Do you need to take the IELTS, for immigration or perhaps to enter a university? If so, you will now be in the situation where you may need to consider the following pieces of information – if your level of English is very high, you may just need to find out the structure and some general tips – perhaps you may have heard that some people passed the exam without preparing, or low-level students did well – that might be the case sometimes, however it is also the case that many lower level students fail the exam repeatedly – prepare thoroughly, as otherwise it might end up costing more money and taking more time to achieve your goal:
1. What is your goal?
2. What is your current level?
3. Consider your resources for time, materials and training.
4. Any other issues?
1. First of all, you need to think about what is your goal for the IELTS. If you are not sure then email your university to get the exact requirement and be aware, that the level required might change – get exact details. For instance, there is a reasonable difference between needing to get 7 average and getting 7 in each section. Many people might get a 7 average and fail in one section – in that situation, they may have to retake the exam.
2. Now you need to find out your level – as mentioned, for very high level students that would not be such an issue – if however for likely the majority of applicants, you will need to take practice reading and listening exams and also do practice writing and speaking tests for a skilled teacher to evaluate. As mentioned in point 1, it is very important to reach your goal for each section, if there is a minimum requirement.
3. As regards resources and training, there are a large amount of options available. First of all, there is a lot of free information around – for example, at my free site: http://www.onlineenglishteacher.org/IELTS-Tips, you can download a free IELTS ebook that I wrote. On that site, there are also practice exams and sample writing task answers, etc.. In addition, it is also often recommended that you take English classes, such as by Skype, if your level is not high enough already – check your teacher’s level to make sure it is sufficient.
4. So, after having found out your goal, checked your level and started to learn and prepare yourself, or possibly also with a teacher, you need to see how you are doing in relation to your target date and requirement. If possible, cancel an exam, if you think that you are likely to fail it. Also, if you are finding it hard to get in enough practice, perhaps you could consider taking off some time from work. In addition, if you do not feel you are making sufficient progress, then reevaluate your strategy and also bear in mind, that progress might be happening, just that to improve sufficiently might take weeks or even months.
Skype IELTS teacher Philip from the UK can teach you Skype IELTS classes by Skype at: http://www.onlineenglishteacher.com.