Let me tell you a story of a girl named Maybelle. She was 23 years old and she had a simple dream: to become a nurse in Australia. Her first step, of course, was to get a band score of 5 in the International English Language Test System (IELTS). She enrolled herself in a review center to help her get the score that she needed.
As part of the of the review center’s program, Maybelle had to take a pre-test. The result devastated her. She barely reached a band 3. Her Reading exam was a mere 12/40 – a 3.5. Her Writing was even worse. She was given a 2.5.
For Maybelle, the review process was long and difficult, but she had one thing for her: she knew how to make the most of it. Here are some tips you can also use to make sure that your already-effective IELTS review program helps you a hundred percent to get your target score.
1. Chose a program that works for you.
This is priority one. Make sure that the review program you will be what you need. Is the program effective? Look at passing rates and the students’ testimonials. Does it have flexible time? Can it accommodate your schedule? Will the program give you opportunities to consult your teachers one-on-one, just in case you need it?
2. Attend your reviews religiously, both in lecture week and coaching.
Each session is an opportunity to learn. If you have enrolled in an unlimited program and you have all the time in the world, go into as much class as you could and take in as much information as you can.
3. Remember that different teachers may have different approaches to answering question types in Listening and Reading.
Thus, if it is possible, it may be effective to consult these different teachers, take their techniques and choose which one works best for you.
4. Have the right attitude.
You may be facing a lot of challenges: your improvement may be so slow that everyone else has taken their exam but you’re still reviewing; your teachers may be hard on you; or your schedule may not be working out and it leaves you exhausted. Sometimes, your teachers may ask you to do something relatively crazy, like stand in front of class and tal about the Philippine government. All of that are part of the process. All of that will help you, if you allow it. Grit your teeth and live with it. The road to the best IELTS band score is paved with difficulty.
5. Study beyond the classroom.
You do not leave what you learned in the classroom inside the classroom – you take it outside with you and use it in real life. Maybelle did this very well. She studied Grammar by writing a hundred sentences to practice good construction. She watched movies in English; researched and read so that when she’s speaking or writing, she had something to say; whenever she needed to ask something from her teachers, she would text using proper Grammar. The way you use English in real life reflects how you will be using the language in the exam.
Maybelle’s progress was slow and excruciating. It took several tries and months of preparation until she was finally ready to take the IELTS examination. But when she did, everything was worth it.