To change your life, you need to pass through some stations or face some challenges, which require specific efforts from you. These efforts depend mainly on your final target. Based on the previous idea, I find my self is ought to have IELTS.
IELTS is one of the main English language test that exams the one’s ability to use English in his/her life, particularly academic one. Most of the universities around the world require the prospective students to get a certificate of proficiency in English such as TOEFL or IELTS with specific score according to the university or the desired course.
I have decided to have IELTS for about one year ago, but I did it last month only due to some personal and professional commitments. In this post, I’m going to talk about my preparation for this test:
The main point for your preparation for any thing is to find out your motivation to do this or that thing. You must know and determine the reasons pushing you to do the exam, and the outcomes that pulling you to it. It makes your work more easier and helps you to proceed any step to accomplish your plan. Motives always must present in your mind during your preparation, to guide you into correct ways and encourage you to overcome barriers you may face.
How can I pass such test that requires advanced skills in English? I have asked myself this question so many times and for long time. I graduated from high school 10 years ago, and from Nursing college 6 years ago. Moreover, English is an official language in our hospital. But unfortunately, the used English in the hospital is a deformed one, there are many mistakes in pronunciation, spelling and grammars. I can not depend on my school, college and hospital English, so that I develop some strategies to help myself:
1- Listen, listen and listen; Since I have decided to have IELTS, I have started listening to English radio. Firstly, Voice Of America was my only English radio for several months. but later I have changed to BBC World Service, which is more better. BBC provides diversity in the programs that can enhance your vocabulary and the most clear pronunciation. I’m using to listen to BBC whenever I’m driving my car. Also I have downloaded BBC application for my iphone. It is really useful source of English teaching, that combines reading and listening.
2- Reading; As I said above, I am reading news, cultural, technological and other topics provided by BBC. It is a reliable source of English writing and expression, in addition to the way these topics are presented. Reading 2-3 different topics every day can help you to discover new words and phrases, then you have to write them down in your notebook.
3- Writing; writing down the new words or phrases in a special notebook by yourself is a good exercise. Subsequently, you are saving what you have discovered and increasing your English vocabulary wealth.
4- Technology is useful; I bought my mini ipad last year. It is funny and interesting, and so useful appliance. I have downloaded many applications to help me improving my English language skills, and to help me understanding IELTS test. These applications can be found in app store, some are free and some are charged. One of the main application is a British council podcast series. It contains 30 funny and useful episodes, discussing linguistic teaching and English cultural tips, and there are exercise following each episode. Also there are different applications provide exercise and examples for IELTS.
5- Course preparation; I have registered in a preparation course dedicated for those who are going to have IELTS. Actually, this course was a good introduction for me to understand the exam requirements, and to discover skills needed to answer various types of questions. This course last for about 16 days, in which we practised reading, listening, writing and speaking. These four skills represent the IELTS elements. Our teacher gave us the most important ideas and strategies about the exam based on the exercises in Cambridge English textbook “New Insight into IELTS”. Nevertheless, the most important part depends on the student self effort. It is not enough to go to the course, you must spend extra time at home or wherever you are to revise your study, and enlarge your ability to answer the exam. That’s what I have done, I considered the course as a single step in may way to get my desired score in IELTS, there are other steps that rely completely on myself.
In next post, I am going to talk about my booking for IELTS in British Council and an extra preparation. Also I am going to talk about what happened in the exam and what is my score.
please, If you notice any linguistic mistake in this post, Do not hesitate to write it in the comments.