Resource from Global Village - Victoria
by Vanessa Rusk
People sometimes ask me if it’s really necessary to take IELTS test preparation lessons before taking the test. That’s like asking me if you’d like to jump out of an airplane without a parachute and without taking lessons before jumping. Probably not a good idea, right?
And, if you take lessons before jumping out of a plane, shouldn’t they be from a qualified, experienced professional who knows what they’re doing?
Yeah, but why lessons when it’s just an English test?
IELTS test preparation lessons give you tips and strategies on how to manage your time during the test
The IELTS test not only tests you on your English language proficiency level. It also tests you on how well you handle the English language under a time limit.
Why is this you might ask?
Well, just think about how you use your own first language – sometimes you need to read and understand or to write something quickly, such as before a university lecture or for a meeting at work.
And of course, it’s no different in English when you’re living in an English-speaking country.
IELTS lessons can give you tips and strategies on how to manage your time, how to know when you need to skim and scan when reading, and when to read in detail. You’ll also learn how to deal with unknown vocabulary.
Lessons help you write more effectively and efficiently – essential skills for the writing part of the test. And, you get feedback from an experienced IELTS instructor who can tell you how to improve your band score.
You only listen once during the listening part of the test, which is a reality in life
I remember one native speaker of English who, after the test, said, “At times I didn’t know what they were talking about!”
He said he hadn’t prepared for the test at all. I’m sure his English was excellent, but a big part of the listening section tests you on your skills of maintaining concentration during the tricky parts of the test.
Tricky parts? It happens in real life. People say something, then contradict themselves by saying something else. Or, because you’re not super fluent in English you need to be comfortable with not understanding 100% of the language and still know what a person’s talking about.
IELTS lessons can help you feel comfortable and confident by giving you the skills to be prepared when you have the opportunity to listen only once.
When was the last time you wrote an essay?
You probably wrote an essay last in high school, college, or university, right?
Not all people are skilled at writing, especially an essay. Even native speakers of English have attended private lessons at our school to help them improve their band score in writing.
Grammar when writing is also important. So, even though your vocabulary is awesome, if you’re weak at grammar, it could bring your band score down drastically.
An experienced IELTS instructor can give you feedback on where you have difficulties in all aspects of your writing.
Why do you need lessons to help you write a letter for the IELTS General test?
I’m sure you’ve noticed native speakers of English are extremely polite. You bump into them and they’re the ones to say sorry. How does that make sense? It doesn’t really, but you need to keep this in mind when writing in English.
Have you ever made a complaint in English? Did you get what you wanted in the end? When writing a letter in English (or any language for that fact), “cultural transfer” is important. What does that mean? It means you need to use all those polite phrases and modal verbs when writing in English.
When I taught English in a country where the language was more direct when asking a company to replace a malfunctioning piece of equipment the students wrote, “I want a replacement.” They found it strange that in English it’s best to make a polite complaint by asking, “I would be grateful if I could have a replacement.” They found this too “wordy”, but interestingly effective.
IELTS lessons will help you learn how to write effective letters. And, isn’t this useful in real life anyway?
Stay tuned for the 9 ways lessons can help you improve your band score on the IELTS test --- Part 2