Getting ready for IELTS - Grammar and Vocabulary

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These days it does not matter what kind of grammar you use in your everyday life, whether or not others understand what you say and write about matters. This belief is widespread and right to some extent. However, you cannot deny the fact that grammar is the backbone of any language that you speak and write: more accurate the grammar, clearer the message.

Grammar and vocabulary play a crucial role in the IELTS exam. The level of its importance varies from module to module. Grammar makes up 25% of the IELTS exam, and in the writing and speaking section, 25% of the marks are for the vocabulary. 

Role of grammar in each of the IELTS module - 

Writing module - Writing module has two tasks. In task 1 you are required to write an essay of 150 words and task 2 you are required to give a brief description of 250 words. These two tasks is assessed based on the four criteria - Task achievement (Task 1) / task response (Task 2), coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammatical range, and accuracy. Hence, good writing includes good vocabulary, grammar, meaningful and exciting content. 

Speaking module - Speaking module has three task and is a face to face interview with the examiner. You are required to answer a few questions. The tasks are assessed based on four criteria - Fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, pronunciation. So you need to make sure you are grammatically correct, and your answers make sense.

Listening and Reading module - Though, grammar is not essential for reading and listening module, the knowledge of grammar is still needed to select the correct answers. 

Now that you know the importance of grammar in IELTS, here are few rules how to use it.

1. In IELTS speaking task 1 you have to answer questions about yourself. Here you have to use the right verb tense.  If you are talking about general things that you regularly do, then you have to use present simple. If you are referring to the actions that are temporary and are happening around the moment of speaking, then you have to use present continuous.

2. In Writing task 1, you have to describe the given graphs or charts. Since you are reporting the situations that had happened, you have to use simple past tense.

3. Use modal verbs such as ‘Could’, ‘Might’ and ‘May’ to describe different nuances.

4. Use ‘Could have’, ‘Might have’ and ‘May have’ to express possible actions in past or present.

5. Use ‘Can’ to write possible general statements about the present.

6. Use ‘Must’ when you want to express something that is entirely true. 

7. Use passive voice whenever you want to sound more formal and impersonal.

8. Use ‘The’ while describing something in a specific area, cardinal numbers, superlatives, places that refers to a group of states and make use of ‘The’  before nouns and abstract nouns as well.

9. Use adjectives when describing people, things, and places or comparing them. 

Knowing these grammar rules is not enough, you need to practice them. In addition, once you have improved your grammar and vocabulary skills, you will have the confidence to nail the IELTS exam.