Studying and Learning for IELTS

What’s the difference between studying and learning?

studying IELTS writing Task 1 Task 2 model answers charts tables Speaking


Let’s talk about the difference between studying and learning, shall we?

[Yes, let’s!]

What is the difference between studying and learning?

I can illustrate the difference in one simple sentence.

In Vietnam, everyone studies English at school, but most people don’t learn anything.

In other words, studying just means going to school, or attending a class, while learning describes the process of getting better  - or learning something.

If you’re serious about succeeding in IELTS, you need to find a way to make your studying effective.  I’m sorry to have to say this, by just paying money to foreigners does not count as studying, and neither does watching films, or reading Facebook posts, or even books.  Ok – they’re better than playing computer games, but they don’t count as studying.

What you need to do is some kind of more active studying.

Here are some suggestions

Use active reading and listening, which means reading and repeating, or writing down phrases and sentences.

Read a model answer and then rewrite the whole thing – see how close you can get to the original.  [see my advice about using my model answers here or here]

Use Anki [see here]

Review what you did yesterday – do the homework again after your teacher has corrected it.

As far as speaking is concerned, you can

tell a story in English – but keep telling it until it’s as close to perfect as you can get


listen and repeat, copying the intonation as perfectly as you can  [for example  - listen to any of the audios on this blog and repeat them one sentence at a time - see here]

If you have any more suggestions, please put them in the comments below.

Catch you later

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Khoi Nguyen
8 years ago

So, I have been studing English for a long time, but not learning much.
Thanks for your post.