Wednesday, September 30, 2009


You might think this is one big joke. Manny Pacquiao? He’s not good in English. But did you know that Manny Pacquiao actually has lots of lessons about how to be a better IELTS student?

There’s a reason Manny Pacquiao is the most successful boxer in Philippine history. Actually, there are (at least) six reasons. And you can apply each of these to your exam, to get a higher band score.

1. No Man is an Island
No man is an island. Behind a successful boxer is a great coach. Manny Pacquiao didn’t do it all alone. He needed Freddie Roach’s magic to beat all the great boxers. He knew Manny well. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. He guided Manny throughout his training. It’s all the same way in the IELTS. You may have heard some students passing their IELTS through self-review. Yes, you can do self-review but you cannot assess your writing and speaking. You need another person to evaluate your essays and your speeches.

How you can apply it: Get a good coach. Enroll in a good center that can guide you throughout your review. A good coach will help you determine areas that you are weak at. He will monitor your progress and your readiness to take the exam.

2. Discipline is the key

Manny Pacquiao goes through a rigorous training every time he has a fight. Right now, he is training in Baguio to prepare for his fight with Cotto. When he’s in training, he eats a strict diet, he never goes out in bars. His only focus is his training and nothing else.

How you can apply it: You should protect your review time. If possible, take a leave from your work. Daily practice is essential if you want your scores to improve. You should not allow distractions like gimiks, cellphones and internet in your review time.

3. Study your Enemy

Pacquiao knows his enemies’ well. He studies the video fights of his opponents. I’m sure Pacquiao has studied the fights of Miguel Cotto to understand what his weaknesses are. He studies every move of his opponent.

How you can apply it: In the IELTS, time is your greatest enemy. You should answer as fast as you can so that you can beat the clock. Think of the IELTS exam as a challenge. Each question is a hurdle that you need to overcome. You need to familiarize yourself with the questions so that you will be able to understand them.

4. Work on your Weaknesses

Pacquiao’s secret weapon is his left hand. Before, his opponents tried to attack his right hand. But now, his right hand is as good as his left hand.

How you can apply it: We all have our weaknesses. Some may be weak in Reading, some Writing, some Listening and some Speaking. Spend more time improving on your weak areas.

5. Have a game plan

Manny Pacquiao was able to beat the hell out of Ricky Hatton because of a perfectly executed game plan. Manny followed the game plan to the letter. He could have beaten Hatton earlier but he was patient in delivering his punches. Manny has a different strategy for each opponent.

How you can apply it: You should also have a study plan. You should have a strategy on attacking the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests. The IELTS test is not difficult if you know how to approach it. Arm yourself with different books to familiarize yourself with the questions and tips on how to answer the questions.

6. Speed
Manny’s main advantage over his opponents is his speed. Ricky Hatton wasn’t able to make his moves because Manny was too fast for him. He was able to avoid Hatton’s punches quickly.

How you can apply it:
As I have said, time is your greatest enemy. If you are unable to finish the test, that could pull down your grades. You gotta work fast, fast, fast. Manage your time well so that you can answer the questions completely.

Try putting these six techniques into your review and I’m sure that you will knock out your IELTS exam.

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Woman Behind A Teacher's Odyssey

My name is Miracel Juanta and I write ATeachersOdyssey to help students and teachers create better English. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years. My field of expertise includes ESL,IELTS,TOEFL,Business English etc. If you have questions about English, feel free to email me at or add my twitter @msjuanta.