202 Useful Exercises for IELTS:
by Garry Adams and Terry Peck. Adams
and Austen Press, Sydney 1995
Hot on the heels
of their well-received
101 Helpful Hints for IELTS
(for a review, see the previous issue
of EA Journal), Adams and Peck have
co-authored a collection of exercises
(yes, exactly 202 of them!) which, so
it is claimed in the Preface, 'involve
the various skills required to take
the IELTS test'.
The main body of
the workbook is divided into exercises
in five topic areas, 'Communication
and the Arts', 'The Environment', 'Technology',
'Politics', and 'Youth and Education'.
The exercises are, therefore, anchored
in contexts both of topical interest
and relevance to the IELTS test. Each
section has exercises in listening,
reading, writing, spelling, grammar
and vocabulary, while two sections also
have punctuation exercises.
exercises are specially welcome; spelling
is too often a neglected area in the
macro-skills based EAP classroom, as
many an IELTS examiner will testify.
The final part
of the book consists of appendices and
an index. 'Appendix 1' has the listening
tapescripts for the accompanying cassette,
which includes news items, lectures,
dictations, as well as other listening
exercises. 'Appendix 2' provides answer
keys to the exercises, and features
ten model answers for the Writing module.
(These are not, however; annotated.)
A two-page reference section reproduces
four tips from
101 Helpful Hints for IELTS.
Page 129 contains cross-references with
the earlier companion volume, indicating
links between exercises and hints, though
the authors stress that the books can
be used independently. Students are
referred to the 'Further Reading List'
for help with problem areas which the
exercises expose. The book concludes
with a detailed index, which teachers
and students will find invaluable when
seeking exercises covering specific
One of the
many strengths of this workbook is the
variety in the type of questions asked
and tasks set. In an
artful fusion of medium and message,
a number of the tasks relate to aspects
of the IELTS test. Consequently, students
gain practice at dealing with IELTS-type
tasks, while simultaneously acquiring
knowledge about the test. There are
even crosswords wordsearches, wordgames
and word puzzles. Advice for the day
of the test, for example, is craftily
packaged in the form of a quiz.
It is hard
to find fault with the choice of cleverly
devised exercises. However,
I would have liked to see more material
designed to help students move from
non-academic writing to academic writing.
While there is some practice in passive
construction, more work on nominalisation,
of the kind proposed by Cox (1994: 7·3),
would assist students with the academic
style they need for the Writing module.
What makes Adams
and Peck's books different is their
focus on providing materials for acquiring
the skills needed for success in IELTS.
of 'hints' and
'exercises' is a clever formula
to help students prepare for the test.
Note that exercises for speaking
practice are not included, however.
Even more goodies,
the authors tell us, are in the pipeline.
In their forthcoming video package,
entitled Room 303, we are promised 'a
complete treatment'. It will have a
high standard to live up to.
Reprinted from the EA Journal (Winter
1997 Vol. 15 No. 1.)