How to prepare for the IELTS
I would like to start the article with a warning which I found at the official IELTS website. I quote,
Some native English speakers are surprised to find that they score lower grades than non-native English speakers who have only been studying English for a few years. This can happen if you take IELTS unprepared.”
I can’t agree to this more. Actually one has to take any examination very seriously and prepare for that very diligently. If we are casual in our approach, do not prepare for the exam and not get exposed to the test pattern, we are bound to fail. I don’t want anyone to fail in any examination (especially after going through my article ;)) but at times we become complacent and this leads to bad score. So, I will share some points that will help you ace the examination.
The examination is divided into four section or papers and we will take each of them separately.
Reading Paper: Reading is a necessity in today’s world and all of us read all the time. But one inherent aspect of reading is understanding. Since understanding part is not dealt in detail regularly, many people have very superficial understanding of text. Keeping this thing in mind, I would suggest that one should focus on understanding as well while reading. One simple way to do this is to read sentence by sentence and continuously ask what and why the author has said so. This will help you getting the full idea. Also important is to get the resources from the IELTS website and practice the test pattern for atleast 2-3 months.
Writing Paper: We live in a world which has a lot of visual content. We are trying to convert everything into visual content and hence, writing it at a discount. Moreover, with the advent of computers people write less and less and read more and more. It is actually very important to pen down the thoughts very regularly. Also important here is to highlight that one should write on topics of general interest. One simple way would be to write summary of the Newspaper articles that one reads on a daily basis. Also important is to orient oneself for the IELTS pattern by going through the free resources available.
Listening Paper: Listening is a very important art. In our times, one who is a good listener, will be a great success. One assumed aspect of listening is understanding and hence, one should be a very attentive listener. It is similar to reading and hence we should try to organize information delivered by the speaker. At the same time we should keep the reference points of the communication handy for faster recall for analysis. IELTS free resources offer very good testing for listening skills. You should hone your skills regularly just as you would hone your reading skills. Orienting yourself and your preparation for the IELTS requirements is a necessity.
Speaking Paper: Discussion with someone who is your evaluator, is something which creates pressure/nervousness in many of us. One should remember that evaluator is there to help you and judge you at the same time. He is there to simplify your journey for the exam. Don’t consider him/her to be your enemy; consider the evaluator to be your friend and guide. Try practicing discussion with your friends and remain focussed on the point of discussion. It is also very important to be a patient listener during the discussion. Pay utmost attention to what evaluator is asking or discussing and remain focussed on that.
It is very important to highlight that good grammar and good vocabulary is an asset and one presents him/herself better if the above stated attributes are good. One should be meticulous with language and choice of words and thoughts.
All the best!!!