If you want to learn, live or work in an English-speaking country, you need to take IELTS. Almost every university programme offered will accept a score of 7 or more. A good IELTS score can help you get higher marks in the points test and apply for different visas.
What is IELTS?
Students, who want to pursue higher education abroad, but English is not their mother tongue, will have to take an English proficiency test to gain admission to educational institutions in English-speaking countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency so that an ‘average native speaker’ would be able to understand you.
IELTS has two types:
Academic – Educational for those who want to go for higher education or need professional registration, and
General training – preferred by those who want to apply for immigration in the countries mentioned above.
For an international student, it is necessary to pass the English language proficiency test. There are several tests for English proficiency eligibility. You can also compare IELTS with others such as TOFEL Vs IELTS Vs PTE or TOFEL Vs. IELTS Vs. Duolingo and then you decide which language test is the best option.
IELTS is a test that measures an applicant’s English proficiency. The exam assesses a person’s skills in English language with regard to four elements: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
You can make the best use of IELTS preparations online. The good news for you is that IELTS is now available online – you can take the exam from the comfort of your own home. The recent online test option for higher education overseas is convenient for all categories of applicants.
One or two weeks should be fine for preparing for IELTS. You can set your schedule to crack the test with good grades. But first:
Know the IELTS format.
Choose strategies to succeed in all 4 IELTS sections.
Take up at least one IELTS Preparations Practice Test.
Now that you know what you want to achieve with this, let’s go through the schedule to help you crack IELTS with a few days of preparation.
1. Get Started
In this pressing time, proper planning of workspace and schedule for IELTS preparations at home is essential. Given that you have a few weeks or less to prepare, you should first pay close attention to the format of the test, its sections, grading system and weightage. This step will make it easier for you to devote enough time to the IELTS test in each area. It is divided into the following sections:
- Understanding the IELTS exam format
- Reading section
- Listening section
- Speaking section
- Writing section
- Practice mock test
Familiarise yourself with the scoring system to understand what your scoring area might be. You need to understand how your answers will be marked and prepare for IELTS accordingly. To classify your level of proficiency, IELTS gives you grades on a nine-band scale – from band score 1 (non-user) to band score 9 (expert).
2. Know the Test Format
Before practising, you must know the components of the test format. Familiarise yourself with the sample by reviewing the test material. You can also evaluate the questions and task types for each section.
There are four sections:
- Listening (~ 30 minutes) – Each section consists of 4 parts of the conversation with 10 questions. Conversation recordings are played only once – based on which you must answer questions. Each question has one point. Watch the BBC’s English news programmes, radio programmes, or podcasts to practice.
- Reading (~ 60 minutes) – There are three sections, with a total of 40 questions. You will need to answer questions based on three reading paragraphs of 250 words each, with one mark for each question. Instead of reading every word in each line of each quote during the exam from top to bottom, examine the context of the essay.
- Writing (~ 60 minutes) – There are two writing tasks – you need to describe the figure or illustration in 20 minutes, and then, you need to respond to the argument/scene in 40 minutes. Both of them should follow the writing style. Practice well by setting times. Practice rewriting briefly to improve the speed.
- Speaking (~ 11-14 minutes) – Evaluate your spoken English in three parts. In the first part, you will have to answer questions about yourself, your family, hobbies, and other familiar topics. In the second part, before you talk about it for 2 minutes, you will be given a topic and a minute to prepare it. The third part includes discussions and questions about what you said in Part 2. It is best to record and listen and evaluate your speech.
The total duration of the test is two hours and 45 minutes. While the reading, writing, and hearing tests take place on the same day, your speech test is scheduled 7 days before or after the test date. So give reasonable time to practicing the speech section.
3. IELTS Preparations Practice Test
After you register, you will receive free IELTS preparation books from Cambridge. It serves as an easy guide to testing and provides detailed insights into the nature of testing, planning, common mistakes, and how to avoid them. After spending about two days studying the section from the officially recommended IELTS preparation books, you are ready for the mock test.
The purpose is to find out where you stand before taking your exam with the official IELTS preparations practice test. Prepare for it through online resources, such as IELTS Progress Check and the official IELTS Online Marking Practice Test. The test will give you an indication of your band score and provide feedback. Take your mock test a few days in advance and evaluate it. Investigate where you went wrong and analyse ways to fix them.
Here are the main tips IELTS experts recommend to help you prepare well and be confident while taking the exam:
1. Practise Well
Make the best use of free practice materials and other support tools to familiarise yourself with the test.
2. Avoid Memorisation
Robotic spell phrases are likely to influence your final band score.
3. Apply a Variety of Grammar Compositions
Review yourself to prepare fluency, correct wording, and express yourself in different compositions when preparing for IELTS speaking and writing tests.
4. Practise Listening
In the IELTS hearing test, parts 1 and 3 have more than one speaker. Therefore, it is wise to practise your listening in group discussions. So, there is only one participant in Parts 2 and 4 for which it is recommended to listen to the video programme of the presenter and the host.
Students usually make the mistake of focusing only on IELTS and do many IELTS practice sessions, but they neglect to improve their English skills. Ideally, it takes 12 weeks to improve the score band by one point. So, continue honing your English language skills.
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