How To Study For IELTS — Over 11,000 worldwide organizations trust the IELTS. So it’s essential to study diligently before taking the test. The test was developed by the world’s top English language assessment experts, and they will test you for English language skills which will aid you in landing a job or studying abroad successfully. So, are you planning on taking the IELTS soon? We have got you covered. In this article, we will explain what IELTS is and how to study for IELTS. Read on.
What Is IELTS?
IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System and is specifically created to help people that want to relocate, migrate or travel to countries whose native language is English. These countries include Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, New Zealand, and many other related countries. During the test, the examiners will test some of your abilities in the English language, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking the language.
The testing system belonged to the British Council IDP, IELTS, and Cambridge university press and assessment. Whether you are going abroad to work or study, you may be required to take this test to demonstrate your skill level in the language. Generally, English is the 3rd most spoken language worldwide, having over 379 million speakers globally. Mastering the language has many benefits since it will allow you to transition and integrate well with the people you will meet. Among the schemes that are related to testing one’s language skill level, IELTS is one of the popular tests that most people take. You may wonder what score you can get to pass the test. The truth is that the score you are required to get depends on the reason you are traveling. But the thing is that it’s best to score high because it will reflect your understanding of the language. The workplace or institutions you are applying to have their specific cutoffs marked for the test.
Steps On How To Study For IELTS
Studying and preparing for exams can seem daunting and make you feel overwhelmed with everything. Below are helpful steps on how you can study for IELTS.
1. Understand your skill level
If this is the first time you are taking the IELTS, then you should consider taking an English test, however, don’t entirely focus your attention on the test. You can do so occasionally to under your skill level. The practice exams will also allow you to understand the format and nature of the exams, but you should never expect to see the same or similar questions. It will help if you consider that practicing questions is entirely different from preparing for the IELTS exams. Practicing questions will never increase your score it will only give you an idea of the nature of your questions.
2. Develop your general English
The first step to studying for IELTS is to develop your general English. Research has found that taking test practice doesn’t help you become better; we aren’t saying it never helps, but it doesn’t do much. Another study discovered that attending general English classes allows you to perform better than attending classes specifically to prepare for the exams. This study doesn’t generalize or apply to everyone. What works for you might not work for another person.
When preparing for IELTS, don’t always focus your attention on doing practice questions all the time. One of the reasons people fail IELTS is that they don’t understand the language or the test, and they don’t understand the examiner. If you want to pass this test, your priority should be developing your English. One of the best ways to do so is to read books written in simple language, listen to podcasts, and watch movies. The most important thing you should note is that ensure you are doing the things you love while learning. For example, if you love reading novels, pay attention while reading. In the end, you will realize that you have learned and assimilated many things which, if you are left to study alone, you won’t grab it that fast. You can go online for movies with good English ratings or novels that have good grammar.
3. Leverage self-study resources
It would help if you never underestimate the power of self-study sessions. It would help if you focused on ways to develop your skills and simultaneously be doing something that entertains you. You can find many apps to help you study the English language at your own pace. Some of these apps include LearnEnglish, which helps with grammar and punctuation. You can even find one with videos where you can see different museums and sites in the United Kingdom. If you want something more intense, you can join adult teaching centers where you can improve your English skills with the help of international teachers.
4. Consider Massive Open Online Course
Mooc is an avenue that offers individuals that want to improve their English skills resources. The exciting part is that it’s free, and you will find different topics ranging from computer science to chain management, architectural histories, and many more. All these courses are from well-known universities like Harvard and Oxford. Joining Massive Open Online Course will allow you to improve your English skills, and also you will learn your subjects of interest simultaneously. However, if all these aren’t enough and you want something more serious, you should consider taking a British Council MOOC known as Understanding IELTS on Future Learn.
5. Join an online class
Aside from following the above steps. You can also choose to join an online class. Today, we are in the digital era, so you are likely to find whatever you want to learn online, and the most fantastic part of online activities is that even though some will require you to pay, most are free. Even if you must pay, you will find it affordable. Although some people believe that online classes aren’t as practical as physical classes since there won’t be real-time communication, the truth is as long as technology is not in the way, you won’t encounter any issues. As long as you have an expert as your teacher, whether online or face-to-face classes, you will surely learn something.
6. Understand how their scoring works
It will be beneficial if you learn how the scoring works so you can prepare for the exams better. The exams are usually graded on a 1-9 scale. The grades are called bands. Four sections will test; these are your speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Each will be scored over 9. So your result from each team will be summed up and then divided by four which is the number of the sections. For example, if you score
Then the calculation will be like 7+6+6+5=24. Then 24/4 is 6. This means you have six bands, which indicates that you are a competent English user; you can talk and write about familiar situations, but you struggle with unfamiliar topics. You can make frequent mistakes and misunderstand situations because you lack language ability.
7. Breakdown your study into different sections
The best way to study effectively is by breaking your study into different sections since already the whole test is categorized into four. You should schedule every day to learn something different so that when the test is due, you can start studying the four sections at once. Whenever you finish studying, please sit down and reflect on what you learned; it’s best to do this two days or a day before the test day.
The IELTS test is developed to test a person’s proficiency in the English language. Experts develop the questions, which usually tests four aspects of the language, including your ability to write, listen, read, and speak. Before applying for the test, you must study diligently for a high score and stand a chance of getting a job or admission to your favorite university.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the full meaning of IELTS?
The full meaning of IELTS is International English Language Testing System.
Can I take IELTS online?
Yes, IELTS can be taken online. It offers an online version called the IELTS indicator. However, it is vital to check with your organization or school to see if they accept the IELTS indicator score.
How long does it take to prepare for IELTS?
The length of preparation time for IELTS depends on your current English proficiency level and your target score. We recommend you spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the exam.
Why is IELTS important?
IELTS is vital for individuals who want to study, work, or migrate to English-speaking countries. A lot of emigration agencies, schools, and employers require IELTS scores.
What are some of the common mistakes you should avoid during the IELTS exam?
Some common mistakes to avoid during the IELTS exam include not managing your time effectively, not following the instructions carefully, not reviewing your answers thoroughly, and not practicing enough before the exams.
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