IELTS Preparation

How to prepare for the IELTS

What is the IELTS preparation course? Passing the IELTS, or International English Language Test System, is now a requirement for entry into university in the UK as well as many other countries that use English as their primary language. The IELTS test assesses the full range of your English skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You may think you need to speak the Queen’s English before taking the IELTS test, but according to the British Council the test has an international focus, using texts from all over the English-speaking world. It also accepts all accents of English; this bit of information will hopefully ease some of the pressure.

IELTS Preparation: Where to start

A good place to start is with a clear idea of what the test involves: The British Council website provides an overview here. Once you’re familiar with the test format, you can start practising; there are a number of free practise tests online, and making things familiar for yourself will help you ease your way into the actual exam. There are two different variations of the test: one for Academic English and one for General Training.

The British Council also recommends enrolling in a preparation course; these are provided by language schools all over the world and practise content specific to the IELTS with you, assisted by experienced teachers.

5 Tips to get your IELTS

  1. Take a practise test and assess your English skills. If you can read Shakespeare without a problem but struggle to hold a conversation in English, then you know what you need to work to pass the IELTS exam.

  2. Practise your study skills. The IELTS test doesn’t leave you much time to think things through so make sure that you are able to read, identify and prioritise the key components of the task quickly - leaving you more time to consider your response.

  3. Make sure you demonstrate your skills. If you’re asked a simple question in a speaking task; elaborate and demonstrate the full range of your speaking skills. Just make sure that you also answer the question…

  4. The best IELTS preparation? Practise makes all the difference. Even if your English skills are excellent, don’t be complacent; to get a good mark you will need to familiarise yourself with how the test works to make use of your time so make use of all the online resources out there. Remember it’s not pass or fail but a score from 0-9.

  5. Getting your IELTS is like getting your driver’s licence; you want to have some lessons before taking the test. Language schools around the world provide IELTS preparation. These practise all the skills needed for your exam, as well as mock exams; when you get to the actual one you’ll feel right at ease.