This is a question most students ask when they are planning to start preparation for the IELTS. And sadly it is not often that they get a satisfying answer to the question because the answer is normally baseless and more intended to keep the spirits up. So it is invariably- “Of course! The IELTS is a really easy exam. Getting a 6.5 isn’t difficult!”
That is so encouraging and at the same time so misleading. Of course getting a 6.5 is not impossible. In fact there are students who are able to scale the test and get scores as amazing as 8.0 and 8.5. But each test taker is different and can manage only what is his optimum efficiency in terms of a score. Do not be misled by the statistics and score records of others. Draw up an independent preparation schedule and work slowly towards achieving what is your best.
The most important aspect of the plan is to understand the test pattern and know which version, the General Test or the Academic Test, is needed. Clearly the levels and styles of the two test versions are very different for the Reading and Writing sections and need to be well addressed in order to ensure a good score. Besides, the two versions serve different purposes for judging language proficiency. Individuals applying for immigration always need the General Test score while those applying for academic programs need to prove themselves on the Academic Test.
The Listening section of the IELTS is fairly easy. Tracks run in parts and questions are asked in clusters of 3 to 5 based on the sequence in which the information is narrated. The portion of the track played is short and it might not really be necessary to jot down points while listening. In fact, jotting down points diverts attention from the track. The better strategy is to practice retaining the information narrated. A sharp memory is an asset and can better the listening section score. The one catch in the Listening section is the answer stipulations. If the question asks ‘what time will the bus leave the college?’ and the candidate writes 7….no A.M or P.M……..the answer will be deemed wrong. Similarly the right answer may still not be awarded marks if it is spelt wrong. And if the answer is to be given in no more than two words, so it must be. An extra ‘an’ or ‘the’ may sound better but if it makes the answer exceed the word limit, so avoid it.
The Speaking section of the IELTS test involves being interviewed by an examiner face to face. This is unlike how the Speaking section of the TOEFL is conducted and so again a word of caution- practice this section with someone and try to simulate the real test as far as possible in terms of time, resources and content. There are lists of questions and topics important to the test available online. Gather these and then get down to practicing the topics you may not be at ease answering impromptu. Every test taker has a comfort zone as far topics go. Some are at ease talking about their careers but not about the most interesting book they have read and others can tackle questions on culture and art well but not on politics. There is a compilation of the most frequently featured topics for the Speaking section and it is wise to take a look at this to avoid getting into a tight spot with the examiner! Also, practice to be natural. Do not put on an accent; do not cram up answers and rattle them off to the point of sounding irrelevant; and listen to the question carefully before framing an answer. If the examiner asks ‘Do you prefer to study alone or in a group?’ the answer should be limited to just stating your preference. Only if asked ‘Why?’ should you detail your reasons for this preference. As on other testing platforms, test takers suffer from the misconception that the more one speaks (or writes) the higher one is likely to score. No. Scores are never proportionate to the quantity of the answer. Be relevant, clear and creative.
The reading and Writing sections, as mentioned earlier, are different for the two test versions and will be dealt with separately.
has mastered the strategies required to nail the IELTS and has assisted hundreds of students in the past to secure impressive scores. What is more, the institute has taken on the responsibility of training students who have already written the exam and need to improve their scores. This challenge of ensuring score improvement has not deterred the institute from its commitment to quality training. Classes are fun filled, planned to impart information and committed to satisfying the customer.