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The blog provides general advice and information on academic study skills, knowledge management skills, research skills, English for Academic Purposes, IELTS, and employing technology to improve academic skills. I hope that you'll find here tips that will help you succeed at English speaking universities.

Academic Skills for International Students

The most important academic skills for international students planning to study at English speaking universities. The full-size mindmap of the skills can be downloaded below. This image blog post will be followed by a series of ten movies on academic skills, international students need to succeed at universities in the UK/USA/Australia.   Download Mindmap

Using Collocations to Improve Your Academic Writing

According to Wikipedia ‘a collocation is a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance’. For instance a noun ‘research’ is likely to be used or collocated with words such as ‘ground-breaking, pioneering or collaborative’. How are we supposed to know whether two words collocate or not? If Read more about Using Collocations to Improve Your Academic Writing[…]

Seven Key Skills You Should Develop Before You Go to University

Studying abroad is an amazing experience. Yet, for many international student, it can be also a very stressful time. The main source of stress is usually a heavy academic workload. If you intend to study in the UK, Australia or USA, you are probably focusing your preparations on your English language skills. You might be Read more about Seven Key Skills You Should Develop Before You Go to University[…]

IELTS Writing – Main Types of Essay

On Task 2 of the IELTS Writing you will have to write a 250-word essay. It is the most important part of the writing component. Rather unsurprisingly, many students find this task particularly challenging. Form my experience many problems related to Task 2 could be easily solved if students learnt to recognise different types of essay Read more about IELTS Writing – Main Types of Essay[…]

How to use Google Scholar for your academic project

Today I will give you several tips that will help you to make the most of Google Scholar. Although some tutors and lecturers and definitely most of librarians don’t like Google Scholar,  students do. Frankly, you will have hard time trying to find a better tool to search for academic publications. When I was writing my Read more about How to use Google Scholar for your academic project[…]

Why Band 6.5 IELTS Might not be Enough to Succeed at University

The majority of international students who want to study in British or Australian universities take the IELTS. When preparing for the exam, these students frequently aim for Band 6.5 since it is sufficient to enter most of the British/Australian universities. In fact, more than half of the universities in the UK are happy to accept Read more about Why Band 6.5 IELTS Might not be Enough to Succeed at University[…]

The Most Important Skill International Students Should Master to Succeed at University in the UK

Studying in a second language can be daunting.  I know this from my own experience. I still remember how nervous I was when I was about to start my studies in the UK. I kept asking myself questions: ‘Am I good enough to succeed?’, ‘What can I do to increase my chances at university?’, ‘Are my language skills on Read more about The Most Important Skill International Students Should Master to Succeed at University in the UK[…]

Search Strategy for Your Assignment

It always astounds me how many masters and doctoral students have no particular search strategy in place before they start their research projects. Unsurprisingly, their search for sources is neither systematic nor exhaustive. Of course, it affects their projects in many different ways. None of them is good. Although writing an academic assignment doesn’t require a Read more about Search Strategy for Your Assignment[…]

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