Like most IELTS candidates, you probably know which band score you are aiming for. Is it 5.5, 6.0 — perhaps even 7.5? But if you are going to plan your preparation properly, you also need to know how good you are now. How can you find that out?
There is clear evidence that learning the various task types in IELTS is the quickest and most effective way of improving your band score. We recently conducted research on over 100,000 British Council candidates using Road to IELTS (our official IELTS preparation product) to do just this. We found that after using the program for just six hours, candidates’ scores in the Reading module activities improved by, on average, 64%.
Clearly, in six hours there can be no significant change in their level of English; their improvement came from learning how to answer the questions. This can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.
In Part 2 of the Speaking test, you are given a card with a topic, and have one minute to prepare. You then have to speak on the topic for one to two minutes. Your one minute of preparation time is absolutely critical, and can make all the difference in achieving the band score you need — or failing to reach it. In this post we will look at how you should use that crucial 60 seconds.
To my surprise, we have actually got quite a bit of really interesting feedback and questions from my last post about my experience of taking the IELTS test, so thanks for that! This time, I want to talk about how we can get into our best possible form on the test day.
How many times do you check your mobile every day? North Americans check their social media accounts on average 17 times a day; young people in the UK spend more than 27 hours a week on their phones; in Malaysia and Qatar it’s 40 times a day! So do these devices, which we all have at our fingertips, offer opportunities to boost your IELTS band score? In this post we will look at three ways in which they do.
The IELTS test is critically important for most people. It can make the difference between studying overseas and staying at home; between having your immigration status confirmed or denied — perhaps for ever.
So, with your IELTS test coming up, you should study non-stop to get the result you need, right? The evidence suggests that this is not the case. You need to study, yes, but you need to study strategically.
In this post I will focus on two areas where it is easy to lose marks in both General Training and Academic Writing. The first is the word count, and the second is spelling and punctuation.
Here are just a few of the questions candidates have asked us about the Listening test. You may have wondered yourself… Read on for the answers.
“In Academic Writing Task 1, it is very important to start by providing an overview of the data. If you don’t do this, you will lose points.”
Simon Cockell, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
In this post we will look at what this means, and how you can use your data overview to get your IELTS Writing test off to a flying start.
In IELTS Speaking Part II, you have to talk for two minutes on a topic given to you by the examiner. Do you understand how you will be graded?
According to the IELTS Speaking assessment criteria, your speaking will be marked on the following five points:
- Fluency and coherence: how well your response flows and how well connected your ideas are
- Lexical resource: how well you use vocabulary to express what you mean
- Grammatical range and accuracy: how well you use English grammar, the variety of grammatical structures you use and how you use grammar to aid understanding
- Pronunciation: how easy it is for the examiner to understand what you are saying
- Relevance: you must, of course, stick to the topic on the card
This is not difficult to understand in theory, but are you confident you know what it means in practice?