IELTS PREPARATION – STUDY GUIDE ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR EXAM
As you all know that, IELTS stands for INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM is a mandatory test for non-native English language speakers who wish to study or work abroad.
IELTS help to polish speaking, reading, writing as well as listening skills. It is easy for candidates to prepare, as the syllabus in IELTS cannot be read in the school or college days.
Thus, by creating interest among juveniles, it helps them to score good bands.
Before we jump onto the preparation part, Let’s get aware about some facts!
Where to Give IELTS Exam?
There are two bodies who conduct the IELTS exam; BRITISH COUNCIL (BC) and the INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (IDP).
There is a minor difference between these two bodies: IDP is supervised by UK and BC is taken care of by Australia. They both are valid and globally accepted.
How Long Does It Take For the Result
When Can I See the Soft Copy of My Result?
After 13 days from the final IELTS exam, a candidate can check his or her result on respective channels through which the exam has been conducted (BC/IDP).
Will I Get any Hard Copy?
A week after the result candidates receive their TEST REPORT FORM (TRF) at their mailing address, which they have filled at the time of registration.
IELTS Result Validity?
TRF is valid according to the kind of IELTS student has appeared for. For general training, TRF is valid up to one and half years whereas, in the case of academic IELTS, TRF is valid up to 2 years.
IELTS Score Calculation
There is a difference between the scoring under General Training and Academic IELTS. Scoring of the three modules; Listening, Writing and Speaking of both sides is done similarly, except that of the Reading module.
In General Training (GT) reading module is scored entirely different than that of Academic one. There is a standard chart that is followed globally.
REMARKING OF IELTS
Can You Apply for Remarking of Your Exam?
There comes a time when candidates do not score good bands in any one module, in this case, they get the option of getting their sheets remarked.
When Can You Apply for Remarking?
Revaluation must be applied within 6 weeks of the original result. The process takes around 7 weeks.
Is Remarking Chargeable?
Yes, it is chargeable & the amount paid for this is refundable if the scores get change. Also, students cannot use their original certificate during this process.
STUDY MATERIAL (Books) – At Home, Internet (Online)
What Study Material Options are Available?
IELTS material can be easily found on the Internet (Online), Textbooks are also available for the preparation with the answer booklets or transcripts. An average student can start practicing with the help of textbooks at home.
How Difficult is IELTS?
It takes 1- 2 months to an average candidate to clear an IELTS exam. It is not tough to clear an IELTS exam, Dedication is the major key factor which helps you to get great bands.
A number of institutions provide excellent IELTS coaching with full enthusiasm and impeccable results.
Some Books For IELTS Preparation at Home
There are several books such as
- IELTS Prep Plus 2019-2020
- The Official Cambridge Guide
- Barron’s IELTS Super pack
- Road to IELTS
- Collins “Get Ready for IELTS” and many more.
WHEN ARE YOU READY FOR THE IELTS EXAM?
1000 of students fail in the first attempt of their IELTS exam, it is so because they take the exam before they are actually ready.
As mentioned earlier, it takes 1-2 months for an average student to prepare for IELTS. It is not compulsion to read or to learn each and every vocabulary, one should focus on the lexical resources as well as the complex compound sentence formation.
Once a person is able to convert his or her thoughts into proper wordings, considered ready to appear for the exam.
Mode of IELTS Channels
There are two ways, in which the IELTS can be given.
· Computer-delivered IELTS
· Pen-paper IELTS
As the names of both suggest, computer-driven IELTS is for students with good typing speed, unlike others. However, the other one allows students to give their final exam paper-based. Both the ways are judged similarly and the marking strategy is also the same for both. Apart from that, either of them is globally accepted.
Difference Between General And Academic IELTS
There are two types of IELTS. One is General Training and the other one is Academic IELTS.
General training is done by the candidates who are eligible to process their PR or who have to apply for a work permit.
Academic IELTS is done by the students who aim to go abroad in order to study.
IELTS TEST FORMAT For Academic & General
The test format for both the IELTS is entirely similar (except that of modules).
The final test is of two and a half or three hours. Three modules out of four; reading, listening and writing are conducted on the same day unlike speaking, which is conducted, two or three days prior or before the final date.
If a student has registered himself under BRITISH COUNCIL, his speaking exam date will be given by the council itself.
Whereas, under IDP, a candidate gets an opportunity to select his or her own suitable time and date from the given slots, which will be informed through the registered emails.
There is a specific time set for each module, no extra second is given in the final exam. The time set is
|NAME OF MODULES||TIME DURATION|
|SPEAKING||11- 14 MINUTES|
Now Let See How You Can Prepare For IELTS Exam
This test consists of 4 Sections, each section is with 10 questions.
The first two sections are concerned with social needs.
The first section is a conversation between two speakers and the second section is a monologue.
The final two sections are concerned with situations related to educational or training contexts.
The third section is a conversation between up to 4 people and the fourth section again is a monologue.
In order to keep your listening section strong, a candidate must listen to more of English audios, no matter if it is a part of a movie or a small clip.
A variety of question types is used including multiple-choice, matching, plan/map/ diagram labeling, form completion, note completion, sentence completion, summary completion, and short-answer questions.
People should follow the right pattern to prepare as there are different ways to answer every kind of question.
FILL IN THE BLANKS/ NOTE COMPLETION
Headings should be read first at the time of answering the question. Such as “ANSWER NO MORE THAN 1/2/3 WORDS”. The answer should be given accordingly
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
These questions should be answered by listening to the audio very carefully as they speak all the multiple choices but emphasize the correct one. Thus, by hearing it carefully answers can be marked.
Map or plans are the easiest type of questions to be solved.
This type of question requires you to identify the different parts of the map or plan by listening to and understanding a description or following directions. You will, therefore, be listening to a person describing a map or plan or to someone showing a group of people around and you have to follow their directions.
You might be given a list of possible answers, like above, or not and in this case, you will have to select the answer from the recording itself.
The information you need to answer the questions is in the same order as on the recording. All you need to know is the directions and basic vocabulary.
FLOW-CHART COMPLETION/ SUMMARY FORMATION
The trick here is to understand the relationship and effect information has on the flow.
You must look at the numbering because that is the sequence the answers will follow in the audio clip.
Understand the grammar, for example, if there is “A” before the blank, it is quite genuine that the word will not have vowels as it’s starting initially.
Also, try to gauge or understand the idea as a whole behind the flowchart before you start answering questions.
Making a conscious effort and putting in a minute to get the idea can dramatically improve your cognitive abilities while listening to the audio clip.
ANSWERS TO THE LISTENING MODULE SHOULD BE WRITTEN IN THE CAPITAL LETTERS
This test consists of 3 sections with 40 questions.
There are three texts, which are either taken from journals, books, magazines or newspapers.
The texts are the topic of general interest not from any particular educational textbook of any subject. At least one contains a detailed logical argument.
A variety of question types is there under the reading module of IELTS.
There are questions such as, Multiple choices, Identifying information (True/false/not given), identifying the writer’s view (Yes/No/Not Given), matching headings, note completion, flow-chart completion, table completion and diagram label completion.
Need not to understand every word written in the reading text. Also, there are different ways to answer different questions
TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN or YES/NO/NOT GIVEN
There is a very basic method to solve this type of question. There is a simple formula given by the English Language Experts:
SUBJECT+ VERB+ OBJECT, Whereas IELTS, has added one more variant to this formula that is THEME.
By keeping all four elements in mind and sight one can easily solve the typical kind of question.
# If any two elements and themes of the question match with that of the information given in the paragraph then the answer is FALSE or NO. (As there is a variant which doesn’t convey the whole information/ or the question statement contradict the information given in the paragraph)
# If none of the elements including Theme match with the information given in the text then the answer is NOT GIVEN.
# If the whole information mentioned and the theme of the question match exactly with the information given in the text then the answer is TRUE.
HEADING BASED QUESTIONS /SUMMARY COMPLETION
This type of question should be attempted first as the candidate gets a basic idea of the whole text.
Need not to read each and every word of the paragraph, the basic way is to read the first two to three lines of the passage and last two to three lines of the same passage.
It will help to know the basic idea of the kind of information given in the paragraph and will also help to save time.
FILL IN THE BLANKS / NOTE COMPLETION/TABLE COMPLETION
Headings should be read first at the time of answering the question. Such as “ANSWER NO MORE THAN 1/2/3 WORDS”.
The answer should be given accordingly. Also, one should underline or highlight the keywords from the sentence and find either the synonyms or the exact words or numbers in the text given. This way is easy when it comes to numbers.
DIAGRAM LABEL COMPLETION
Scan the text and skim it properly as try to locate the correct answer.
Identify the type of word required (noun/ verb/adjective). This will help you to find the correct answer.
ANSWERS TO THE READING MODULE SHOULD BE WRITTEN IN THE CAPITAL LETTERS.
This test consists of two tasks.
It is suggested that candidates spend about 20 minutes on Task 1, which requires them to write at least 150 words and 40 minutes on Task 2, which requires them to write at least 250 words.
Task 1 is Graph and task 2 is an essay. The graph can be any Line graphs, pie charts, bar charts, tables, and even a combine chart.
In task 1, the candidate needs to look at a diagram and have to write the given information in his or her own words.
They are assessed on their ability to organize, present, and possibly compare data or sometimes have to explain how things work.
In task 2, candidates are given any one kind of essay to write from the different types of the essay such as opinion-based, advantages or disadvantages, two way or three-way essay, compare and contrast essay.
Essays are assessed on the parameters of how to present a solution to the problem, present and justify an opinion, compare and contrast evidence and opinions and to evaluate and challenge ideas.
Grammar and sentence formation are also kept in the mind while marking the writing task 2.
Speaking is the most interesting module of IELTS. There are 3 parts in this module.
Under this part examiner tries to know more about the candidate by asking basic questions, such as: Where are you from?, What do you do? Why have you selected the mentioned job? and so on. In this part of speaking a person has to sound very genuine and should answer not less than two to three lines.
This is the most important and the lengthiest part of the speaking.
In this part, the candidate is given a card on which there is a topic written with the subheadings.
The candidate gets 1 minute to prepare the cue card and for 2 minutes a person has to speak on the prepared notes.
This part is basically known as a cross-questioning section. As the name suggests there are several questions which a person has to answer based on the theme of the second part. This part’s questions can vary as per candidates’ answers.
Speaking is judged by keeping certain things in mind, such as fluency, sentence formation, ideas, relevancy and lexical resources a person uses. All these parameters are helpful in order to judge the speaking module of IELTS.
Some Tips to Improve the Skills
- Always practice your each and every IELTS modules in the proper allotted time. Such as:
- LISTENING – 40 minute
- READING – 1 hour
- WRITING – 1 hour
- SPEAKING- 14 minutes
- Read newspapers and useful articles from the journals and magazines or e-books, in order to improve your vocabulary and reading skills.
- Apart from that, the candidate should watch movies and listen to songs in English, in such a manner, it will be a bit entertaining for them and also it will be an efficient move in order to be in touch with English.
- Following the conversations in English with friends will help a candidate to be fluent in speaking.
- Not only this but also the understanding capability of the candidate should be transparent.
- Coaching taken has always proved out to be beneficial for students, it is so because candidates get a suitable atmosphere to practice and proper supervision to learn under expertize.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR IELTS AT HOME?
If any candidate is unable to take coaching from the refined institutes, he or she can practice at home as well.
- In order to improve reading or Writing, one should read general articles from the newspapers or journals.
One must underline the new words and should rephrase the article into their words. One must note the sentence formation of every article read.
- To improve or practice listening, one should listen to the news in the English language only from the English News Channels and small YouTube clips.
When choosing or searching for practice, try and find ones with scripts. Scripts are the word-for-word written texts of the audio you listen to.
There are many activities you can do with scripts. The more you will think in English the more you will be able to have a hold on the English language. It may sound silly but it does work.
- In order to practice speaking, firstly one must understand the basic criteria and format of the speaking test.
One should record his or her own voice while practicing a mock test. Evaluate it after recording and try to find out mistakes on your own.
If you don’t have time let any family members evaluate on your behalf. Keep the track of the mistakes you made and learn not to make them again.
Also, practice by speaking loudly in front of the mirror so that it will help you to deal with distractions as well apart from the fluency part.
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE IELTS CLASS GETS OVER AT CENTRES?
Students often feel free and relaxed after their IELTS classes and tend not to practice afterward.
But it is not the way to prepare for IELTS.
After the class, a candidate must take a rest for an hour or two and then should start with the toughest module which he thinks is for him. The reason behind it is, that a person is with a fresh mind when he takes a break. Apart from that, a person should revise his or her mistakes by keeping them in mind not to make it again.
Also, people should not practice more as he or she has already done in class.
Well, you have now read all the tips and tricks to solve the IELTS tests. The above-written text will help you to understand the IELTS and to score well.