Potential students always ask me, what do I need to do first for exam preparation, what is your teaching method, what happens in your lessons, what materials do you use, etc? Well, this depends on you. I need to know more about you and your English education, your current ability level, when you are taking the test, and many other things.
First, if you have never taken the IELTS before, I will send you a complete practice test. You complete it and send it back to me (listening, reading, and writing sections) then I can calculate what band score you would get if you took the exam today. I would call you on Skype and ask some exam questions and this information will help me to make an accurate assessment of your English.
Then, I need to know when you plan on taking the test and the score you need. I also need to know what you do in English to prepare and some other general background questions.
After this, I can prepare an individual study programme for you and we can begin.
If you have taken the test before, I need to know your last score and all the other information above. The reason for this is simple, many people fail to get the score they want because they underestimate the amount of time it takes to thoroughly prepare for IELTS. For example, many teachers would agree that to improve your score by 0.5 band, you would need around 100+ hours to do so. So, if you got 6.0 last time, and you now want 7.0, that would equate to 200+ hours (depending on the individual) of guided self study. This, obviously, takes time, so you therefore need to have realistic expectations. Don’t wait for a month or a week before you take the exam because if you do, you will be disappointed!
So, after this assessment what happens in class? As most students want help with writing and speaking, my lessons go like this.
- Criteria. Many students fail to understand how the test is marked and what the examiners are looking for, so we start with this. Everything I teach is based on the official IELTS criteria. After you understand this, we move on to…
- Common mistakes. Many people make the same mistakes over and over again, we go over these to make sure you will not.
- Technique and strategy. I have written about these in my blog, so I won’t say anything more here, only that there are certain things you can do for both writing and speaking to improve your score and we focus on those.
- Guided practice. Realistic practice with feedback and corrections until your writing and speaking are up to scratch. And that’s it….!
I hope that will give you some better ideas of how I work, if you want to try it, fill in the form below and we can get started.