Abbreviated for International English Language Testing System, IELTS is one such exam that has been created to evaluate the English language abilities of participants. Those who wish to study or work in an English-speaking country must take this test for a smooth entry.
This test is regulated by the British Council and IDP – IELTS Australia, Cambridge ESOL Examinations and the University of Cambridge. The test is accredited to be the highest International Standard for English Language Assessment.
So, if you wish to take the IELTS exam, whether to study abroad or work, here are a few tips that will help you prepare for IELTS at home.
1. Understand the Format
When something is not completely known to you, supposedly, your first step would be to research the topic and study it well, isn’t it? The same goes for the IELTS exam as well. Being familiar with the test format is quite essential to score well.
Navigating through the rules and regulations set by IELTS along with the type of content accepted, questions asked, and tasks given will prove beneficial. So, make sure you read all of it thoroughly before starting the preparation.
2. Practice Makes a Man Perfect
To prepare for any test, the basics have not really changed. It all comes down to the point that you should stay prepared for every type of question. Thus, to achieve satisfactory bands, all you have to do is take up one and another IELTS practice test and develop consistency.
The internet is filled with mock tests and sample papers from previous years. Out of all the websites that you can refer to, ieltsmaterial is one that carries a gamut of samples, PDFs, mock tests and much more to help students. Taking up these tests and samples from ieltsmaterial will help you get a fair idea of what is expected in all four sections – listening, reading, writing and speaking.
3. Work on English Improvement
If you come from a non-English background, it may take some time to learn the language. And, the best way of learning the same is by working on your skills. Try to learn from other sources than academics and IELTS practice test books. Read novels, watch web series, listen to podcasts, and implement other improvement techniques.
4. Strengthen Your Vocabulary
Strengthening the vocabulary is essential for the IELTS exam. As you read more and pay attention to complex words, you will be improving the vocabulary to a great extent. Find out unusual words, know their meanings, and develop them into supporting context.
Watch shows, news channels and read newspapers. Mark unique words and phrases and learn to use them contextually. Implement those words and phrases in your daily conversations and use them as often as possible.
5. Pay Attention to Writing Skills
When it comes to improving the writing skills, there are certain parameters that you must follow to obtain a good score. Make sure you always answer within the word limit. Try and complete all of the tasks within a certain time frame. Practise every day to improve the speed.
Also, learn new connotations and adjoining words each day to make your write-ups look compelling and attractive. Try and avoid writing anything that seems bland and doesn’t have attention-worthy information.
6. Be Fluent and Learn Pronunciation
In the speaking section of the IELTS exam, pronunciation and fluency are essential. To ace here, you would have to practice consistency. By doing so, you can easily concentrate on learning better. So, to improve fluency, talk aloud for a few minutes every day. To build confidence:
- Speak in front of the mirror.
- Learn the pronunciation of difficult words and use them daily.
- Record your voice and listen to find the scope for improvement.
7. Try Computer Delivered Tests
Even if you don’t have any intentions of taking such an IELTS exam that is computer-delivered, it could be extremely useful for you. The test is comparatively similar, whether you take it on paper or a computer.
This is one of the efficient activities that help you figure out where you are exactly standing in terms of performance.
8. Expose Yourself To English As Much As Possible
When it comes to mastering the English language, exposure and preparation are recommended. You can start with taking help from the internet again. Read online magazines, blogs, and more such things. To practise writing, you can create a journal or a blog of your own to communicate with the online community.
The next step would be trying the shadowing technique. This means that you repeat whatever somebody has spoken in English. This will decrease your stress and increase intonation and pronunciation.
9. Try Multitasking When Listening to English
There is no denying the fact that the IELTS exam demands a lot of effort. With different tasks put forth with varying timelines, you will have to show utmost consistency. When it comes to the listening module, you will have to tackle up to 40 questions and navigate through 4 recordings.
Since the recordings are going to be played just once, you will have to concentrate. Thus, getting lost during a conversation is not surprising. But even if you do miss, you will have to recover quickly, or everything will be missed. Surely, you cannot let that disaster happen.
As such, it is vital to comprehend how you can follow a conversation, despite missing something in between. You must learn the art of recovery and continuation to the next question. This can be done by multitasking. While listening to the recordings at home, trying concentrating on two different things while not missing the audio even a bit. This will sharpen your brain and help you concentrate better.
While you are busy trying to get a hold of English, keep in mind that self-learning is only possible and successful if you are committed to your goals. Additionally, you can also find somebody who may give you proper feedback. If you think you cannot commit to practising for the IELTS exam, it would be better to join an institute or hire a tutor.