5 Academic sentences for IELTS writing and speaking


Learning academic sentences is a powerful way to make your language stronger.

Like learning karate moves in the dojo, the more times you say or write them the more you will understand how they work.

Also like karate moves, once you know how they work, you can use them in the real world!

5 Academic sentences

  1. Employment not only offers us a way to make money for ourselves and governments, it also gives us the opportunity to do something meaningful in the world.
  1. In my opinion, there’s a very strong economic argument for effective primary school education.
  1. As long as free healthcare is managed well, there is no need for it to be wasteful or expensive.
  1. Prices fell by more than 20% last year and as a result, sales increased by 15%.
  1. Teachers have many roles, in addition to educating students they can often act as role models.

I need reading practice- but I hate reading! IELTS / TOEFL / TOIEC

You need to practise reading…but you hate reading. You really hate it. It’s all boring. You hate reading in English.

Stop. On the internet there are a million interesting things to read.

Read Quora

Quora www.quora.com – hundreds of interesting questions answered.quara

I just visited this website to get a screen shot of it and ended up reading a question on ‘where we fall in a 1-10 scale of attractiveness’. I even watched a video too. Quora is a great website for reading things you are interested in, and if you can, answer some of the questions!

Newspapers – all over the internet and FREE

Guardian weekly – awesome free newspaper from the UK with articles on anything you are interested in.


the Telegraph – another great broadsheet from the UK.



The economist – for highbrow articles that mirror what you’ll find on your IELTS exam


Online journals – Get to Cambridge Core and search for the subjects you are interested in – you might also learn something about your specialist field.


For more help with your IELTS reading. Check out Richard L King’s book, Teach yourself IELTS reading


Hapland- IELTS and Video Games – Reading Instructions

Hapland is a very frustrating flash game. http://foon.uk/farcade/hapland/

Read the instructions below to complete it.

If you like video games, walkthroughs are great way to practise reading. Following complex instructions to complete a task will give you some INTERESTING reading practice.


Basically the idea of the game is to get the little man to safety byclicking on different parts of the picture in the right order.


a)    Open all the windows and turn the red arrow around.

b)    Open the hatch on the right, click the yellow arrow to get a man out.

c)     Click on the man to fire one round in the low position to drop the bridge down.

d)    Click the cannon to move it up. Fire the second round up at the bell and click the spear thing so it goes the other way JUST after the round hits the bell

e)    Fire the next two rounds at the bridge, but click the bridge to as they hit it to knock them in the air and explode without causing damage.

f)      Click the light bulb a few times next to the man at the bottom to get him to smash it.

g)    Fire the last round in the low position, and the bottom man will pick it up and open the door with it.

h)    Now click the man by the machine so he gets in it, and click the yellow arrow to get another guy out, get him to fire the other man up at the bell.

i)      The man by the bell will move the tower over if you click him. Then click the spear thing. Now keep clicking the bell till it falls. No more land mine.

j)        Click the door in the bottom left so the man comes out and JUST as he goes in the door on the right, click the man at the bottom. A dog tries to chase him, but the falling concrete stops it.

k)      You did it!

For more of the same check out Richard L King’s great book below




IELTS, TOEFL Academic reading: Read quicker! I need more time!


There’s not enough time!


If only I had more time…I could do better if I had more time. I need more time.

Slow down! There are no short cuts!

Academic reading tests are hard because they don’t give you much time. You need to be able to read faster! Here are three simple tips that will help you read more quickly.

1. Change your way of thinking.

If you want to succeed you will have to ENJOY READING.

Read something you like – do you like football? Aeroplanes? Video Games?


2. You will only get better at reading if you READ!

Read 1 article a day for 15 minutes. Try this for a month.

No excuses!

You can find good, free articles here.




3. Learn to skim and scan

Reading techniques help you find information quickly.

Download our worksheet here.

improve reading

For more help with academic reading. Check out Richard L King’s book Teach Yourself IELTS reading.





Synonyms – a common list for IELTS, TOEL and TOIEC


What are synonyms?

IELTS exams are full of synonyms – two words that mean nearly the same thing.

The IELTS reading paper made me feel sick.

After I did the IELTS reading paper, I felt ill.

Sick and ill are synonyms.

How they are used on the IELTS, TOEFL and TOIEC exams

In exams you’ll find that the questions often use synonyms. For example.

Pete went skiing last month and broke his leg in three places. Lucky guy!

What part of his body did Pete injure? His leg.

Break (past tense broke) doesn’t mean the same as injure, but in the context of this sentences it does! So, it’s still a synonym.

More help on the internet

Get a big list of synonyms here https://justenglish.me/2014/04/18/synonyms-for-the-96-most-commonly-used-words-in-english/

Play some synonym games here with Word Frog http://www.arcademics.com/games/frog/frog.html

To get the score you want, you’ll need a big vocabulary! Here’s a big list of synonyms for you learn! Print it off, stick it on your door, your wall or your fridge.

Amazing — incredible, unbelievable, improbable, fabulous, wonderful, fantastic, astonishing, astounding, extraordinary
Angry — mad, furious, enraged,
Answer — reply, respond, retort, acknowledge
Ask– question, enquire of, interrogate, examine, quiz
Awful — dreadful, terrible, unpleasant
Beautiful — pretty, lovely, handsome, attractive, gorgeous,
Begin — start, open, launch, initiate, commence, originate
Big — enormous, huge, immense, gigantic, vast, colossal
Break — fracture, shatter, smash, demolish,
Bright —brilliant, sparkling, shimmering, radiant, vivid
Calm — quiet, peaceful, still, tranquil
Come — approach, arrive, reach
Cool — chilly, cold, frosty, wintry, icy, frigid
Dangerous — perilous, hazardous, risky, uncertain, unsafe
Decide — determine, settle, choose, resolve
Definite — certain, sure, positive, determined, clear, distinct, obvious
Destroy — ruin, demolish, extinguish
Difference — disagreement, inequity, contrast, dissimilarity, incompatibility
Dull — boring, tiring„ tiresome, uninteresting
Eager — keen, fervent, enthusiastic,
End — stop, finish, terminate, conclude, close, halt
Enjoy — appreciate, delight in, be pleased, indulge in, like
Explain — elaborate, clarify, define, interpret, justify, account for
Fair — just, impartial, unbiased, objective, unprejudiced, honest
Fall — drop, descend, plunge, topple, tumble
False — fake, fraudulent, counterfeit, spurious, untrue,
Famous — well-known, renowned, celebrated, f
Fast — quick, rapid,
Funny — humorous, amusing,
Get — acquire, obtain, secure,
Go —depart, fade, disappear, move, travel, proceed
Happy — pleased, contented, satisfied, delighted, elated,
Hate — despise, loathe, detest, abhor,
Help — aid, assist, support, encourage
Hide — conceal, cover, mask,
Hurry — rush
Hurt — damage, harm, injure, wound, distress
Idea — thought, concept, conception, notion, understanding, opinion, plan, view, belief
Important — necessary, vital, critical, indispensable, valuable, essential, significant, primary
Interesting — fascinating, engaging,
Keep — hold, retain, withhold, preserve, maintain, sustain, support
Little — tiny, small, diminutive
Look — see, glance, watch, survey, study
Love — like, admire, esteem, fancy, care for
Make — create, originate, invent, beget, construct, design, fabricate, manufacture, produce, build, develop
Mark — label, tag, price,
Neat — clean, orderly, tidy,
New — fresh, unique, original, unusual, novel, modern, current, recent
Part — portion, share, piece, allotment, section, fraction, fragment
Place — space, area, region, location, situation, position, residence
Plan — plot, scheme, design, draw, map, diagram, procedure, arrangement, intention
Popular — well-liked, approved, accepted, celebrated, common, current
Put — place, set, attach,
Quiet — silent, still, soundless
Right — correct, accurate, factual, true,
Say/Tell — inform, notify, advise, relate, recount, narrate, explain, reveal,
Scared — afraid, frightened,
Show — display, exhibit, present, note, point to, indicate, explain, reveal, prove, demonstrate, expose
Slow — unhurried, gradual, leisurely, late, behind, tedious,
Stop — cease, halt, stay, pause, discontinue, conclude, end, finish, quit
Strange — odd, peculiar, unusual, uncommon
Tell — disclose, reveal, show, expose, uncover, relate, narrate, inform, advise, explain, divulge, declare,
Think — judge, deem, assume, believe
True — accurate, right, proper, precise, exact, valid, genuine, real, actual
Unhappy — miserable, uncomfortable
Use — employ, utilize, exhaust, spend, expend, consume, exercise
Wrong — incorrect, inaccurate, mistaken

Check out Richard L King’s books for more help with your IELTS


Improve your IELTS, TOEFL and TOIEC reading speed. Skimming and scanning.


You don’t always get better at reading just by reading. To get the score you need in the IELTS, TOEFL or TOIC you need to read quickly and accurately.

Change THE WAY you read to improve your speed

Learn to SKIMread quickly and superficially so you find out only the important or significant details.

Learn to SCAN – search the text for important words to find the exact piece of information you need.

You already know how to SKIM and SCAN in your language.

You MUST learn to do this to get better at academic English.

Download our worksheet –  Improve your IELTS reading speed – click the picture below.

improve reading

For more help with your IELTS, TOEFL or TOIEC, check out Richard L King’s book – Teach yourself IELTS reading.



Improve your IELTS and TOEFL reading: One article a day. No excuses.

The Olympics in Brazil made me think about training. Sorry if this sounds a bit angry!

Your brian is a muscle.

You need to train it.

The reading section of the IELTS exam is the hardest section because you need to be well trained at reading and have a huge vocabulary.

Here’s the training.

Choose the first article from the fantastic Guardian Weekly, an international broadsheet.  https://www.theguardian.com/weekly


One article a day. No excuses.

If you have a study partner. Get them to read it to and then TALK ABOUT it.

Read it in less than ten minutes.

Do not check all the words in the dictionary BUT if you feel there is an important word you should know then please do CHECK.

Do it everyday. No excuses.

but it’s boring…I have other work to do…I’m hungry…it’s late…I have to have some fun sometimes.

Success is your choice.

Please let me know how you get on!

For more help with your IELTS reading. Try Richard L King’s book.