There are several ways by virtue of which you can prepare for the IELTS exam. You can
- study at home on your own if you are good at language abilities.
- take coaching classes to learn in a professional environment.
- take online IELTS Live classes for additional help.
I would rather suggest that if you have reasonably good command over your language skills then studying at home along with taking online IELTS Live classes is the best option as that will save the commute time and will also give you professional guidance, thus giving the best of both worlds.
- There are several institutions/organizations that conduct online IELTS classes. The IELTS live classes cover all the modules and various aspects of the exam and are conveniently conducted over the internet via webinars, etc. where you can attend the class every day or on alternate days or over the weekends, whatever is convenient as per your availability. This way you are able to allocate time to self-study as well as the live classes comfortably. All the learning and clearing of doubts can be managed easily while enjoying the privacy of your home. Besides that, the live classes help you improve your language skills in which you are weak such as grammatical skills, writing style, pronunciation, etc. And that is because the live classes are conducted by well-experienced teachers who are either IELTS qualified or are IELTS ready.
- While studying at home, there are a lot many portals offering free preparation material but I will recommend not to rely on each of them as not each material is dependable or accurate, rather use the most trusted and standardized portals like ielts.org, britishcouncil.org. They have the best well-researched material. Besides that, you can take a lot many IELTS practice tests which are available online on many trusted portals. IELTS Practice tests help you by counter checking your level of preparation. It is advisable to take at least two full-length practice tests in a week.
- Work strategically, section-wise while preparing on our own. Keep two things in mind while starting the preparation: the first is to know the format of the exam which includes the type of questions, number of questions and number of sections. The second thing to know is the band descriptors of each section which are explicitly indicative of what is expected from you, how the marking will be done and on what parameters, this activity will make your preparation for the exam easy.
Let us see how each section can be taken care of individually in order to nail the IELTS exam:
- Listening Section: Preparing for the listening section can be done in the most leisure way. Listening to the news in various accents, radio by tuning into different channels while traveling, driving, jogging, walking, etc. can help you extensively in improving the listening skills and securing good marks.
- Writing Section: Reading a lot of writing samples will help you in getting a better writing expression and also will hone up your writing accuracy. Reading many essay samples, report writing samples, letter samples will enable you to know the basic format and flow of writing, besides that the cohesive writing style can be learned from the samples. Also, the kind of vocabulary to be used, the grammar variations can be picked up by reading the samples.
- Reading Section: Reading various kinds of books, journals, newspapers, articles is always beneficial in terms of gaining knowledge, understanding the text, etc. But for the IELTS reading section, a candidate requires controlled and timed reading skill wherein you have to read long passages/text in a limited timeframe and then answering the questions based on the text. To achieve that, you need to learn techniques such as skimming, scanning, locating keywords, etc. And that is possible when you read various reading materials under the timed condition and then try to extract the main idea behind the text. It comes with practice and is achievable.
- Speaking Section: There are many YouTube videos that can be viewed to take help on how to conduct during the speaking test. Other than that Extempore/ Impromptu/ Jam sessions by standing in front of the mirror can help you in building up the confidence while speaking and will hone up your imagination which is much required during speaking on any random topics.
- Word Power: Vocabulary is an integral part of the IELTS exam as it is continually assessed in each segment especially writing and speaking sections. In order to build a robust vocabulary, you can take help of word strengthening games such as Sudoku, Word Jam, Crossword, Spellex, Scrabble, Pics word , etc. These games make the learning fun and along the way enriches your word stack.