Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

“Always Be Thinking!” if you want a great score on the IELTS!

What does this phrase mean and why does it matter when it comes to IELTS?

Last week we did an episode about the environment as an IELTS Speaking topic and we realized that this topic overlaps and intersects with health and a bunch of other topics.

If you can articulate on the Speaking test how these topics link together and move from one topic to the next as you build your answers then you will impress the examiner.

It all starts with creating a culture of thinking.

How to connect topics with linking phrases:

  • “Oh that reminds me of…” (use this if one topic brings another topic to mind)
    • Example: “When we talk about public transportation it reminds me of the obesity crisis that we have in the US.”
  • “That makes me think of…”:
    • Example: “The pollution crisis makes me think of the lack of public transportation in my city.”
  • “Oh (XYZ) just came to mind!”
    • Example: “Oh! Our new mayor just came to mind because he is a huge fan of public transport and he is going to start a new train line.”
  • “Interestingly enough, this also has to do with…”
  • “In my mind, the concept of (X) intersects with (Y)”

Pro tip!

When you think of a concept that comes to mind because it relates to what you are talking about, you should use the intonation of surprise in your voice! This will get you a higher pronunciation score.

When you are talking with native speakers and discussing topics, always be thinking about how topics connect with other topics.

Remember, it’s “ABT: Always Be Thinking!”

What do you think about the ABT strategy?

Have you used it on the IELTS?

Did it work for you?

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