Taking a test like the IELTS can be intimidating. The test itself helps people apply to various processes that help them achieve important goals, such as studying in English-speaking countries, participating in exchange programs, and showing world governments that test-takers meet English language requirements.
The benefits of obtaining a high score on a test like the IELTS the first time include:
- Peace of mind
- Saving money on fees because you only need to pay them once
- Knowing that your study strategy was efficient from the beginning
A score of 7 and higher is considered exceptional and can greatly assist your employment, educational, and work visa prospects. A lot of students try to prepare for the IELTS on their own, and although this can sometimes work, a preparation course could greatly help most English learners.
Average preparation gets average results
The IELTS tests people on listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Though group classes can help, they have the disadvantage of treating all students alike, putting certain students at a disadvantage.
Common ways of preparing for a test like IELTS include:
- Using free online resources
- Speaking English with friends and family
- Buying books and test-taking guides
- Going over notes from past English courses
While these methods can be helpful, students who self-tutor may miss out on opportunities to improve upon their weaknesses. For this reason, classes with a certified private tutor would be especially helpful.
Native and fluent English speakers
Native English speakers rarely take the IELTS exam, but on the off occasion that they do, they may not get as high a score as they expected unless they have prepared themselves adequately. People who grew up in the UK, Australia, New Zealand or Canada may need to take the IELTS for migration or citizenship purposes. Some obstacles they may face include:
- Lack of familiarity with the test’s format
- Inability to speak clearly about a given topic within a set time due to lack of practice
- Underestimating the difficulty of the test
- Lack of preparation
- Little knowledge of grammar or English language mechanics
- Problems with time management during tests
Fluent and native English speakers need to remember that they must use as many tenses, grammar and vocabulary as they can correctly when take the IELTS in order to show they can command these structures. Practice and rigorous study could also help people who have been out of school for a while so they can reduce any anxiety normally associated with taking such a high-stakes test, and practice test-taking skills they haven’t used in a while. As such, even those with an excellent command of the English language require adequate preparation in order to get a high score on the first try.
Advantages of working with a private tutor
Certified private tutors often have backgrounds in education as well as an acute knowledge of the English language. Many of them even train specifically to help students pass tests such as the IELTS. In addition, many of them are uniquely qualified to come up with a customized plan for their students that reinforces areas in which they are strong and assist them in their weakest areas. A tutor is also capable of accommodating students with different learning styles while still teaching them the techniques that are necessary for their success.
Other advantages of individual instruction include:
- Increased assistance with the four parts of the English language tested by the IELTS (listening, speaking, reading and writing). This is especially important because some people are better at some aspects of English than others, or have difficulty with one of these aspects because of their preferred learning style.
- A tutor can increase or decrease the intensity of lessons to suit one’s needs best
- The teacher is paying attention to each student 100%
- Learning is more hands-on because students are expected to speak more
- Students who have a problem that they would normally keep confidential (such as anxiety, a learning impairment or who are usually shy in groups) can discuss this with their private tutor
- Individual instruction can complement additional general English classes or IELTS preparation classes
Even students who feel very prepared for the IELTS could benefit from some one on one instruction to ensure that they get the best score the first time and prevent having to take the test again.