Passing the IELTS exam – Some Techniques

The current world situation dictates its own conditions, which led to an increased interest in IELTS. It is this testing that has a great impact on the fate of many people.

IELTS Exam Guidelines

Until recently, IELTS testing was mandatory for people who decided to immigrate to Australia and New Zealand in their professional category. There were quite loyal requirements for candidates for professional immigration: immigrants to New Zealand had to score a passing score of five or higher, for Australia the passing score was six or higher. The level of English proficiency for entrepreneurs immigrating to Canada was not an obstacle at all, since the degree of mastery of it was checked during an informal interview at the embassy. Currently, the situation has changed dramatically – three English-speaking countries relatively recently made changes to immigration rules, which force potential immigrants to make a lot of effort to travel abroad.

So, New Zealand in November last year introduced changes to the immigration rules, according to which in order to obtain an exit permit, business immigrants are required to pass the IELTS test by five points or higher, and for the professional category the bar of the pass point is increased to 6.5. A similar change was made by Australia, which supported its partner in immigration games. Recently, Canada also requires potential immigrants to take IELTS. Thus, IELTS testing has become the main and most important factor for obtaining permission to leave for the three English-speaking countries that have become the most popular among immigrants.

Is it possible to overcome the “barrier”? It’s all up to you. If you firmly believe that testing is insanely difficult, maybe you should not draw immigration plans. Passing the IELTS test for “maybe” is an extremely risky and unsuccessful decision.

How to overcome the problem? First of all, it is necessary to get rid of the imposed myths about IELTS. Its principle is quite simple and, like many tests, has its weaknesses. Secondly, it is necessary to completely eradicate the existing internal cultural barriers, which create additional difficulties in successfully passing the test and create doubts about the possibility of living in English-speaking countries. Thirdly, your main task is to concentrate on real tasks, and not on the tasks offered by teachers (they are interested exclusively in hourly payment for their services).

Myths about IELTS

As a rule, myths appear when a person needs to overcome obstacles created by inventive and powerful forces. A similar situation has developed in relation to IELTS, since the test results determine the life plans of thousands of people, which, in fact, become the main source of spreading rumors about the complexity of testing and the extreme complexity of the tasks offered during the test. A detailed study of the process and construction of testing shows the opposite picture – here you can see the stereotypical structure of the test system, its structure is easy to study, and the tasks can simply be decomposed into standard blocks, like bricks in the wall. The real state of affairs and fiction regarding the IELTS test prevent you from developing the right strategy and approach to testing and its successful passing.

Myth 1. Testing a candidate gives a real assessment of the level of his knowledge of the English language

In reality, this is not the case. Through the test, you can find out how much you can use the language in a situation that you may well encounter in life. Initially, it is necessary to study in detail the proposed test. Immigrants to Canada have an informal interview at the embassy. As shown by the experiments conducted, even those for whom English is the native language, often pass the IELTS test with low marks, especially if they have not previously encountered this test system.

Many people mistakenly believe that in order to successfully pass the test, it is necessary to have a large vocabulary. On average, about 760 words are used in the tests of this system, most of which are familiar to you – there is very little left to learn. As practice shows. Knowing a large number of words leads to the worst use of them during testing. As for grammar, it is important to learn how to use elementary grammatical constructions, since more complex ones are rarely found on the exam.

Myth 2. A large number of training on tests is the key to successful passing the exam

This is exactly what most people do, but with a dubious result. Even the accumulated old answer tests do not allow you to determine why you are making mistakes, and what strategy should be followed when passing the exam. In any book on IELTS there are comments, but these are notes of the authors that do not give an answer to the question: how to get around obstacles? The tests are only beneficial after you have mastered the problem-solving skills present in the 4 IELTS modules.

Myth 3. It is useful to take the official exam several times

This opinion is fundamentally wrong, since you will only know the final results, without comment. Without analyzing the mistakes made, you will certainly make subsequent unsuccessful attempts to pass the exam. And trial exams for IELTS require money, time and nerves. Only the first passing of the exam, which you are set up for and go to with 100% confidence in success, can be successful. Myths should not be believed. Often, the existing level of knowledge of the language is sufficient to successfully pass the IELTS exam. Special IELTS training is all that is needed.

Here are some ideas and an example of how to answer difficult questions in the IELTS test:
Previous article here. The following article will address the following questions:
1. What’s holding you back from trying out IELTS testing right now?
2. Can I quickly prepare and successfully pass the IELTS test?

What’s holding you back to trying out IELTS testing right now?

First of all, it is a cultural barrier. This is the main obstacle that must be overcome in order to develop the skills that ensure successful passing of the test. The test system was developed by native speakers who live in a completely different cultural environment.

Many Russian candidates perceive the topics of essays in the Writing module as far-fetched and extremely stupid, which becomes the main reason for the inability to write the required 250 words in a short time. People brought up in an English-speaking environment easily and quickly write short essays on a given topic. They begin to be accustomed to this in elementary school and continue at the university, since such writing becomes the main form of testing knowledge. This is a primitive and standardized process that has absolutely nothing to do with the usual Russian essay on literature.

The interview with the examiner provided by the Speaking module can also seem strained and somewhat silly. This feature of English-speaking culture should be taken into account. The presence of routine phrases in a conversation that do not contain emotional stress is a normal practice. The standard question: “How do you do” does not require a detailed answer (your interlocutor does not expect a story about the problems at all), it is enough just to repeat the same phrase.

Already in the lower grades of an English-speaking school, students are taught to quickly scan texts by regularly performing tests that remotely resemble IELTS. In order to successfully complete the Reading module, it is necessary to run the text with your eyes, grabbing the basic facts and the main idea, and not thoughtfully reading the text, as they do in Russia.

The Listening module also has its own characteristics. It is interesting that people who grew up in an English-speaking environment do not understand each other well. Therefore, the interlocutor asks minute by minute, clarifies individual moments of the conversation, often pronounces names and surnames by letters, etc. This circumstance explains why in monologues and dialogues offered in IELTS, when creating a real situation, facts can be repeated and clarified. This listening practice is not typical for Russian-speaking candidates, so the Listening module becomes the most difficult part of testing. Teachers advise to listen more, but there is little benefit from this, since it is important to know the principle of listening. Russian teachers do not know how to do this, and foreign ones simply do not suspect that this needs to be taught (they do it instinctively, thanks to a skill instilled from school).

Writing, reading, listening and speaking skills are not typical for a Russian-speaking person, so it is important to conduct elementary training.

Can I quickly prepare and successfully pass the IELTS test?

This is possible provided that you clearly understand what and how to teach. The emphasis is not on expanding knowledge of the English language, but on the correct use of the accumulated baggage. Listening skills allow you not just to hear every word, but to extract the minimum necessary information. It is important to get rid of the habit of reading thoughtfully, for testing you need to learn how to quickly scan the proposed text, highlighting the facts. To effectively pass the Writing module, it is enough to study two types of essays and five types of letters. Studying countless topics is a waste of time. At first glance, it seems that the Speaking module covers a wide range of problems, but in fact, the “assortment” boils down to 15 typical blocks.

If the question “what to teach” is more or less clear, it remains to choose the place where and how to teach. Evening English courses are an absolutely effective option, since they do not give special skills for passing IELTS. Solving old tests and studying independently from books is ineffective for two reasons. First of all, it should be remembered that books are written by test creators who are not at all interested in making you easily overcome obstacles. Secondly, the trial and error method will not allow you to form the necessary skills. Recently, many people use online IELTS services. It should be noted that this is a mass product for the Internet, which does not take into account the personal characteristics of the candidate. Feedback is not at all capable, because it is very similar to a conversation with an answering machine.

Tips from Ankit kumar Gautam regarding all four sections of IELTS:
Ideally, especially for a busy person, the optimal program is one where the candidate can choose the time, place of study and intensity of work. At the same time, a minimum number of hours are spent on studying, paying attention only to those things that are necessary for passing IELTS. The candidate is independently engaged, but under the supervision of a teacher who corrects the mistakes made in a timely manner and shows the correct strategy for mastering IELTS. The teacher is interested in a good student’s learning, since his fee depends on the final test results.

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