How to prepare for your IELTS
With application season just around the corner, you must be getting all your test scores in place. Your IELTS is your English proficiency test that allows the institution to see the level of understanding you have of the language. The stress of scoring well can be tremendously overwhelming. However, you need not worry as this blog contains everything you need to know on how to prepare so that you pass with flying colors.
Step 1: Try out a sample paper
One of the most apparent steps involves you taking a practice test to understand better where you stand on your strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to identify what part you need to better and what domain you are confident in. Although, if you cannot grasp where you are lacking, hiring an expert to help you is a great option, or joining a preparation course whose primary intent is to get you ready for your exam.
Step 2: Increase your vocabulary
Many times, people get so involved in the test that they might forget to build their language and expand their horizons to new words and work on their fluency. All of this is important to show the examiner how efficient you are in your language. You can join an institute for IELTS strategies practice.
Step 3: Timing is everything
While giving your sample tests, time yourself. Be aware of the time you are taking for each section and the time allotted for each unit in the exam. Try to improve your time wherever required. It would be best to enhance your speed, as each module has a set time limit.
Step 4: Building on your reading skills
You have to be a quick reader who can grasp the gist of the story while knowing all the details in a short amount of time. Whether you skim through the passage, you still have to know all the details, which can be asked in the form of fill-in-the-blanks, complete mind maps or even matching information. Make sure you are well versed in each type of question, as any can be asked in the exam.
Step 5: The speaking section
This part of the assessment is less than 15 minutes and is broken down into three sub-parts. The first 5 minutes are purely introduction based. The second part deals with your ability to talk on any random topic which will be handed to you on a task card. This gives the examiner a good idea of your fluency and vocabulary. The last part is just a build-up of the second section. At this point, the examiner will pay attention to your pronunciation and linguistic resources.
Step 6: Be confident in your writing skills
The writing skills are divided into two tasks—namely, the first one being data analysis writing and the second an essay. The essay is what most people struggle with as it may be tough to write extensively on a topic that you may not be familiar with. For the first task, you should practice writing for all types of data (e.g., line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, etc.). For the second task, practice your format for an essay. Get familiar with how to introduce a topic and conclude and how to join all your ideas using proper English to express your thoughts. Taking a course for IELTS will help you know exactly what type of topics may be commonly asked and will make you better prepared for the test.
Step 7: Fully involve yourself in the language
Being fully committed to learning this language will help you get a better band score. Talking to native speakers and getting appropriate feedback to improve will help you a lot. Journaling every day will help your writing skills. Try to expose yourself to different forms of reading like magazines, books, etc. However, if you cannot get feedback, joining an institution or a course that will help you prepare for this assessment will also be a significant help for you.
The entire process can be stressful and take a lot of time; however, if done correctly will pay off later. One should start preparing for their exam 3-4 months prior. It takes, on average, 3-4 weeks to get your band score up by 1 point. Joining a course always helps gain awareness of the exam process and will give you valuable insight on the assessment and where you currently stand on the scale of their marking scheme etc. We wish you all the best from our side and hope that you score great in your assessment. The test is nothing to be afraid of. Some practice and determination will take you a long way.
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