Preparing for IELTS? Top Tips to Help Any Student

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If you are from countries where English is not the predominant language  of communication and  are probably thinking of going overseas for  studies or job in the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom, there is a mandatory test for English language assessment called IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This is  the test which you must score high in order to show your proficiency in English language. Typically, you can pick this test, and once done, send the results to respective universities and colleges of your choice.

There is a simple set of steps that one should maintain while preparing for IELTS.

  1. Brush up on the grammar. A huge part of IELTS is grammar, and yes, if you make a mistake, you are doomed. Typically, you will be asked questions which would test your basic grasp at English grammar, so, bring out your grammar books and start studying. Know the difference between past perfect and past perfect continuous tense, find out what modal is, and make sure you know your adverbs. It will help you immensely while you sit there for the exam.
  2. Check out samples of the exam papers. On the internet, you will find plenty of IELTS exam papers, and you should check them out. Even if you know everything about English grammar and language, it never hurts to see what kind of questions you can expect during the test, and it pays to study it well.
  3. Make sure the sentence makes sense. Once you are finishing off a particular sentence in the course of the test, see to it that the sentence has perfect grammar, and also makes sense. A statement that doesn’t make sense is probably not the right answer.
  4. Know the meaning of difficult words. This is something that virtually every person who has taken the IELTS will ask you to do. Know word meanings, and simplify them to ensure your sentence makes sense.
  5. Write more. IELTS comes with writing tasks where you will have to write something and it always help if you write more in preparation. Create logical arguments, deal with a particular matter with clarity of thought, and make sure you state your opinion clearly and without grammatical or syntactic error. 
  6. Sit for a few practice exams. On the internet, you will find a huge number of sites which would help you with IELTS preparation. Go there and check out free and paid practice exams. Take one or more of them to feel more familiar with the test and question pattern. Also, this helps a lot in strategizing about the way you can tackle the exam.
  7. Time management. This seems to be a huge issue with a lot of people who give the exam. Make sure you don’t spend too much time on any particular task. If it looks like you are, just move on to the next for the time being.

These simple tips are easy to remember, but they come in handy. They can help you immensely while you sit for your next IELTS test, and help you score more than you ever thought that you could.

This article is provided by The IELTS Academy, Bangalore’s (India) best training centre for IELTS test preparation.

How Company Blogs Can Avoid Looking Like Amateurs in Three Simple Steps

Company blogs face a number of choices and challenges when it comes to attracting a dedicated audience.

How do we pick topics that haven’t been done to death?

Do we publish as individual authors or as a brand?

Who can we reach out to in order to beef up our readership?

Does this sound like spam? What about this?

While many of these questions seem “make or break,” perhaps the best way for business bloggers to find their direction and voice is to simply write.

According to Neil Patel, picking a persona is one of the most important aspects of standing out in the blogosphere. By picking a persona to write for, businesses have clarity about who their blogging audience truly is and understanding what those users want. By giving a name, face and demographic to your audience, you can give your blog’s content a purpose rather than churning out post after post for the mere sake of it.

Likewise, company blogs must take careful steps to ensure that they put on a professional persona for their readership. That said, professionalism doesn’t necessarily have to mean “suit and tie,” but rather a sense of authority and confidence with the skills to back it up. In short, a professional blogging persona represents…

·       Experience and expertise

·       Compelling content that solves problems and speaks to readers

·       A distinct image and voice that stands out from the crowd

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to establish a professional persona; however, there are mistakes that many bloggers make which essentially make them look like amateurs.

From  on-site carelessness to social media meltdowns, bloggers can sabotage themselves if they aren’t incredibly mindful concerning how they approach their audience and the types of content they produce. So, how do you keep your company blog from looking like amateur hour?

Design Disasters

Representing your visitors’ first impression of your blog and brand, design can ultimately make or break your site in terms of readability and conversions. While publishing platforms such as WordPress offer themes that make just about any blog appear professional, don’t neglect the other essentials of design impacting your visitors, such as…

Format – The format of your blog determines whether or not visitors see attractive articles or unreadable chunks of text. Each post should be broken up into small chunks, including unique images (versus generic, run-of-the-mill stock photos), subheadings and bullet points.

Logo – Something as small as your company’s logo can have a huge impact on your branding efforts. Since your logo has the potentially to show up just about anywhere, from social media icons and to your company emails, make sure that it’s simple yet sleek.

Color Scheme – There’s little more disruptive than a clashing color scheme. Likewise, it can be jarring to visitors if your color scheme isn’t congruent across your blog and other marketing efforts (emails, social profiles and so on).

Even if you don’t have an in-house designer, consider consulting a professional to ensure that your blog is following best practices in regard to design.

Slacking on SEO

Poor SEO can hurt your blog’s ability to be found organically; however, especially negligent search efforts can make your site look amateurish to visitors. The following red flags can signal your site as spam, including:

·       Unnatural keyword placement or keyword stuffing

·       Excessively long URLS which aren’t optimized for keywords

·       Poor site architecture that’s difficult to navigate

·      Unrelated or clickbait titles with no substantive content

Make sure that you understand the principles of SEO before blogging. When in doubt, worry first about making sure that your content reads naturally prior to sweating the specifics of SEO.

Bark > Bite

There’s nothing more embarrassing or damaging to a brand’s reputation than a meltdown. Unfortunately, some bloggers get themselves stuck in a corner when they make claims that they can’t back up or attempt to call out other brands in hopes of getting exposure.

While there’s nothing wrong with singing your own praises or using controversy to drive traffic to your blog, make sure that such claims on your blog have substance. Don’t throw out facts or statistics without sources to back them up.

Likewise, don’t go picking fights with other brands or bloggers. Constructive criticism is fine when dealing with conflict online; however, bashing and name-calling can quickly diminish your blog’s credibility. In other words, think before you post.

When establishing a sense of authority for our blogs, it’s perhaps most important to understand what not to do. There are lots of moving pieces to building a following for your company blog: remember to keep your persona in mind and position yourself as a professional rather than an amateur.

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