IELTS is one of the most popular international English language proficiency tests across the globe. If you are planning to study abroad or get a job overseas, it is mandatory that you clear this test in countries where English is the preferred medium of communication.
If you achieve a high score in this exam, it not only helps in your admission in foreign universities and colleges, but also add on greatly to your confidence. There are two types of IELTS tests. Depending on the organisation you are applying to, you can take the IELTS General or IELTS Academic test. Scores are accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide. If you want to study in a university, then you should opt for the IELTS Academic test.
What skills do you require for clearing the IELTS test?
IELTS checks all four language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. You should master all these skills equally well to reach that target band of 8.5 to 9. Let us try to analyse each section of the test and give some pointers, which will help you achieve your target score.
- Improving your Vocabulary is a good place to start. Focus on complex words, break them to fit into your understanding and commit them to memory.
- Reading the English newspaper and books increases the speed of reading which is essential to crack this section.
- Preparative materials, online forums, flashcards and practice questions give an idea of what type of questions to expect and help improving Reading skills.
- Enrich your vocabulary. This doesn’t happen overnight. Aim to learn at least 10 new words from different subject areas every day.
- Read longer texts specialised in different subject areas – management, finance, culture, history, sciences, etc.
- Vocabulary not only plays a role in improving Reading skills but also Writing skills.
- The more you write, the more errors will be discovered, and your writing skills and grammatical competency can be perfected.
- Solve IELTS papers every day when you start preparing for your exam. The time is very important, and hence, always practice according to a time schedule. You will notice the improvement in a matter of days.
- If you are really targeting a very high score, join a professional IELTS course or work with an IELTS tutor, who can guide you precisely and also give you regular feedbacks about your performance
- A good listener is bound to become a successful person. Listening skills in IELTS can be vastly improved through various online sample questions available.
- If you have trouble in understanding the English accent, a large number of movies can be watched to improve the listening skills.
- Listen to the news and watch documentaries on various topics in English.
- Use a headphone and concentrate on the topic discussed as well as the speaker. Remember this section is tricky, as you get less time to revert back to the topic and then answer the questions. So precision and focus along with time management become the key factors which help to ace this section with a wonderful score.
- Take every opportunity to communicate in English.
- Practise talking with other English speakers about yourself – your hobbies, interests, everyday life, family, job, dreams and professional aspirations.
- As a candidate, you should always remember that communication is the most important prerequisite to qualify for any exam, and when you are aiming to crack it with excellent scores, your communication skill should be outstanding and admirable.
- Communication can be improved by speaking to a lot of people. This will help in expanding your vocabulary and the speaking fluency will automatically increase.
- In a nutshell, practice and more practice speaking in English is the only way to ace this section.
The Final Touch
The aim of IELTS exam is to make sure you are really fluent in English and ready for whatever you were aiming for. Universities will expect that you be equally good in all the four skills. So acing the IELTS test with a brilliant band is not simply about obtaining a high score. The most important point is improving your English language skills. This is no Rocket Science, an you can easily do it by following the ways mentioned above. Along with this, just make a note of these too:
- The only way to improve your English skills is through Practice and dedication.
- Many Practice tests are available online for a continuous and strenuous practice regime, which helps in shaping your English to the desired effect.
- Official IELTS Practice Material Volume I and II come with elaborate explanations on every section with abundant sample questions and practice tests in the CDs accompanying the books.
- Getting good sleep the night before the test and maintaining a calm demeanour always helps.
- If you are not sure whether you are ready to start preparing for the IELTS exam, take a diagnostic test and get feedback from a professional instructor on your level and next steps.
- Towards the end of your IELTS preparation, start practising with full-length tests under realistic conditions for several weeks before the test date.
Hard work never fails, and with the above points in mind, acing the IELTS should be like a cakewalk. Good luck and all the best!