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Congratulations my friend, you have developed your English to the level which will help you acquire knowledge about IELTS. You may need IELTS for your further education, to go abroad, or just for a tick in your lifetime.
Anyway, before beginning, you should know some facts and tips for studying IELTS. In this post, I will tell the strategies which you will have to use in the beginning and some tips for future. Besides, I will recommend some books which are really helpful. Here we go.
To begin with, I will have to remind you what IELTS is. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most used ways of evaluating one’s knowledge of English. There are two types of IELTS examination: General and Academic. The picture below will help you understand IELTS much better.
General IELTS is required in some countries and organizations. If you would like to live or work in Australia, you will have to take General IELTS. Academic IELTS is required for universities. If your plan is to study abroad or in our universities such as MDIST, WIUT and etc. you will have to take this exam.
IELTS is divided into 4 parts: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. They are also divided into sub-parts.
The highest score in this exam is 9. Your overall score is calculated by bands which you got in aforementioned parts.
What to do first?Do not rush! It is not Intermediate or Advanced course. It is something different. Most students rush and even without practicing and take IELTS exam. Eventually, they end up with low score. Moreover, they read books which are 7+ and skip books which are especially dedicated to them. That’s a serious mistake.
Don’t work on all criteria at the same time. You are not the terminator to learn everything simultaneously. Make a routine. One day, work on listening, one day on reading and so on.
Be persistent. Your first results are likely to disappoint you. But that’s OK! Keep practising.
It may sound ridiculous but the key for success in Listening part is LISTENING. Listen to anything (in ENGLISH). Songs, speeches, broadcasts, podcasts, watch movies, play games in English, anything. Get familiar with many accents like Canadian, American, German English and etc.
Besides listening helps to improve your speaking mark as well because the intonation and pronunciation can be imitated in your advantage.
Here are some sources which will be very helpful in improving your Listening and Speaking in some extent: TED Talks, Professionals Podcasts in British council’s website and etc.
Do not begin with 40-question Listening Practice test. Firstly, as I cited, get familiar with Listening process. When you know about Listening enough, try this Practice test: Achieve IELTS! It is has less complex listening and other parts, so it’s going to be very easy.
One of the most difficult parts of IELTS examination is Reading. Nevertheless, if you know exactly what to do in that section it will be very easy for you to get a high band from Reading. The reason is every answer is in the passages.
There’s nothing which you will have to make up yourself. You just have to be careful while skimming and scanning. Many students ask me how to increase their reading and their overall score.
My answer is pretty simple. READ! Read a lot. My advice is to read at least 4o pages a day. Read anything you like for improving your speed and comprehension. Read magazines to copy out structures and useful chunks of words.
I would recommend you to read Collins: Reading so that you will know what you will have to do. From fictions, find and read books by Macmillan than other fictions. Another interesting thing about reading is that it helps to improve almost all parts of IELTS exam. If you read a lot, your writing skills will boost themselves and the same scenario can be observed with Speaking part.
This is perhaps students’ headache and stomachache in the IELTS exam. This part is divided into 2 tasks:
Task 1 in which you will have to describe a graph, map and process. You have 20 minutes to write 150 words for this task. The difficulty of this part is that there are different types of Task 1 and for each you will have remember and learn structures and certain words. For improving this, I recommend to read the following books first:
Task 2 a task in which you will have to write an essay for a particular topic. You have 40 minutes to write 250 words. For most students task 2 is more difficult than describing charts and tables. There are millions of topics and all of them should be dealt differently.
In general, we have 4 different types of essays: Advantages and disadvantages, Problem and Solution, Opinion and finally Discussion essays.
To improve this skill, you will have to write a lot and use variety of structures.
Check out the links below. You will find a lot of useful tips and hacks on how to irmpove your writing skills.
It may seem one of the easiest parts of the total exam but believe me it is not. IELTS speaking is totally different thing. If you are busy with debating and want to learn IELTS speaking at the same time, you will have lots of difficulties.
This is because in IELTS speaking the examiner will wait specific arguments from you while in debating, you can walk around. Here are some tips:
Listen a lot. By listening, your intonation and pronunciation will become splendid, additionally, you will find a number of new collocations and topic based vocabulary.
Have a partner to talk with. Whenever you have free time, discuss any topics from your favorite meals to advantages and disadvantages of space exploration.
Books to read first: Collins: Speaking, IELTS Foundation
That’s all for beginners. After having practiced all these areas you may get into the next level. Do practice tests once in two weeks.
See these posts we have created for you long time ago. They will be surely useful.