ielts/ toefl / pte essay: Prompt, Plan, Produce, Proofread

Imagine you are in the examination-hall!!

You are stressed. Writing is the last section of the test, so you are a little tired too…You want to finish it fast and go home.. You want to get out of this claustrophobic room as quickly as possible…

And now you read the essay title..You find it pretty straightforward.. so you read it casually….may be twice..

And then you start your writing… WITHOUT PLANNING…..

It is essential to follow the right steps, every-time you write an essay. You need to understand the main-theme, and the sub-theme of the question… you need to decide.. your line of argument.. your exception paragraph… your introduction… body.. conclusion.. before you write the first line..

Here are the steps you are advised to follow:

1. Prompt: Understand the question.. Do STOP (Scope / Tone / Organization / Purpose) of the question.

2. Make a rough draft of what you want title.

3. Write your essay.. talking about one theme in one paragraph..Follow a template you mastered..

4. Proofread your essay.

Here is one useful way to plan.. try BRAIN DUMP..
Put your thoughts on paper.. quickly.. without judging..without thinking about spellings.. or flow.. just keep writing everything that comes in your mind.. read the topic.. and make sure you address all the keywords in the prompt.

From this dump, you can choose your ideas later. You can discard the ones which do not make sense to you.. and select the ones that you like.

Reading Comprehension Tips

Reading comprehension tests scare many people. Reason- reading as a skills is never taught in school. So the result is only a few students who are endowed with the natural liking for reading, develop this skill.

Here are a few tips to improve reading comprehension

  1. Focus on precision first then focus on speed
  2. Do a mock test to identify your areas of opportunities and strengths
  3. Skim to get the basic idea of the passage before reading it.
  4. Go through the questions to know what to focus on
  5. Identify keywords from the questions
  6. Look for synonyms for the keywords
  7. Do the easy questions first –> Words Based –> Line Based –> Paragraph Based –> Passage Based
  8. Practice using varied content taken from different sources
  9. Maintain a corrections log with strategies and best practices updated for each question where you went wrong
  10. Write annotations (short notes ) for each paragraph
  11. Practice STOP: Scope / Tone /Organization / Purpose
  12. Use process of elimination to get the right answer
  13. Give marks to the answers seem similar
  14. Pay attention to the tone of the question
  15. Read the first and last line of the passage first
  16. Pay attention to signpost words: But / However/Although/Moreover/ Furthermore/ Nevertheless/ Consequentially
  17. Practice with purpose: After every reading test make sure you update your corrections log with learning.

Can educating people to consume healthy food persuade them to consume healthy food.

It is ironical that: It is ironical that even those who know the importance of health, do not take care of it. It is ironical that everyone agrees about eating simple food, still only a few follow this discipline.

It is ironical that every-one understands the importance of food, but so few are actually conscious of what they eat. Thus, educating people can actually yield limited dividends. Let us find what other steps could be taken to bring about a positive change in people’s food habits.

The purpose is not to undermine the importa vnce of educating masses. In fact, when people are aware of the health hazards associated with consuming fast-food, they would limit or stop its consumption. To quote an example, a drastic decline was reported in consumption of cold-drinks when people got to know about the ill effects of consuming it.

However, changing food habits of masses is not an easy task.  In addition to education, a proper regulatory system which governs what is sold in the markets is essential. There should be clear demarcation on the packaging of food, whether it is good for health or not. If some food item is found to be harmful, it should be immediately banned. We can quote the example of Maggi-noodles in this context. Timely government action, forced the company to stop the sale of Maggi immediately.

Another reason for the decline in public health is unhealthy lifestyle. Thus, encouraging masses to embrace a healthy lifestyle will also be helpful in addressing this issue. To quote an example, Delhi government has established open-gyms in many parks, which is a welcome step towards fitness.

To conclude, educating the masses can yield limited dividends. It requires a multipronged approach to enlighten people about eating healthy food and leading a healthy life.