IELTS Study Tips and Skills



Hello Bharat,

TakeIELTS has extensive information on the IELTS and how to prepare for it. I'd suggest you first look through their section on the writing exam to find out more about this.

The ESOL Nexus also has a page on formal letters and another on emails that I think should help clarify this for you. After you've worked through those pages, if you have any questions, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi, i am new on this site. Can you please guide me that from where i can get an information regarding how to learn spelling or improve vocabulary from this site


Hello Tariq1986,

To improve your vocabulary it's important to see new and familiar words and phrases in context, to note down new items in an organised manner and to practise, revise and review new items systematically.

The Listen & Watch section on LearnEnglish is a great source of reading and listening materials and working through this section will help you with the first point. The more you read – magazines and newspapers, journals, short stories, novels, poems ... in fact, whatever genre or kind of writing interests you – the better, and you can find an inexhaustible supply on the internet, of course.

We also recommend very strongly that you keep a personal vocabulary book. Organise it by topic (sports, work, appearance, finance, etc.) and add new words and phrases to it as you listen, watch and read in English.

Once you have built up a small collection of items in your vocabulary book, you can use it to test yourself so you can see how well you memorise both the meaning and spelling of the items. Cover the words and/or examples and try to recall them, or to translate the words and phrases into your own language.

Good luck!

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. This time I have vocabulary questions:
1) Is it idiomatic and appropriate to IELTS academic writing if we want to introduce advantages of something by using " on the constructive part" and disadvantages of something by saying "on the destructive part"?
2) Recently I read one sample of academic IELTS writing task 2, and found the expression "in hindsight" being used in conclusion paragraph. In his body paragraphs he mentioned positive and negative effects of X and then in conclusion recapped main points by using " in hindsight". Here I am doubtful of this usage, because , as far as I know, "in hind sight" is used when we consider something by looking back at the past. Could you please cast more light on this.
IELTS taker, Bekhzad

hello Bekhzad,

1) No, those are not natural phrases in English. The best phrases to use would depend on the particular context and topic being discussed but one possiblity would be 'one positive aspect is/would be/might be' and 'one negative aspect is/would be/might be'.

2) We would usually say 'with hindsight' and you are correct that this is used to refer to looking at an event or decision with the benefit of later knowledge which we did not have at the time.

For information and more on IELTS, including preparation materials and sample exams with answers, please visit the British Council's TakeIELTS site. I'm sure you'll find it a great help.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Everyone!
I need to improve my writing skills. Does anybody know how to? I'm looking forward to finding a way to write online and have someone to correct my writings.
Thank you all in advance

Hello luisorna,

This is a question we are asked quite often and, in fact, I've just responded to another user on this topic, so I'll repeat the same advice to you.

How to write depends upon what kind of writing you want to do, for what purpose you are writing and who the recipient is. Different kinds of writing require different language and different ways of organising the text, so the first thing to do is to take a look at as many different texts as you can. In general, to improve your writing it's important to read and write as much as possible, so keep an eye out for good examples of letters, articles and so on.  Using the internet to read magazines, newspapers and other text-types from online media is a good idea.

If possible, you should get feedback from a teacher or knowledgeable friend on your writing. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to give users individualised feedback on their writing, but you can still use LearnEnglish to do some work on your own.  You can respond to other users in the comment sections to carry on a written conversation, just as I am responding to you now. Good writers learn from reading other writers' texts, so you could learn a lot about writing from reading the content on the site. Our Magazine might be a good place to start if this interests you. You can also of course carry on written conversations there in the comments. On the other hand, if you are interested in academic writing, then our Writing for a Purpose section might be what you are looking for.

Whatever you do, try to spend at least 15 minutes several days per week reading and/or writing. When you have doubts, ask a friend or teacher, or you're also welcome to ask us periodically here by using the comments sections on each page, and we'll be happy to try to answer your questions. Remember also that written texts are usually well organised - unlike a lot of speech, which can often be haphazard and disorganised.  Therefore it's important to write in an organised way: start by collecting your thoughts, then plan how you are going to organise them, then write a first draft. After that, check (or get someone else to check) your draft before writing your final version. Research shows that good writers constantly review their work and amend it, so this is a good model.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team