For many people, passing IELTS is part of their life plans. The decision to study, work or live in a new country is a big one. Once you have made this decision with your family, the journey has just begun. It may seem overwhelming. It’s important to make sure that the IELTS exam doesn’t add any more stress than necessary. Here are three “P’s” to help you chart your course.
1. Passing IELTS Requires Preparation
At most training centers, the repeat IELTS test taker is a well known figure. The pool of people who have had to make a second or third attempt at the IELTS exam includes all walks of life, ages and professions. Having a university-level education is no guarantee that you will get the score you need. There are two primary reasons for this.
The first is that most of us don’t undergo assessment on our language proficiency very often. Your profession might entail regular assessments of your knowledge and skills in a particular area, but seldom your language skills on their own. In the digital age, it has probably been some time since you wrote by hand. And even if you take the computer-based writing test, the format and content of the tasks are more readily associated with high school than any particular profession. Whatever your profession or educational background, you should consider an in-person primer. Once you have done that, you will know if you need any further assistance.
The IELTS test comprises four sub-tests: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Each one has its own unique features and challenges. Statistics on test performance on each of these are available for most countries. It is well worth your time to look into these statistics to get an idea of the average test taker from your country.
2. Passing IELTS Takes Practice
Practice is always vital when you need to overcome a new challenge. This is true of athletic challenges: an athlete needs to spend the time in the gym, stretching, training and pushing his limits. In the same way, once you know the band score that you will need for your visa or application, you should aim slightly higher than that to avoid disappointment. Few people are able to sit the IELTS without any practice at all. The minimal level of preparation necessary is to familiarize yourself with the test layout and the many peculiarities of IELTS administration. Most people will require more than that.
Once you have attended an introductory workshop or taken an introductory course, you will need to flesh out the knowledge you have gained with practical application. There’s a lot of information out there, but remember that all that glitters is not gold. Highway IELTS is your one-stop shop for both your preparation and practice needs.
3. The Importance of Patience
The most thorough preparation and practice will not yield the results you desire if you don’t give yourself some time. The IELTS exam itself is a large financial commitment, so you should make sure you have enough time between booking and your exam date to get meaningful practice done. Ideally, you should give yourself at least a month for the first two P’s: preparation and practice. An experience IELTS coach will be able to help you to identify your weaknesses. If these are simple matters of format or test technique, you can remedy them fairly quickly. However, if there is a deeper problem – perhaps in your command of some feature of the English language itself – this may very well take more time to fix. You might also need to make several practice attempts in order to fully master a new habit or way of doing things.
Time Management in the IELTS Test
You also need to be patient within the test itself. This might sound strange, given that the test is conducted under such tight time constraints. But when you are faced with challenging questions, panicking will not help. Instead, you need to develop habits of working coolly under pressure. This in itself might take some time to develop. Within each of the sub-tests, you also need to be very strict with how you manage your time. Every test contains some elements that need more attention than others. It is vital that you receive accurate guidance on this so that you do not run out of time, or misdirect your efforts.