A comprehensive guide to preparing for the IELTS Exam
The IELTS is an exam which measures your English level in all four skills of the English language; speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It used by companies, universities, and governments around the world to test non-native English speakers English language proficiency.
There are two types of IELTS Exam:
- Academic IELTS
- General IELTS
The academic IELTS is required when non-native English speakers want to apply for university in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
The general IELTS is required for immigration applications to countries English speaking countries. The government of each country will have different requirements depending on many factors such as the applicants age, nationality, education, work experience, and qualifications.
The IELTS exam is composed of 4 sections; speaking listening, reading, and writing and the exam duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Listening section: 30 minutes
- Reading: 60 minutes
- Writing: 60 minutes
- Speaking: 11 to 15 minutes
IELTS Coaching is recommended to anyone who need to prepare for the IELTS. When getting IELTS coaching you're not so much studying the English language but preparing for an exam. Most IELTS coaching programs focus on helping you understand the IELTS structure, the different types of questions, and some tips and tricks.
The IELTS exam costs about 200USD (more or less depending on which country you live) so not getting any IELTS coaching before attempting to take the exam can be an expensive mistake. Most native English speakers would achieve the highest score, which is a band 9, without any preparation. It is a difficult exam and everyone who wishes to take the IELTS exam needs to be prepared. You would not attempt to take you university exams without preparing before so why take the IELTS exam with no preparation.
The way to decide to prepare for the IELTS exam is depends on how you prefer learning and your budget. You can many free resources online from Youtube to blogs and there are a lot of paid online IELTS preparation courses ranging from 10 USD to 500USD. Or you can join a language school which has specialised IELTS coaching classes or study with a private teacher. The final decision depends on yourself and how you prefer learning.
Below is a list of ways you can get IELTS coaching:
YouTube: You can many YouTube channels which offer free IELTS coaching videos. This is a great way to get started. You will develop a good understanding of the IELTS exam. The disadvantage to using YouTube for IELTS coaching is that there is no one to correct your mistakes and you cannot practice the speaking section.
Online IELTS Courses: Many institutes, schools, universities, and private teachers have online IELTS courses. The advantage of these courses over YouTube is that there are more structured and usually go into more detail. If you choose to follow a paid IELTS coaching course, make sure that there is a qualified teacher involved to give you feedback on your mistakes.
IELTS Courses at a school: Wherever you live in the world, there are most probably many language schools in your city. Most of them will have group IELTS preparation courses in groups and private. Groups are nice because you get to study with people who are in a similar situation to yourself and you can support each other. This can be really motivating. Private IELTS coaching is a great option as you get the teacher's full attention and s/he can really focus on the areas where you need the most help.However, studying in a group or private does come at a cost. Both solutions can be expensive depending on your available budget.
Make your own group: If you know other people who also need the IELTS exam, then meet up with them once per week. This casual way of learning can really be beneficial as you can support each other. if someone does not understand a specific point, the other members of the group can try to explain. When you try to explain something to someone, you're 10 times more likely to remember that point.
Invest in books: Like with more exams, getting the right books to support your IELTS coaching is important. When it comes to IELTS there are two types of books you can buy. IELTS Practice exam books where you have access to previous exam papers and can practice as many time as you want. The second type of book available for IELTS is grammar and vocabulary related. In these books you focus on developing good habits and a good understanding of the required terminology. See below a selection of books we recommend for IELTS coaching.