by Rashi Patel, a student who recently scored 8 bands
Having been an IELTS student myself in Surat, Gujarat, I can understand the plight of every student in town who is preparing right now for this test. Here’s what I have to say.
The IELTS test can be very overwhelming at first, but with the right amount of guidance and practice, you can achieve the score you are aiming for. Do not let others’ high score or better performance in class stress you out. Remember, every candidate is unique, and everyone performs differently in different situations. Just prepare well and leave the rest to… well, you decide!
There are plenty of websites, blogs and videos on the Internet for self study, but it is advisable to find the right coach who can save you a lot of unrewarding labour. Remember one thing—IELTS is a test of English. Every aspect of language is important to get a desired band score. Some students just keep doing test papers. It’s useless. Your score will improve only when there’s someone to pinpoint your errors and make suggestions for an effective presentation. You might like to look at the Free Material uploaded on Fluentlingua website.
By the way, you perhaps already know that there are 4 parts in which the IELTS test is conducted. The following information may help you to prepare for each part.
- Listening: People say listening is the most effortless of all. But if you are not accustomed to the accent used in the IELTS test and have a flickering mind, you may find it difficult. Concentration is the key when it comes to listening. You must be able to listen to and understand each and every word they say, because sometimes they alter the answers after saying phrases like ‘oops’, ‘sorry’, and ‘by the way’. You can watch interviews of famous international celebrities, TED talks, BBC documentaries in order to become habituated to foreign accents.
- Reading: Most IELTS candidates find reading tough or boring. The most important thing in reading is practice. The reading section of the IELTS academic test has three long texts which range from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. I suggest you spend 15 minutes on each passage; in that way, you will be able to finish your test a little early. In the extra time that you have saved, you can check your answers once again to see if you’ve misinterpreted any questions or made a mistake in the order of your answers in the answer sheet.
- Speaking: People always get nervous when it comes to speaking, and often suffer from occasional stuttering. You don’t have to practise a whole lot of topics and use a lot of fancy words. Just make sure to use appropriate vocabulary and avoid grammar mistakes. Also maintain eye contact with the test taker when you are speaking, by which they will know that you are confident. If you are too nervous to look at him/her in the eye, just focus on their glabella. 😉 A comprehensive video giving practical guidelines on IELTS speaking is here.
- Writing: Similarly to speaking, grammar plays a vital role when it comes to writing. Mind your punctuations. When in doubt, leave them out. Focus on the contents of the essay or graph or chart as much as possible. Language is just a tool to convey your ideas. Don’t use some fancy structures just to show off your knowledge of grammar. Try to write just a little more than the prescribed word limits. Connect your ideas using conjunctions, adverbs and suchlike to generate a cohesive passage. Remember the three golden key to success in writing—accuracy, brevity and clarity.
For more information about IELTS and immigration opportunities, visit Overseas Consultant in Pal-Adajan and meet Mr Priyang Bhatt. For all language related queries, contact Dr Dharmendra Sheth of Fluentlingua.