Good IELTS* scores are needed for registration in many professions. In addition, similar proof of English proficiency is becoming a pre-requisite for post-graduate and even undergraduate courses at university in the United Kingdom.
So, how do you achieve Band 7 or above in the four elements of IELTS?
1. Be Realistic
The level of English that a score such as this represents is very high. To achieve marks in Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading at this standard is no mean feat, and you should not expect to achieve this without a considerable amount of studying.
If you are starting as a Lower Intermediate Learner, and aiming for Band 7, you should allow for 6-12 months tuition. This does not have to be full-time, but should be at least 3 hours per week: ideally as two 90 minute lessons.
2. Control the Variables
Exams can be stressful, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the testing centre and the requirements of the test, considering all aspects of the tasks involved. This is just common sense. If you can control the variable elements in a stressful situation, you will reduce the risk of confusion when it comes to the exam.
3. Consume More English
No-one is going to seriously improve their English if they do not listen, read, write and speak in English regularly. It is no good just coming to lessons once a week. You should also be listening to BBC Radio 4, reading books and newspapers, writing and interpreting information from a range of sources in English. If you are not prepared to do that, you will be spending a lot of money on exam re-takes!
4. Use BE not IE!
Some students say ‘I speak International English, not British English.’ Fine: but there are no exams in ‘International English’. IELTS is an exam which, in this country, tests skills in British Standard English. If you want to pass IELTS, you will have to learn to use English the way we do over here. Sorry, but there it is.
5. Think Academic
IELTS has two modes: the basic and the academic. Levels 5 and upwards are only awarded for the Academic form of the exam. If you want to gain Band 6 or 7 scores, you will need to be able to think and write in good academic English. Although this may sound like a a contradiction in terms, it is not. Clear, crisp written English will be of tremendous importance to your academic career. This is a skill which you will learn through practice with a good English academic.
6. Get a Good Teacher!
Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? At HELLO English, we are very experienced at helping students pass the IELTS exams so that they can fulfil their dreams and ambitions. We offer IELTS classes to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as pre-registration medics, nurses, lawyers and other professionals.
Could we help you to gain high scores in the IELTS exam? With hard work from both of us, I am sure we could. Why not contact us to find out more?
* The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is rapidly becoming the default requirement for proof of English skills in the professional and academic world.