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 101 Helpful Hints for IELTS - Academic or General Training Module

 202 Useful Exercises for IELTS - International Ed.  202 Useful Exercises for IELTS - International Ed.


A review by a Senior IELTS Examiner...

 202 Useful Exercises for IELTS - International Ed.

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. The spelling 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 areas.

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.
The combination 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.)


- 정지원 , 2001-6-9 작성 (★★★★)


이책은 영국이나 호주권 대학이나 대학원으로 유학을 가기위한 시험인 IELTS수험서이다.
현실적으로 토플, 토익만큼이나 책의 종류나 가지수가 많지않은 현실에서 몇권 안되는 책중의 하나이다.
우선 가격에 비해선 책의 두께가 얇아서 금방 볼수 있을것 같지만 그내용만큼은 꽉차있는덧한 느낌이다.
이책은 어느정도 실력자들이 보는것이 좋을것 같다. 구체적으로 문법이 어쩌구 저쩌구 듣기는 어쩌구 저쩌구 하는 책이 아니라 실제시험인 듣기, 말하기, 쓰기, 읽기 4가지 영역의 실용적인 대안과 연습, 그리고 이렇게 준비하면 도움이 될것이다라는 것을 아우르는 책이다.
즉 영어자체의 실력이 있어야 볼수 있다고 생각한다.
다만 IELTS시험이 어떤 형태로 나오고 어떤부분에 촛점을 맞춰야 할까를 위한 대비서라고 보는 편이 나을지도 모른다.
얼마 되지도 않는 책에 그나마 이책이 품절이라 구하기 힘들었는데 와우북에서 다행히 구할 수 있어서 정말 다행이다라고 생각한다.



101 Helpful Hints for IELTS – Academic Module (International Edition)
101 Helpful Hints for IELTS – General Training Module (International Edition)
202 Useful Exercises for IELTS (International Edition)


The first offerings from the Adams and Austen Press were reviewed in EA Journal 14,1 (1996) and EA Journal 15, 1 (1997) respectively. Since then, the popularity of these coauthored works has led to new editions, new module specific versions and new colours for the covers. And more, we are told, is on the way. So, with the plethora of IELTS Test preparation materials which have flooded the market in the last five years, what differentiates the Adams and Peck products from the rest?

The answer, surely, lies in how the authors perceive their student readers. The assumptions they make about what prospective test-takers want to know are simply different from those of most other IELTS materials writers. They assume that their readers want nothing left to chance in their bids to be successful in their IELTS preparation. The result is the Adams and Peck hallmark of thoroughness, down to the last meticulous detail. At every turn in their books, you find numbers and icons, referring you to the relevant ‘Helpful Hint’, section, exercise, or appendix. And the ‘Golden Rule’ of IELTS? ‘Always give the monkey exactly what he wants’ (Helpful Hint 7, p 15)! The number ‘7’ appears frequently - though not, to my surprise, as a reminder for the practice Speaking Tests, where you might expect it!

The design of both versions of 101 Helpful Hints for IELTS is identical. The Introduction (pp 4-10) starts with advice on how to use the book. This is followed by a comprehensive description of the test, ‘Myths and Truths’ about IELTS, and a most fascinating, well researched map showing ‘some interesting world wide websites for teachers and students’. The map doubles as a chart of the IELTS centres around the world. (The USA is not shaded, so this will have to be amended in the next edition.) Other distinctive inclusions are the Glossary – a three-page word list of ‘useful’ words for IELTS and the Further Reading List.

The books are almost evenly divided between Practice Tests (two complete ones, and two with just reading and writing modules) and the other components (mostly the 101 Helpful Hints). As the review of the early edition made clear, the books are brimming with useful suggestions (to saturation point, it has somewhat unkindly been said by those who dislike the Adams and Peck approach). A good example of what divides teachers into two camps is the authors’10 Point Guide to Presentation and Layout (p 47). Under Helpful Hint 59, Adams and Peck stress what they term the ‘psychological aspect' of trying to impress the examiner by making the writing ‘look presentable’ on the page. Among the suggestions to achieve this we find:

Write in a thick, not fine, pen, and consider writing in blue ink. Why? From a psychological point of view, a thick pen makes a stronger impression. Similarly, written work in pencil looks weak and impermanent. Blue ink is more pleasant and soothing to look at than black. Leave behind a positive impression.’

Now, its easy for teachers to scoff at such punctilious advice to students, but judging from the immense popularity of the series, the cynics may not be accurately gauging what many test-takers feel they need to assist them towards ‘test-readiness’.

Currently a 16-page insert accompanies the version for the Academic Module (the General Training version has already been fully updated. The authors sensibly, if predictably, stress that preparation for the interview is the key to success; they emphasize that ‘this is not an ordinary conversation’ and underline the need for candidates to ‘make good use of the questions asked’ as the examiner frame prevents examiners from eliciting information in the same way that teachers might in the classroom. They also rightly warn candidates not to expect the examiner to provide feedback on performance.

Common questions, suggested words and phrases, dos and don’ts abound. Two Practice Speaking-tests are included, which give students a fair idea of what to expect in a live test.

As with the Cameron Supplement, I felt that students may need more examples of how, in Part 3, as the IELTS Handbook puts it, ‘Examiner invites candidate to participate in discussion of more abstract nature, based on verbal questions thematically linked to Part 2 topic’. And aren't the authors being a little disingenuous when they assert that recording the interview is purely ‘to ensure that the examiner conducts the interview properly’? Another slightly misleading statement appears in the initial outline of the Speaking Sub-test: the interviewer’s questions are not designed to reveal the candidate’s background, just to cover a range of familiar topic areas - which may include homes and families, jobs and studies. Another minor correction: at the beginning of Part 2, the examiner automatically provides paper for making notes. I wouldn’t like students to unnecessarily rehearse, ‘Could I have some paper, please?’

Rehearsal for the test is, perhaps, what so many students avidly crave - and it’s what Adams and Peck so exhaustively provide.

It’s the same story of scrupulous attention to detail down to the last touch with 202 Useful Exercises for IELTS. The review copy was the International Edition. The Contents page looks identical to the 1996 edition but, by a sleight of hand, we now have two versions of 202: International and Australasian. The five areas of topical interest appear the same but, in fact, the topic focus undergoes a geographical shift. ELICOS students in Australia enjoyed using the earlier edition, with its emphasis on Australian content, though it tended to give the impression that IELTS was an exclusively Australian test. For the International Edition the local subject matter has largely been replaced; references to Australia are expunged and we and ourselves in Europe - mainly the UK. On page 42, for example, the gapfill about a CD-ROM register of Australian actors is recast in Britain for the International Edition. Similarly, in the Writing exercise on page 49, Asian countries in the bar chart become European and the Australian college becomes a college in the south of England. Hey presto! Welcome to the International Edition! The latest Australasian Edition was not sent for review but presumably preserves many of the features of the original 202 Useful Exercises.

The new International Edition has had a few tweaks in the design department: the addition of boxes and shading gives this edition a more contemporary look. However, the structure and layout remain the same; fresh practice material slots effortlessly into the old frame. The heading numbers still can confuse: with the same numbering system for each of the skill areas dealt with in the five topic areas, the same section numbers can appear up to five times. I was sorry to note that the Key to Links with 101 Helpful Hints for IELTS has been dropped, as has the Further Reading List. However, there is just too much valuable practice material to mention in this review. The exercises are suitable for both classroom or student self-study. The Listening Sub-test practice requires the accompanying cassette.

For sound advice and thorough guided practice for the IELTS test, students can rely on these companion volumes for comprehensive exam preparation. The authors even remember to wish good luck to students intending to take the IELTS examination soon, bless them (202 Useful Exercises p 4)!

EA Journal Volume 19 No 2 – 2001



101 Helpful Hints for IELTS

This book would be very useful, because it provides hints for students to help them do the IELTS exam. It also provides some practice tests that are easy and helpful for the students to do before the exam.

202 Useful Exercises for IELTS

This IELTS book contains practice tests. These practice tests include three skills Listening, Writing, and Reading. It is well organized and contains lots of different topic, which make it very interesting for the students to use this book to prepare for their IELTS exam.

I recommend this books for the students for the reasons above and because this book contain topics that are necessary to prepare for the IELTS exam like the Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises.

Mohammed Saeed Jaber


202 Useful Exercises for IELTS

Garry Adams and Terry Peck

The book has all English practice questions for grammar and vocabulary. It has thousands of questions for every section with different levels of English. It's a good book to be used to practice for the IELTS exam.