IELTS Listening: Fill in gaps

IELTS Listening: Complete the sentences below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Peregrine Falcons

1. The Peregrine falcons found in _____________ are not migratory birds.
2. There is disagreement about their maximum _____________.
3. When the female is guarding the nest, the male spends most of his time _____________.

Answers and audio scripts

You will hear a talk by a university lecturer in Australia on a type of bird called a peregrine falcon.

I’m Professor Sam Richards, and I’ve come as the third guest lecturer on this course in Australian birds of prey. My job is to keep a watchful scientific eye on the state of Tasmanian peregrines, so I’ll start by giving you some background to these magnificent birds of prey before I speak briefly on my own project.

Peregrine falcons are found on all continents with the exception of Antarctica. So don’t go looking for them at the South Pole. They are found almost everywhere in Australia and it’s interesting to note that the name, peregrine, implies that they are wanderers – that they move from place to place following the seasons – and indeed, in most parts of the world they are migratory birds. But not in Australia, however, where they prefer to stay in one place.

They are knows to be the world’s fastest creature and they have been tracked by radar diving down towards the ground at 180 km an hour. However, a number of textbooks claim that their flight speed can go as high as 350 km an hour, so there is still some dispute about just how fast they can actually fly.

Female peregrine falcons, like all other Australian falcons, are larger than their male counterparts; in fact the female is almost a third larger than the male in the case of peregrines. While she stays close to the nest to protect the eggs and the young chicks, the male is mostly occupied looking for food.

IELTS Speaking: Pronunciation & Accent

In the IELTS speaking test, a quarter of your score is for pronunciation. Many students confuse 'pronunciation' with 'accent'. These are not the same thing!

Nobody expects you to speak with a perfect British/American/Australian English accents. In fact, the examiner will not judge your accent at all. So stop worrying about your accent, and focus on speaking clearly, which is one the things that your pronunciation score is based on. One of the techniques is pronounce the vowels clearly and accurately.

Here are some videos about how to pronounce vowels from BBC learning English.

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IELTS Speaking: How to Speak and Practice in Part 2

Consider the following points, before you do any practice on IELTS Speaking Part 2.

1. More than 9 out of 10 candidates in the Speaking test have never done a Part 2, under test conditions, before they do the real test! This is like entering a swimming competition never having participated in a serious game of swimming before!
2. What are the results of this lack of experience?

Firstly, many candidates find that the 1 minute of thinking time is too short – they can't think of enough things to talk about. As a result, they can only talk for a little while before stopping to think of what to say next. This results in a loss of points for fluency.

Secondly, because these candidates have never done a Part 2 under test conditions, they have very little idea of how fast the time is passing. So, when the examiner asks them to stop talking, they think they still have about 1 minute left when, in fact, the full 2 minutes have passed. In other words, many candidates do not manage their time well – they speak too slowly and do not have enough time to talk about the last line on the task card that begins with the words, "and explain ….". This line is possibly the most important point on the task card, and this non-completion of the task can also possibly result in a loss of points for the fluency/coherence sub-score (this time, a loss of coherence points because, without answering the last line, your story is incomplete and makes a lot less sense.) 

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IELTS Speaking: How to Speak in Part 1

In IELTS Speaking Part 1, the examiner is mainly testing you for two things: i) everyday vocabulary and, ii) basic grammar.

For almost every answer, you should give a two-part answer: First, a direct answer to the question and then add more information.

A 'direct answer' does not mean the same as 'an immediate answer' – a 'direct answer' means 'not an indirect answer'. Indirect answers lower your coherence score. Here's an example of an indirect answer:

Question: "Do you work or are you a student?"
Answer: "Oh, I've been working for five years."

That answer does tell the examiner that you are working but it does so indirectly. The question asks you to choose between "A" and "B" and, in order to answer directly, you should first choose between A and B and then add some suitable extra information. So, a more suitable answer is, "I'm working. In fact, I've been working for five years."

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