Common Questions in the IELTS Writing Exam Under the Academic Module

It has always been said that preparation is the key to any endeavor. Indeed, success is possible when thorough planning and preparing have been considered well. For many Filipinos planning to work and study abroad, the first thing they have to do is to prepare their requirements and one of these is by taking an English competency test – the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System exam.

Due to the test’s popularity, hundreds of Filipinos nowadays are looking for IELTS review centers to get training and courses. IELTS review centers have created class courses that enhance the examinees’ English skills in short span of time. Moreover, Filipino examinees consider IELTS review centers a good venue to learn skills and strategies they need, most especially in the writing section. Writing is one section most examinees consider challenging; hence, they need more practice in this area.

The IELTS writing section is composed of two different tasks. The first task asks the candidate to write a 150-word essay describing a process or compare and contrast data presented in graphs, charts and tables. The topics that are covered in this section are very varied. There are graphs representing age differences in countries, spending habits in shopping, or internet activities of particular age groups. In process or chart data, candidates are presented with processes like making cement, picture booth process, precipitation, or charts of deforestation. Examinees need to understand the graph or the diagrams well to be able to interpret it appropriately.

The second task of the IELTS writing section asks the candidates to write a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. Examinees are tasked to give their opinion on a given topic or statement. The topics that are usually given in the second tasks are topics about old age, globalization, science and technology, environmental issues, lifestyle, education issues, and social issues. Examinees need to be familiar with these topics. Questions on these topics are not too technical so candidates do not need to read a lot on these topics.

Coming up with a good essay on both tasks might be a little difficult at first. However, with constant practice in writing essays, candidates will be able to develop their skills in improving their writing styles. Moreover, coaches in IELTS review centers constantly give feedbacks and comments to their trainees’ essays. They will guide examinees step-by-step until their essays become effective and appropriate for the IELTS examination. Indeed, being part of an IELTS review center creates great advantages one can experience.

Affiliate Marketing – An Overview

Affiliate marketing on the internet is everywhere. Products being sold range from exercises to help with plantar fasciitis to video game copying software. There are countless ways to market products, so we're just going to take a brief look at a few of the places people can use to get started, some startup tips and you'll be ready to start on a road to recycling, free "money.

One of the best ways to get started in affiliate marketing is to sign up at an affiliate site. Examples of this are ClickBank and Commission Junction. What these sites do is get together people who want to sell products and people who are interested in advertising for them. To refer to the examples above, you can promote pretty much anything from medical help to entertainment and computer software. I'm personally planning on doing solar panels next, as a system to reduce heating and cooling costs as well as general electrical overhead.

Most of these types of sites have a list that's quite extensive, and you can chose any product you like. Then you have the site create what's called a Hoplink for you. This is a personalized link to their product that tells the seller that the patron came from your link. This is what gets you credit for the sale. Sounds simple enough right? But how do you get that link out there?

Of course, it's important to do some research about the product you're selling. Once you can speak about it on a reasonable level, it's time to build a base of operations. Websites like Squidoo are wonderful for this. Squidoo is a ready-formulated lens building site. A lens is a website, but one with a specific purpose. It's called a lens because it focuses specific attention on the keyword chosen to target it at. Basically, you take a keyword people are searching on the internet related to your product, and you make that keyword the base for your lens.

So now you write up a fairly simple site promoting the product in question. There's tons of websites now promoting products and everyone has their own particular way of doing it so we're not going to focus attention on that. Go nuts, make something creative and jazzy, or serious and solemn.

Now you have your site trying to promote that product. How do you get people to look at it? The first thing to do is get your site indexed by search engines. There's products and services out there to do this for you, but you can easily do it yourself by finding and submitting to an RSS feed. Basically these sites link themselves to you so that search engines can just go through them and find new web sites.

Building multiple websites with different keywords and linking them to each other does not hurt, but the best way to get traffic is to get bumped up the actual search results list. The way to do this is to create backlinks. Backlinks are links from other sites directly to your lens site. Search engines see other people linking to you and bump you up result lists. So where can you get links to your site?

Well forums are a place to start. You have to be careful though, most forums do not appreciate people taking up their space with ads, especially if they're not getting a cut. There are some forums out there that are specifically for posts of that nature, however. Finding these and submitting to them is a great way to get started. Some people buy their own web domains and use these both for the "lens" site as well as backlinks. Free domains like Yahoo Geocities can be useful for this.

So to recap, first you pick a product you wish to promote, and find some good keywords that describe it. Push those keywords on a lens site, and use social networking sites, other domains and forums, etc. to get the search engine's "attention" and you're on your way. Of course, it's still a matter of getting the right people to your information, buyers. Google and others offer "readers" and the like to tell you what some good ones might be.

I hope this helps to clarify what affiliate marketing on the internet is and how it works. Good luck on your first dollar!

Cooking for Beginners

There is a lot of learning that must be done in order to
become a good cook and then there is becoming a great cook.
But that takes time and plenty of dishes that could have
came out better – and they will-someday. But that's OK
everyone starts somewhere. And the best place to start
cooking for beginners is in the kitchen, of course.

Naturally, there is all kinds of cooking: American, Chinese,
Japanese, Indian, European and etc. All of these types of
cooking takes time and training to learn how to master the
basics. But it can be done because it has been by many
already.

Maybe you are not the best cook yet and maybe that may never
happen. But always remember that someone is not quite as
good as you. Probably you'll be better than most ever will
be. OK so much for having the right attitude and
self-esteem.

Whatever your reason for cooking or learning to cook you
should always begin with the basics. The first thing that
you need to learn is what the different terminology you will
find in recipes actually means. There are many new and
sometimes foreign sounding terms that you will find in
common recipes. These terms can mean the difference in
recipe success or failure. You should be able to find a good
section in any inclusive cookbook that explains the
different definitions for unfamiliar terminology. If you
are not absolutely certain what is meant by "folding in the
eggs "it is in your best interests to look it up.

So take this valuable hint: Try simple recipes at first and
then get a little braver by tackling a few more difficult
dishes. Many recipes will tell you just how difficult it is
to make. But you will soon know by just looking at the
recipe.

Another good idea is that once you get some experience with
different (successful) dishes, make yourself a catalog or
diary of dishes that went over well. Put the date and
comments in the diary.

This will come in handy when you just do not know what to
cook or a special occasion is coming and you want to be sure
to make it successful and fun.

As you learn new recipes and improve your culinary skills
and talents you will discover that preparing your own meals
from scratch is much more rewarding than preparing
prepackaged meals that are purchased from the shelves of
your local supermarkets. You will also discover as your
experience and confidence grows that you will find yourself
more and more often improving as you go and adjusting
recipes to meet your personal preferences.

So what's the secret to learning the basics and becoming a
good cook? Just do it! (over and over).

PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.