IELTS Exam Preparation
THE IELTS EXAM
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an exam designed to determine whether non-native speakers are capable of living and working in an English speaking country or of studying at a university in which English is the medium of instruction. Unlike other exams such as the TOEFL or the Pearson Test of English Academic the IELTS is an exam which comes in two forms, namely the General IELTS and the slightly more demanding Academic IELTS. The General IELTS is usually needed for emigration and the Academic IELTS is always required for further study, so it is important for students to find out which version of the test they need to write and be prepared for.
Both the General IELTS and the Academic IELTS are integrated tests which assess all four fundamental skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing). The IELTS is scored in bands ranging from band 0, the lowest, to band 9, the highest moving up this scale in half-band increments (6.0, 6.5, 7.0. 7. 5…and so on). Test scores remain valid for two years from the date the official test result is issued.
Unlike Cambridge exams such as the B2 First and the C1 Advanced, the IELTS is not a pass/fail test. The test taker merely obtains or fails to obtain a score that is good enough to use for his or her purposes. Typically, the band scores needed either for emigration or further study can only be obtained by someone whose English is either at the high upper intermediate level (B2) or early advanced level (C1). It is therefore vital not to take the test until you are reasonably sure of getting the score required by the relevant emigration authority or university.
The main reason why test takers fail to get the results they require is that they have not had adequate practice with the many different tasks types in the test and have not developed the numerous sub-skills needed to perform these tasks competently. Our course is designed to teach the relevant sub-skills and ensure that students practice them on authentic materials of a kind that they will encounter in the actual exam. In addition, time is spent explaining the format of various task types as a knowledge of this can result in saving valuable time under examination conditions. Practicing on authentic materials also enables the trainer to assess more accurately where a student actually is in relation to where he or she needs to be.
Should you decide to enrol for IELTS preparation classes, we are also prepared to be flexible with regards to time and arrange for classes outside normal office hours. As many who do the IELTS are working professionals who need a suitable test result for emigration, such flexibility is needed in order to accommodate the fact that they are working full time.
It is impossible to generalise about how much preparation will be needed as much depends on the individual student’s English language level as well as the scores he or she needs to obtain. However, unless a student is already a strong upper-intermediate he or she should expect to invest a considerable amount of time in preparation as even textbooks designed for compact courses assume 50-60 hours of study.
Our course is intended to maximize performance on the IELTS test by ensuring that candidates remain alert, comfortable and confident through all four of the exam modules. To achieve this goal, we have compiled a program aimed at guiding students through a series of tasks identical to those given on the IELTS test while simultaneously giving intensive coaching in sub-skills and strategies that have been proven to enhance test performance. Research has shown that students who have mastered strategies for dealing with test tasks perform better than students who haven’t.
In addition to this, the course Trainer will do continuous assessments of the students’ work and use the results of these as a diagnostic tool for further training. In this way students can be assured that the objectives of this program will be aimed at strengthening their weaknesses rather than wasting valuable time in areas in which they are already proficient.
Should you decide to enroll on our IELTS course, a special programme will be compiled depending on the number of hours you able to allocate to the course, and the proficiency band you are aiming for. The less hours available, the more general the course will need to be, but if you are able to allocate at least sixty hours to this course, there will be time available to work on a wide enough range of strategies and sub-skills to ensure you will achieve an optimal result.
A diagnostic test Students are given a short practice IELTS test.
The teacher is able to identify areas of weakness that candidates need to work on in the upcoming lessons.
The teacher is able to establish how much work needs to be done in order to arrive at the Band level the student is aiming at.
The teacher is able to give the student an indication of how many hours of study (including self-study) it will take to reach the goal Band.
Getting the gist of the dialogue.
Graphs, charts and tables.
|Students will be able to establish who and where the speakers are and why they are speaking.
Students will be able to distinguish the main idea of the passage from supporting detail.
Students will be able to identify the significance of facts and figures in a given graph or chart and be able to describe these in their own words
Understanding the text as a whole
Role plays in which students are required to answer short questions on their lives and interests. These questions mirror those of Part 1 of the Speaking module of the IELTS test.
Students will be able to scan the text looking for clues indicating the main message – these comprise titles, sub-headings and key words in paragraphs.
Students will be able to answer questions clearly and audibly. They will be given feedback as to problems with their pronunciation.
Students will be able to expand on their answers and give the interviewer as much information as possible on the topic being discussed.
Students will be introduced to some useful discourse markers to introduce their ideas, and will be discouraged from using cliché's such as “I'm glad you asked that question.”