IELTS, as discussed previously is a prominent English test taken by students or anyone who wish to travel or gain admission into international universities or organizations.
The high standard and acceptance of this test makes people tensed when asked to take it, because they often feel blank and don’t know where to start from.
With this, we have laid down different IELTS preparation steps to enable our readers gain confidence before and after taking the test.
In this article, the steps to take in making good bands(points) in your IELTS test will be discussed.
IELTS Preparation steps
In other to get good points after taking your IELTS test, you have to follow some key steps to increase your English proficiency. Reports revealed that, majority of people who fail their IELTS tests were reluctant in preparation or didn’t prepare at all. Just as the saying goes “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”, if you would want to be successful in your test, you need to prepare now.
If this particular Exam was free, taking it severally won’t be a big deal, but the fact that you have to pay fees severally is a turn off.
Also, having every travel document ready when waiting for IELT points can be frustrating.
Follow the following preparation steps to increase your chances of success. The steps includes;
Understand the IELTs test you are taking
The first preparation stage is to understand the IELTs test you are to take before doing any other thing. We have outlined two types of IELTs test, which are;
- IELTS Academic
- IELTS General Training
The preparation steps of these Exams are the same, but the need for understanding the type you are writing is that it will make you understand what you are going for.
The exam method for the two steps are different, and will be shown below.
Understand Exam concept type
As said earlier, the exam concept for the IELTs general and IELTs academic are not the same. So you must familiarize yourself with the Exam concept of the IELTs test you are writing.
Exam concept for IELTS Academic test(AT) and General test(GT)
Academic test is for people who intend to study in International schools that accept IELTs as one of their criteria for admission.
- Listening and hearing are the same pattern for both academic and general exam type.
- In the reading section, the same questions will be asked but in different categories; For academic test, the reading section will encompass academic categories, while general IELTs will encompass all life activities(social and work life).
- The writing section of both Exam type is divided into task one and task two; Task one for academic test involves you writing a report in graphs, chart, map, etc. While in general type, you will have to write a letter to an English speaking organization. In task two, the both type will require same approach, which is an essay to be written.
Understand Test time and format
Time is an important factor in any examination, and IELTs test is not exempted. Since time is a constraint, understanding the time given for all sections beforehand is a great preparatory approach.
Exam Timing and format for all sections
According to IELTsadvantage, the sections can have the following formats
- Listening: This exam section requires about 30 minutes with 4 sections, 40 questions in total.
- Reading: This exam section requires about 60 minutes with 3 sections, 40 questions in total.
- Speaking: This exam section requires interaction with an examiner, and it will take about 14 minutes in 3 parts.
- Writing: This exam section has been explained above, but it last for 60 minutes for both GT and AT.
Understand marking criteria
Each exam section has a marking criteria, and it will be helpful if you really understand the criteria of each section. Understanding the criteria is like a guide to having great points(bands). It will also give you a target and how to answer the questions rightly. Understanding the criteria will also reveal your weakness and strength in each section.
NOTE: If you notice a weakness, work towards it before paying the Exam fees.
Pick a goal point
Having a goal point in mind can be helpful in achieving success. It will be nice to build a confidence from within by having a goal point. In goal point, I mean the score you will like to get after writing your IELTs test. The score should be higher than what you really want, so that even if you don’t get it, you will eventually be closed to it. Having a goal point is also necessary for preparation, as your mind will be focused at that point till you achieve it.
Perfect all English skills
When we say English skills, we mean reading, writing, listening and speaking. These skills can be perfected with several methods that will be mentioned below.
Watching English movies
Movies have been a good tool in language proficiency, as some people learn different languages easily after watching movies severally. If you really want to build your English proficiency, you can imbibe the attitude of watching English movies. Movies can build your listening, speaking and writing proficiency.
Read English novels
Learning a new language or perfecting a previous language can be frustrating, but if you are the type that loves reading, you can pickup a favorite genre of novel in an English version and watch how you gain English balance. Novels have helped a lot of persons in learning new languages, whether in reading or speaking.
Write Essays and Letters
Practicing on your own will help you familiarize with what is coming. Writing letters on your own will make you confident if you are to write one in your exam. Now we know that you may meet a letter or essay question during your writing section, it will advisable to start learning and writing them on your own.
Practice speaking and build vocabulary
Vocabulary is a vital part in IELTs exams, as it covers all test section with a massive point in writing and speaking.
You can build your vocabulary by downloading good vocabulary guides(pdf), watching movies, reading and practice-speaking. Practice-speaking means that you should make English a part of you by using in all aspect of your life, you could even look for an English expert to converse with, to gain more ground in English. You should also avoid slangs in English, as that can reduce your points drastically. There are some words that are commonly used even if they are wrong, look for those words and try not to use them during speaking or writing section.
Take an online test
This is a must preparation test, as it is conformity of all other steps above. Taking a test will show you how far you have prepared and how ready you are to get to the battle field.
Taking a test shouldn’t be done once, since it is free you can do it severally until you are convinced that you have arrived.
Don’t be over confident
This goes to people living in English speaking countries and still wish to further their education in English International University. Over confidence is a destroyer of destiny. Even if you have been speaking English in your entire life, you still need to prepare and learn before taking this test. IELTs doesn’t respect exposure to English, it respect proficiency in English.
There are still many ways to prepare for your IELTs test, but it is advisable to follow all steps mentioned above. An IELTs band of 9 can be achieved if preparation is done. Therefore, you are advised to plan so you can succeed.