Do you want to know how to get a higher IELTS score?
Then you need to know how the IELTS examiner will mark you!
This week English Teacher Online reveals how paraphrasing helps your IELTS scores reach 7 and above. We’ll identify the different ways people paraphrase and how it can help you in speaking, reading and writing exams. We’ll give you tips on how to spot a paraphrase and teach you to paraphrase with our fun IELTS Study Partners Paraphrase Game.
Paraphrasing is quite easy really. It doesn’t mean you have to use a lot of big words. It just means you have to use different words when talking or writing about your topics. You can still use the same words a few times but you should be able to express ideas in other ways too.
When Do I Paraphrase?
People often paraphrase in everyday life, like when we tell friends what happened on the weekend. We might summarize our days off work into a few sentences. If we did something exciting or saw a movie, we would paraphrase the event.
When we give a book summary, we paraphrase to tell someone what we’ve read and why we liked it. When retelling stories from newspapers or magazines, we paraphrase too.
In class at college or university you need to take notes during the lectures. Those notes are a type of paraphrasing. If a friend misses the class, you paraphrase what was taught in the lecture. When we write essays, we must paraphrase so we don’t commit plagiarism.
Why Do I Need To Paraphrase?
Examiners are looking to calculate and grade your vocabulary. If you keep repeating the same words over, it will show that your range of vocabulary is limited. You may only get a vocabulary score of 6 or 5.
When you are able to express yourself using a vast array of words, then you are much more likely to score a 7 and above.
Let’s take an example, “party.” What synonyms or paraphrases do you know for party?
You could say gathering, event, celebration, reception, shindig, get together, fund-raiser, housewarming party, cocktail party, hen party, tea party, graduation party, gathering of friends to celebrate an event.
Keep mixing and matching words, plus add new ones. The key to paraphrasing is to become more specific about your ideas. Start simple and then expand. Practice so you have 2 or 3 ways to describe the important things in your life.
Paraphrasing on the IELTS Speaking Exam
In the speaking exam, you must show the examiner a range of vocabulary. Use some slang or idioms to get your message across, because the speaking questions are informal and personal. You need to speak in a natural style while mixing up your vocabulary. Paraphrasing helps to show the examiner how sophisticated your English language has become.
Paraphrasing in the IELTS Reading Exam
When the exam creators at IELTS find a piece of writing, they study the text and make questions. If they just copied the words and phrases from the source into the questions, it would be way too easy. That’s why they use synonyms and paraphrase. This means you need to be familiar with questions that have the same meaning as parts of the text but which are written in a different way.
Paraphrasing for the IELTS Writing Exam
You must paraphrase the test question in your essay, you must NOT copy it word for word. If you do, they will not count towards the 150 words required for task 1 or the 250 words needed for task 2.
How to Prepare for Paraphrasing
Look at some of the IELTS sample test questions in each of the sections. Paraphrase them by rewriting and rearranging the words; adding and removing words; and using synonyms in the sentences. Keep playing with the sentences until they contain completely different words but still keep the original meaning.
Write lists of words by topics in your vocabulary notebook. When you read interesting articles in the newspaper, or hear interesting phrases on TV, write them down.
Try to learn a few words every day. Study them so you completely understand and remember them – that way you will be able to reproduce them later.
Do you have any ideas for interesting paraphrases?
Leave a message in the comments section or play our paraphrase game on IELTS Study Partners.
We’re going to start our game by thinking of synonyms or paraphrases for, “a good party.”
Everyone in the group should try to add a new paraphrase in the game thread. I wonder how many synonyms and paraphrases we can write together?