How to Get Ready for the IELTS Exam at Home Without Formal Training? Before delving into a detailed discussion on this subject, it's crucial to comprehend the significance of the exam. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the foremost assessments of one's English language skills worldwide.
It's essential for individuals aspiring to secure admissions in English-speaking countries' higher education institutions and those pursuing job opportunities and eventual residency options.
Additionally, IELTS scores hold weight with visa and immigration authorities in multiple nations. Although numerous individuals opt for group or professional coaching, preparing for the exam independently at home is feasible.
You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and answer a series of questions.
Three reading passages with various question types to test your reading comprehension.
Task 1: Describe a graph, chart, table, or diagram. Task 2: Write an essay in response to a question.
A face-to-face interview with an examiner comprises an introduction, a short speech, and a discussion.
The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. It's important to note that there is no break between the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, but there is a short break before the Speaking section.
Each section assesses different language skills, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Understanding the format and structure of the exam will help you manage your time effectively and perform confidently on test day.
Step 1: Determine the Suitable IELTS Test Type
Understand your purpose for taking the IELTS exam. If you plan to study at a university or seek professional registration in an English-speaking country, opt for the IELTS Academic test. If you aim to migrate or undertake vocational training in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the UK, then the IELTS General Training test is the right choice. Choose IELTS Life Skills if you require specific UK visa applications or intend to study or work in the UK.
Step 2: Gain Familiarity with the Test Structure
Thoroughly acquaint yourself with the structure of the IELTS exam. Learn about its four parts: Speaking, Reading, Listening, and Writing. Understand the question types associated with each section. This familiarity will enable you to approach the test with confidence.
Step 3: Dive into Question Types
Delve into the various questions you'll encounter in each part of the IELTS test. Different sections demand distinct skills and approaches. Study the types of questions you'll be expected to answer and allocate time for practice accordingly.
Step 4: Understand Band Scores
Grasp the concept of band scores and their significance. These scores reflect your English language proficiency and range from 0 to 9. Familiarise yourself with the examiners' criteria to evaluate your performance in the Speaking and Writing sections.
Step 5: Set Clear Study Goals
Create well-defined study objectives. Break down your goals into achievable tasks, such as:
- Understanding band score criteria.
- Assessing your skills using the IELTS Progress Check.
- Incorporating English into your daily activities.
- Crafting a comprehensive study plan encompassing all test sections.
Step 6: Immerse Yourself in English
Make English an integral part of your daily routine:
- Read newspapers, books, journals, and advertisements in English.
- Listen to English audiobooks, podcasts, radio, and music.
- Engage in conversations with friends, family, and colleagues in English.
- Learn a new word daily or weekly and practice using it in sentences.
Preparing IELTS with LEARNSIC
The top in the list of online IELTS preparation classes is Learnsic in Nepal. Learnsic is a virtual learning platform serving you with online courses on IELTS. As you know, learning online saves you time while allowing you to learn within your comfort zone.
Moreover, Learnsic could be your best choice at this time. In most cases, the cost for IELTS preparation classes ranges between NPR 5,000-10,000.
Some online platforms, including Learnsic, offer scholarships based on your earlier academic performances and record.
Step 7: Develop a Comprehensive Study Plan
Allocate dedicated time to practice for each section of the IELTS test:
- Reading: Practice reading comprehension and skimming techniques.
- Listening: Improve your ability to understand spoken English.
- Writing: Enhance your essay writing and task response skills.
- Speaking: Develop your speaking fluency and coherence.
Step 8: Prepare for Test Day
Ease pre-test nerves by familiarising yourself with test day procedures:
- Arrive early for registration and seating.
- Adhere to guidelines regarding personal items like phones, smartwatches, books, and notes.
- Carry the necessary personal identification required for check-in.
By meticulously following these 8 steps, you'll be well-prepared to excel in your IELTS exam and achieve your desired band score.
Step 9: Practice with Official Materials
Utilise official IELTS practice materials to simulate exam conditions. These materials closely resemble the test, providing a realistic experience. Practice under timed conditions to improve your pacing and time management skills for each section.
Step 10: Seek Constructive Feedback
Engage with teachers, tutors, or study partners who can provide feedback on your performance. Constructive criticism helps identify areas that require improvement. Consider joining study groups or online forums to exchange insights and tips with fellow test-takers.
Step 11: Monitor Progress
Regularly assess your progress by taking practice tests. Analyse your performance and identify weak points. Focus on refining those areas while maintaining your strengths. Tracking your progress helps you tailor your study plan as the exam date approaches.
Step 12: Simulate Test Conditions
Conduct practice tests in a quiet space with limited distractions to replicate the test environment. Strictly adhere to the time limits for each section. This practice enhances your ability to concentrate and perform optimally during the exam.
Step 13: Refine Time Management
Efficient time management is critical to succeeding in the IELTS exam. As you practice, become accustomed to allocating the appropriate time for each question type. Distribute your time according to the marks allotted for each question, ensuring you stay focused on all of the questions.
Step 14: Work on Vocabulary and Grammar
Enhance your vocabulary and grammar skills. A rich vocabulary allows you to express ideas accurately, while solid grammar ensures clarity in your writing and speaking responses. Reading extensively and practising writing can significantly contribute to your language proficiency.
Step 15: Review Mistakes
Whenever you make mistakes in practice tests, don't simply move on. Thoroughly review the questions you got wrong or needed help with. Understand the correct answers and the reasons behind them. Learning from your errors is an effective way to avoid repeating them on test day.
Step 16: Stay Calm and Confident
As the test date approaches, practice relaxation techniques to manage test anxiety. Maintain a positive mindset and trust in your preparation. Confidence goes a long way in helping you stay composed and perform well under pressure.
Step 17: Take Care of Yourself
Leading up to the exam, ensure you're well-rested and physically and mentally prepared. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep improve your well-being and cognitive function on test day.
Step 18: Final Practice and Review
In the last days before the exam, focus on light review rather than intense studying. Take a final practice test to boost your confidence and identify any last-minute areas to address. Avoid cramming, and trust in the preparation you've put in.
By following these additional steps, you'll be thoroughly equipped to confidently, skillfully, and quickly approach the IELTS exam.
How can I decide which version of the IELTS test to take?
Choose based on your purpose: IELTS Academic for education and professional registration, IELTS General Training for work and migration, and IELTS Life Skills for UK visas and immigration.
What's the best way to understand the IELTS test format?
Familiarise yourself with the four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Study official IELTS materials and practice tests to grasp the structure and question types.
How can I improve my speaking skills for the IELTS test?
Practice speaking English regularly with friends, family, or language partners. Record yourself speaking and work on fluency, pronunciation, and coherence.
What are the most effective techniques for the IELTS reading section?
Develop scanning and skimming skills to locate information quickly. Practice reading a variety of texts to improve comprehension and speed.