How to prepare for the IELTS test – Planning
In this article we are going to focus on how to prepare for the IELTS test. We will also look at some things that are good to do when you start preparing for the IELTS test.
When students begin studying for the IELTS test I often see them taking the same path. They find a lot of information online and dive straight into learning techniques they think will help them to achieve a good test score. They often do this without really considering how to prepare for the IELTS test correctly. It is definitely great that motivated students take action. However I would suggest that there are some important things to consider before taking any lessons.
I highly recommend you do a small amount of research first and put a plan in place. This will help you to get clearer about what you actually need to do to achieve your IELTS test goals.
Here are the steps I recommend you take before you begin to prepare for the IELTS test.
1 – Look closely at your end goal
The first thing that you should do is decide on your goals for the future. Why you are doing the IELTS test? and how it will help you to achieve these goals?
In the majority of situations people are planning to take the IELTS test for the following reasons.
1) They want to study at university in an English speaking country.
2) They want to study at university in their own country and are required to do the IELTS test to be admitted to university.
3) They are trying to get a scholarship to attend university.
4) They are trying to obtain employment with a foreign company.
5) They want to emigrate to an English speaking country to work and live.
2 – Research the IELTS requirements for the university you want to attend.
Each university or organisation sets their own requirements for admission. This means each one may have different requirements regarding your IELTS test score. For postgraduate courses at university the requirements may also be higher because it is a higher level of study.
There is not a standard score for admission to all universities. That is why you should know the requirements of the specific university that you hope to attend.
3 – Do some practice tests
There are a wide variety of resources and practice tests available online that will enable you to experience what the IELTS test is actually like. Doing some practice tests will allow you to get an idea of how difficult the IELTS test. It will also will give an approximation of where your level is currently.
Please remember though that this will just be a rough indication of your level. You will still need to learn correct IELTS test taking techniques if you hope to do well in the test.
When you begin learning about how to prepare for the IELTS test we have a document on the free downloads page of our website. This document will help you to plan your education goals. You can access it by clicking on the button below.
Here are a few more important things to consider when you begin to prepare for the IELTS test.
1) You need to be realistic when setting your goals. It is very rare for students to jump 1 or 2 band scores in a few weeks. We advise that when you are studying to take the IELTS test you put a long term plan in place.
2) When studying IELTS test preparation you are studying to take a test. You already need to be able to use English well before you begin this process.
3) When you are studying IELTS test preparation you also need to work on developing your range of vocabulary. You can do things such as reading articles in English every week. Often students neglect to do this, but it will help improve all of the 4 skills that you are tested on.
4) It is important to improve all 4 skills. Often students try to improve their overall score by focusing on 1 specific skill. The reality is that most universities / organisations might say they want an overall score of 6.5 and also that no skill can be less than band 6.0
5) Make sure you are ready and have practiced before taking the test. If you rush to do the test you may find you are disappointed with your result and it is expensive to do the test multiple times.
Our next article will be about the IELTS test format. This article will help you to understand exactly what happens during the IELTS test.
If you would like lessons on how to complete each section of the IELTS test, then check out our online course by clicking on the button below.