In the end, it all needs to come together.
Focusing on each section is a great strategy to begin with, but does that guarantee a solid 8?
This article will highlight exercises and focus areas to help you do just that. Follow these tips if you’ve struggled to score an average of 8 in spite of studying for each section well.
Exercises To Prepare And Implement In IELTS:
Exercises for scoring well in all sections of the IELTS are given below and you can readily follow these to create a balanced time frame to prepare well for the exam. All the 14 tips are not based on single skill or test but rather than that, these tips are aimed at increasing the efficiency of exam takers in all 4 skills as well.
1. Start each week with a mock test
Even before you’ve completely understood the IELTS and have gone through each section, take a mock test. This will give you a crash course in the feel and pattern of the test. Don’t be disheartened if your score isn’t great. Take it every week and see how you progress with your preparation.
2. Gather the right study material
Take your time to build a repository of the right study material. Watching movies or listening to songs isn’t going to help much. The kind of language that you will find in the IELTS is academic or formal. Be wary of picking up slangs and informal language which can lead to deductions. Refer to channels like the BBC, Economist, National Geographic etc.
3. Find groups to help you
There are so many aspirants that appear every year for the IELTS. There are many online forums and chat rooms where you will find people with similar problems and in similar situations. Seek them out to help you problem-solve and build a reliable network of people.
4. Learn to optimize your prep time
If you are a working professional this point becomes even more relevant to you since you get very little time. You could find online coaching classes that work according to your time and comfort. You could study during your commute or lunch time. One-on-one online coaching is beneficial for anyone taking the IELTS. Luckily, if you are comfortable with technology that option is always available.
5. Know the purpose of the test
It is not just simple Q&A that you need to worry about. The IELTS will test you on your vocabulary, diction, grammar, punctuation and spelling amongst other things. The effort should be to get better overall in your abilities to present your thoughts in English. The reading and listening sections may seem like straightforward question-and-answer types but paraphrasing is a big part of these tests. If you’re aiming for an 8 band, understand the real purpose behind the test.
6. Don’t develop an accent
Only listen to it. Developing an accent gets you no extra points. You only need to focus on understanding the accent for the listening test. Developing your own accent will only drain you of precious time and energy.
7. Change the voice in your head to English
Sounds difficult but this a well-known psychological trick. When you are alone and speaking to yourself make the conversation in English. This will be hard at first but you will see your comfort with the language rising very quickly.
8. Complex isn’t necessarily good
There really is no need to know fancy words and learn how to construct long complex sentences. If you are able to explain yourself while keeping it simple then keep it that way. Of course, there are some words like very, all the time, big etc that could be replaced instead of sounding repetitive. But using the wrong word will also definitely lead to a deduction. Try and build a vocab that you are comfortable with.
9. Instructions are key
In any of the sections, listening, reading, writing or speaking, you must follow the instructions precisely. It often happens that in your excitement to answer you may miss exactly the format of the answer. When you are asked questions, go through the instructions slowly to understand the answer format. An extra word in the answer is a straightforward deduction.
10. Find experts to help you
Self-analysis is necessary but incomplete. The writing and speaking sections are subjective and particularly hard to score yourself in. It could be a friend or family member or professional, find someone to help you. You should try to consult only the best.
11. Aim for the highest band
The highest possible band that you can achieve in the IELTS is a 9. Whether you are a pro at English or not, aiming for a 9 means getting know the test in depth. Knowing the pattern, the distractors and the general question type format is what will make all the difference.
12. Second-time test taker?
If you’re appearing for the second time then you are a majority of the aspirants looking for a way to score better in the IELTS. If your score wasn’t great the first time around, get an expert to handhold you the second time. Analyse the way you solved the paper. In retrospect, a lot of things could become clearer.
13. Do concentration exercises
You have 2 hours and 45 minutes to get your dream score. During that time, you have to switch forms of communication. A slip in your concentration can mean a dip in your score. Meditation, exercising regularly or any conscious concentration practice should help you to elongate your focus.
14. Be conscious of your body language
Ever observed a Kung-Fu fighter right before a fight? Notice how they take a moment to calm their bodies and mind and bring it into a state of alertness to move optimally every single time. Aim to do the same when you are entering the test. Your nervousness may be hidden in the other sections but the speaking section is a one-on-one format. Your nervousness shows and that can affect the confidence the examiner will have in your abilities.