Taking an IELTS course? Our test prep expert shares how to get the best return on your investment of time and tuition.

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The IELTS test is one of several tests used as a measure of language proficiency for immigration, academic, and professional work purposes.  Whether you are planning to take an IELTS exam on paper or the computer-delivered method, it is highly recommended that you consider an IELTS preparation course to achieve your best performance on test day.

As an official IELTS test centre, Global Village has over 15 years of experience in supporting thousands of test takers in Alberta and British Columbia Canada to register for the test, check-in on test day and move seamlessly through the four modules of the IELTS exam on test day.

In additional to the Testing Services departments, Global Village employs advisors and instructors who are considered test preparation experts, having helped teens, young adults and mature professionals improve their English and test taking skills for a variety of language proficiency exams including IELTS, CELPIP and Cambridge B2 and Cambridge C1.

To prepare this article, we asked IELTS expert, Melody, to provide some pointers on how students can get the most benefit out of their IELTS preparation classes.  Here is what she shared.

 

Set realistic goals.

Set realistic goals for yourself when planning on taking the IELTS test. Determine what score you need and work towards building your English language skills first. Once you are ready, focus your attention on IELTS test taking skills.

If you don’t know your current English level, use a quick online quiz such as GV’s Free Level Check.  Once you’ve completed this test, your score will be delivered to your email inbox and you will have a rough estimate of your English level.  A more thorough assessment of your English skills will be made when you register in an IELTS test preparation course.  This will help you determine the specific English skills you should develop in order to achieve the IELTS test score you require.

 

Record and listen to your own speaking answers

Practice speaking by recording yourself answering IELTS Part 1, 2 or 3 speaking questions. Once finished, see if you can identify grammar errors, or hesitations and pauses you make that may affect fluency. Re-record yourself with these necessary changes.

Repeat again if need be, or start over with another set of IELTS Speaking questions.

 

Practice active listening skills

Being in a class with other learners gives you a distinct advantage over studying alone.

When your classmate (speaking partner) has finished speaking, ask them a follow-up question. This practice not only builds your active listening skills but also makes your partner feel like you were paying attention and interested in what they were saying.

 

Read and review scripts for listening practice tests

After doing a Listening practice test, identify what section of the test is the most challenging for you and read the audio transcript, also known as a “script”. Underline the answers to the questions that you made mistakes in and note how the questions and answers on the test have been paraphrased.

Listening for synonyms and paraphrases is a skill that will help you perform well on the Listening module of the IELTS test.

 

Learn and use new vocabulary

Record new vocabulary in order to use it in conversation. Try not to make lists of all the words that you don’t know. Choose high frequency words or words that were repeated in a text and use them rather than memorize them.

 

Read a variety of sources and topics

Read from a variety of different sources every day and try to read about things that you are not familiar with in order to broaden your knowledge on different topics that might come up in the IELTS test.

 

Discuss topics you’ve listened to

Listen to podcasts, TED talks, news and talk about what you’ve listened to with someone else.  Using new words and language is the key to increasing vocabulary.

 

Be inquisitive

If you are studying alone at home, you don’t have access to external input and advice.  However, when you are part of an IELTS preparation class, your teacher will encourage you to ask questions during class time, even if you think they’re unrelated to what the class is working on.

You will benefit from the instructor’s answers, but others will benefit from your questions too.  Good classmates inspire and encourage each other to be inquisitive.

 

The helpful pointers above will help you get the most out of your IELTS preparation course, whether you’re in a face-to-face, virtual or hybrid classroom.  Studying alone will not hurt your results, but it might not improve your IELTS score either.   Sometimes, a bit of input from a test preparation expert and some inspiration from other language learners can make a big difference to your confidence and performance on test day.

At the official IELTS Test Centres in Victoria and Calgary, Global Village is proud to offer a variety of IELTS test preparation resources.  Go to the Books and Courses page of the GV IELTS Test Centre website to learn more, or book an appointment with an IELTS Advisor at: victoria@gvenglish.com

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