Chayanpreet is an English language consultant working globally to help students clear their IELTS, PTE and TOEFL exams.
She has experience of coaching over a hundred students online across Asia, Europe and India.
What is IELTS and why is it important for students who want to study abroad?
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an exam taken by non-native speakers of English who either wish to study abroad in English speaking countries or want to migrate to such countries for personal or professional purpose.
Types of IELTS:
There are two types of IELTS: Academic IELTS and General IELTS.
Academic IELTS is taken by students who which to study as international students in English speaking countries,
General IELTS is taken by candidates who migrate to English speaking countries for professional purpose.
Structure and Duration:
The exam is spread across the following four modules:
Reading - 60 mins
Listening - 30 mins
Writing - 60 mins
Speaking - 11-14 mins
The total duration of the test is 2 hrs 45 mins. The reading, listening and writing modules are conducted on the same day. The speaking module can be taken on the same day or a week before or after the other modules.
Challenges as an IELTS coach:
Request for readymade answers: Most of the students expect answers for essays and write-ups to be prepared and given to them so that they memorize and use those. I do not entertain such requests. Instead I want my students to be very creative with their answers so that they can be natural and confident while taking the test in all the four modules.
Grammar Skills - Many students are not very confident about their grammar skills. Preparing for IELTS without proper grammar is not of much help so I encourage such students to take a capsule course on grammar with me before commencing with IELTS coaching. If the foundation is set right, the rest of the IELTS course is a smooth journey.
At this point, it is good for candidates to understand at the outset that to function confidently in an English speaking country, their english skills should be good. Therefore, creating a good foundation in grammar leaves an everlasting impact on their language skills. I have seen how their confidence suddenly plunges when they have their grammar right. It also directly translates into increased vocabulary and improved fluency. So the effect is not just on one skill but on all the four skills and you get good scores!
What tips would you give the students?
There are two stages that the students should consider when preparing for IELTS:
The Planning Stage - The period before you take the exam
The Execution Stage - When you are in the exam hall
The Planning Stage:
Surround yourself with English language in the form of books, movies, news, english speaking study mates.
Time Management -. During all your practise sessions, aim to finish each module within the allowed time duration. This is the key
Authentic Resources - Practice well and only from authentic resources - The British Council or the IDP.
The Execution Stage:
Once you enter the exam, the environment is very different. These are the things that can help you prepare well.
Be calm and confident.
Know that if you have prepared well, you will do well.
Be mentally prepared to face the environment of the exam hall.
Be as natural as possible - Refrain from imitating accents or people.
For the speaking module - Always wear a smile and try to interact with the examiner and get into a conversation. Speak more than the examiner, let the examiner listen to you and enjoy the interaction.
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