a solution: getting more exercise.

Now work backwards – how did you get children to exercise more?

Long gym classes at school, more sports facilities open to the public, public service announcements to encourage parents to go out with their kids more often, more parks in cities, etc.

That’s your whole Task 2 solutions paragraph – done!

You can also use the is for Part 3 of the Speaking test: ‘How could governments encourage people to go to museums more often?’

‘By building better, more interesting museums. To do this they could include more interactive exhibitions, update the items in museums more often, make sure museums are free on certain days of the week and advertise the museums better.’

 

Activity #9 The 6 Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono is one of the most famous writers on the subject of creativity.

One of his most famous books is about the 6 thinking hats.

This is very similar to activity #1 except instead of pretending to be another person, you just pretend to have a different perspective (i.e. ‘wear a different hat’).

Blue hat: manages the brainstorming by look at the overall picture or question. What are you trying to decide overall?

White hat: Uses data and information. Think about statistics, evidence and facts with this hat.

Yellow hat: Always looks for positive answers, always optimistic and hopeful. Think of ideal solutions and perfect situations here.

Green hat: Creative hat. Think about all the different possible alternatives here. This is the brainstorming hat.

Red hat: the instinctive hat. What is the first thing that comes into your head? How do you feel? Answer those questions for this hat.

Black hat: The judging hat. This hat judges the ideas you have thought of. Be careful not to use this hat too early or too much.

 

Activity #10 Rapid Writing

Just write – don’t stop writing.

This is the fastest method, I think.

Write down as many ideas as you can as quickly as you can. Take maybe 5 minutes.

Then go back and cross off some, circle some and improve some.

Simple but powerful!

 

Finally! Here’s a video helping you to think about main ideas for Task 2 Writing from our YouTube Channel!

 

 

Now it’s Your Turn! Brainstorm ideas for the question below:

What are the best ways to reduce crime in your country?

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk about Holidays

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk about Holidays

 

Surprisingly, one topic that seems to confuse a lot of my students is holidays.

A simple question like ‘What’s your favourite holiday?’ often produces some strange answers.

This is partly because in different cultures it can mean different things.

In this blog post we are going to look at three different topics to do with holiday so you will be able to successfully talk about them.

Here are some of my other IELTS speaking Model Answers: friends here, phones here, and school here.

 

1. To have a holiday:

Meaning: time off from working or studying. This might be a day, a week or even longer.

e.g. What do you like to do when you have a holiday?

– I like to hang out with my friends/family…

– I like to have a party and invite my family and friends…

– I like to go to the beach…

– I like to travel somewhere new…

– I like to catch up on my sleep and just relax at home…

e.g. Do you like to have a holiday?

– Yes, definitely. I like to spend it hanging out with my friends/family…

– Not really. I prefer just to work/study. I think holidays are boring…

2. National holidays

Meaning: a special day/time of the year, related to a festival e.g. Christmas, New Year, or an important day e.g. International Labor Day.

In some countries, people are given time off. This is a national holiday, or ‘public holidays (USA) /  ‘bank holidays’ (UK).

Every country is different. For example people in the UK don’t get a day off for International Labor Day.

And Valentine’s Day isn’t celebrated as a national holiday in the UK or the USA.

e.g. What’s your favourite holiday?

– My favourite holiday is definitely Christmas…

– I really like Lunar New Year…

– I love Valentine’s Day, even though it isn’t a national holiday in my country.

e.g. What are some important holidays in your country?

– In my country Christmas and New Year are the most important, but Easter and Mother’s Day are also important.

3. To go on holiday (UK) / go on vacation (USA)

Meaning: an activity when you travel and stay in another place for fun.

e.g. What was the best holiday you’ve ever had?

– In 2010, when I went backpacking across Asia for 6 months…

– Disneyland, Paris…

e.g. Where do you usually like to go on holiday?

– I love going to the beach…

– I like going somewhere quiet…

– I love staying in a resort…

– I love going to Singapore…

– I don’t like going anywhere. I usually have a staycation…

Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments.

What do you like to do when you have a holiday?

Do you like to have a holiday?

What’s your favourite holiday?

What are some important holidays in your country?

What was the best holiday you’ve ever had?

Where do you usually like to go on holiday?

Need more help?

Check out our Facebook Group or our Instagram page for more tips and free resources about IELTS!

 

IELTS Ideas & Topics: Space (Part 1)

IELTS Ideas & Topics: Space (Part 1)

Hi everyone! These were previously posted on Facebook and Instagram but we’re making them available all at once for you now! If you want the high-resolution images, you can download the free pdf here.

Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments.

Which was your favourite post about space?

Suggest a topic for us to focus on next time.

 

IELTS Ideas and Topics: Work and Retirement

IELTS Ideas and Topics: Work and Retirement

Hi everyone! These were previously posted on Facebook and Instagram but we’re making them available all at once for you now!

If you want the high-resolution images, you can download the free pdf here.

Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments

Which was your favourite post about work and retirement?

Suggest a topic for us to focus on next time.

 

IELTS Writing Task 2: How to Come Up with Good Ideas (and Plan Smarter)

IELTS Writing Task 2: How to Come Up with Good Ideas (and Plan Smarter)

Planning is very important, but there are definitely good and bad ways to do it.

In this article I will show you how to plan efficiently, focussing only on what you need for your IELTS Task 2 essay.

Why does planning improve your Task 2 writing?

If you plan effectively, writing your Task 2 essay will be easier and quicker because you know what you are going to to write.

So it actually saves you time later and makes your writing clearer so you will get a much higher score.

If you spend a few minutes to come up with your overall ‘position’, your main ideas and supporting ideas then after that you’ll be free to worry about your grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling.

The idea is that by planning carefully you won’t have to worry so much about your ideas and structure while you’re writing, which will help you feel more relaxed.

And the more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to think of good language to use to express your ideas and how best to link them together.

Four steps to reduce your planning time

Some IELTS students seem to take a long time to write their plan.

Other students seem to be able to get writing almost straight away – they hardly plan at all.

And yet they can still produce essays that achieve a high band score.

Here are four steps to planning efficiently and just focusing on the ideas you need.

1. Relevant but personal ideas – focus on the question but use your experience.

2. Simple main ideas – that you can easily support with explanation and examples.

3. Focus on your essay structure – think of the order and linking of ideas.

4. Do lots and lots of practice – so you see patterns and get quicker.

Now let’s look at each of these in more detail.

1. Focus on the question but make it personal

Your main ideas must be relevant (clearly answer the question) otherwise your Task Achievement score will be no higher than a 5.

However my IELTS students often complain that when they read the question they can’t think of any ideas and this might be because IELTS Task 2 questions are often written in a formal, academic way.

So one way of helping you to come up with ideas is to rephrase the question into more normal language that you might use with your friends or family.

Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

So for the question above, imagine you read in the news that your government is going to spend more money on transport in your local area.

Would you prefer them to spend money on new roads or new trains? Would this make you happy? Why?

 

2. Simple is best

There are no extra marks for interesting or complicated ideas, or for ideas that follow your real opinions.

The best main ideas are ONLY those you can easily explain and support, ideally with a clear example.

Keep it simple and make it easy for yourself.

The most simple, obvious ideas that are often the first ones that pop into your head.

Your basic IELTS Task 2 essay has only two body paragraphs and I always recommend one main idea per body paragraph so you can fully support them.

If you have more main ideas than you need, quickly try to explain them and think of examples (on paper or in your head) and choose the main ideas that are the easiest to explain fully.

3. Focus on your structure 

Now look at your chosen main ideas and add more supporting ideas if needed. I suggest using a mind map for this.

At this point it’s a good idea to put the supporting ideas into a logical order and quickly make a note (on paper on in your head) of which linkers would be suitable (these can change later).

Don’t be afraid to reject, change or reorder your supporting ideas at this point.

So now you have your main ideas, supporting ideas and your structure, so you’re absolutely ready to start writing a kick-ass Task 2 essay!

4. Practice is the key

The more you practise with different topics the more you will be able to generate good, simple main ideas in seconds.

Likewise, generating and organising supporting ideas will get easier and easier, as you practise developing your main ideas in relatively similar ways each time.

Eventually this will become an almost automatic process and by the time exam day arrives you’ll be an idea generating machine.

Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments.

Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

For the above question, use our 4 step method to come up with some main and supporting ideas. Put your best ones in the comments.