Compared to my nursing licensure examination, I think the IELTS examination made me feel more pressured and stressed. With my nursing examination, I had this thinking that whatever questions thrown at me, I would be able to answer them well since it is my field of expertise. However, for the IELTS, every question was a surprise to me.
When I prepared for my IELTS, I did not hesitate to find an IELTS review center to help me. It was better that way than to rely with books and review materials that can be bought in bookstores. The feeling of being guided by an instructor is really incomparable. My experience was a good reminder that English fluency exams such as the IELTS should not be taken lightly.
Though it could be a tough time reviewing for the IELTS, there are ways on how to make the IELTS an enjoyable journey. Here are a few tips how:
• Engage in fun and educational English learning activities.
When I reviewed for the IELTS, I developed my vocabulary through reading magazine articles. I tried reading the dictionary, but it was just too much for me. When I read magazines, I was entertained and at the same time learned new words from the readings. My cousin, who had IELTS review online, remembered that what her teacher taught her is to take the review seriously but practice English in a fun way.
• Accept the fact that developing skills does not happen overnight.
Some students get frustrated when they cannot understand the task. It is really okay not to get the task on the first try. When we are studying IELTS, we are building, developing, and improving our skills. Take myself as an example. I was very poor at reading. My instructors taught me skimming and scanning. These skills were really not easy to develop, but in time, I become good at it and used it during my test day. Skills develop over time, so do not rush.
• Know your strengths and weaknesses
You have to understand that you are not really good in all areas in English. Know where you are good at and improve skills on the weak points. For instance, if you are good at speaking and a little weak in writing, try to speak while you write. Imagine that you are answering the task orally for your ideas to come out and write them down. That particular technique worked for me. Just remember not to speak loudly during mock exams and in the real test.
• Use English as often as possible
An IELTS review center normally has an English Only Policy. This encourages students to work on their confidence in using the English language. However, the practice in using the language should not end in the classroom. Students should also take the opportunity in using it outside the class. For me, I had my friends to practice with. They would talk in English when we were together, helping me to be more comfortable in using English in conversations.
• Find a good IELTS review course program
There are lots of review centers for the IELTS, and with the online IELTS review, students are given more options to have a more convenient review. Find programs that can help you achieve your score. Look into their materials and teachers to find the best IELTS center.
IELTS review should not be dreaded; instead, it is something students should look forward to.