If you want to study abroad or working overseas, some institutions might ask your IELTS score as the requirement document. Before you take the test, you need the preparation to get an outstanding result and to prevent the failure.
So what does it take to maximize your effort to prepare for IELTS at home?
In this article I will help you on how to study IELTS at home by yourself and what you need to prepare for the test. So, if you want to get an outstanding IELTS’ score you need to go through the hardship of homework and follow these steps:
1. Familiarize With The Text Structures
When you have no idea about what’s inside the IELTS test, the first step is to research and study it. Smart preparations are based on in-depth past papers analysis.
Cambridge IELTS Student’s Books are the good reference in this context, full with past IELTS exam questions. You can also go through online sources to have a look at the test structure.
Remember, in this step, you are not actually practicing or giving any mock test. Just skim around the questions and get yourself acquainted with the IELTS test. Because 90% of IELTS candidates complain that when they try to solve the questions at start up, they make mistakes. Making lots of mistakes in the first stage discourage them from trying further and they end up with nothing.
For example, if you do the test, do not read the entire passage first and try to solve the questions?
Well actually, you can do that, solve the questions later but in the beginning but I`ll not suggest to do so. You can of course, just get an overview of the question types of the IELTS reading test in this stage; like: sentence completion, true/false/not given, multiple choice, paragraph headings etc.
2. Prepare For The Different Accent In The Listening Part
According to the British Council, the participant will hear a variety of accents in the Listening test. That means you need to adjust with typical English accents like British, American, Canadian or Australian.
So, Just listen to the IELTS listening audio recording for a month and you will not find any accent unpleasant or hard at all to understand.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing everyday will make you more adapt to the IELTS’ questions. Practicing everyday doesn’t mean you have to always keep an eye to your exercise book, but you can learn IELTS from any platforms with more interesting way, such as:
1) Practice Your Structure and Reading Skills
Reading can assist you in many ways. In fact, Neuroscientists have discovered that good reading habits can improve brain function on a variety of levels. The story is the same for IELTS preparation.
According to the Quora respondent Sushil Jain ; who is a student of Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany: just 1 month reading practice brings him 7.5 band in the IELTS reading section.
So, Sushil Jail’s tips might lead you to have a good IELTS score too just by building reading habits. Here are some good online sources that will enhance your reading proficiency up to the academic level :
BBC is a very popular and highly credible news site. But another reason to read the BBC is its in-depth, thoughtful news covering a wide variety of topics.
Many news articles of this site are very similar to IELTS texts. For example is this one:
These thought provocation news will hone your appetite of reading which will prepare your mind to catch IELTS reading passage information more accurately and quickly.
- The Economist
The Economist has a Daily Chart section useful to prepare for IELTS academic writing task 1.
As you are probably aware in this part of the exam, you will be given a chart or graph. You need to analyze that chart or a graph and then make a report of 150 words. Look at the picture below taken from this section, where we can see a table exactly what we can find in IELTS part-1 writing.
You can read a brief report about these graphs here to notice useful languages like describing comparison and trends.
2) Practice Your listening Skills
If you want to adapt your listening skills with various accents, you can start to watch some news from Australia, UK, Canada, etc or you can get those all in one platform called Ted talks.
Ted Talks contains useful and well-formatted academic lectures from experts of many different countries. These are brief expert analyses of contemporary issues. They consistently update these conversations, so you can check the views of dominating persons of various fields.
Most of these lectures have transcripts. You can improve your vocabulary using these transcripts and learn the use of these words in real world situations. It will show you the ways academicians convincingly present their opinions on the different modern issues.
3) Speak It Loud!
Speaking test takes place either a few days before or after the other three modules. This test requires you to wear your confidence on your sleeves for a smooth get through. The entire test lasts for about 15 minutes and comprises three sections, introduction, individual long turn and two-way conversation between examiner and examinee.
- Start and end the sentences well.
- Do not repeat the words or sentences
- Practice at home by talking to your pals on various topics and ask them to give feedback
- Construct simple, error-free sentences.
- Get your pronunciation right.
These are the basics of marking your speaking test. In the nutshell you can practice at home:
First, by fluency & coherence, the examiner will judge the pace & smoothness of your speech.
Second, in lexical section, the wide and powerful vocabulary usage will be credited.
Third, in Grammatical range and accuracy, your ability to deliver the speech with grammatical accuracy and variation will be checked.
Fourth, finally in the pronunciation section, the tone speech will be marked if you deliver each word with clarity that could be easy to understand.
You can practice your pronunciation by listening more to the radio, podcast or watching movies. So, you can make learning in a fun way.
4. Pay Attention To Your Writing Skills
If you are a bookworm or love to read books, writing might not be a big problem for you to develop new words or bring up the idea. This function also works for the IELTS writing test.
Having a bunch of ideas isn’t enough in the IELTS writing test, but you need to pay attention to the structure. Here are the structures you need to follow :
The structure might have the similarity with the essay structure
- First Paragraph – Main idea, reason, example.
- Second Paragraph- Main idea, reason, example.
You have to practice writing by writing at least 20 – 30 essays to get a grasp of this format. The above reading will help in writing as well.
Having a good enough band score is tough. You’ve got to solve model tests and adapt to all questions by using the rules and techniques to answer them properly. If you can focus on those steps above, you’ll be able to get a good band score that you can be proud of within 3 months or less.
For the addition, here are 5 free websites you may use for your support in learning IELTS at home by yourself :
- IELTS SIMON
- IELTS EXAM
- IELTS FOR FREE
- IELTS MENTOR
- IELTS FIGHTER
If you have any tips and tricks on how to succeed in the IELTS test, you may share your tips and tricks in the comment section below ;).