As you read in the previous post, I have talked about some of my steps to prepare myself for IELTS. Reading, listening, and writing were covered, but what about the last part, which is Speaking?!
Well, I do not have many things about speaking, if you do not live and deal with correct English speaking environment, the best way to improve your speaking skills is to record yourself speaking English. Do it many times, and try to find out the mistakes you have each time. You will notice some improvement at the end. Simply, that’s what I have done for speaking part.
I have booked my test day online at http://www.britishcouncil.org/kuwait ,then I paid 73 KWD as test fee at the British council in Mansouriya area. There, they told me to check my e-mail, where they sent the link for IELTS practice materials. Actually, it is very useful online course, which is written by British council to help candidates prepare for the IELTS test. This online interactive course includes listening tests, reading and writing exercises. Furthermore, there are real samples for reading, listening and writing IELTS tests. I’m strongly advising any candidate to use this vital, reliable and interesting source to study and prepare himself for IELTS.
I had my IELTS test on Saturday, July 12. The test venue was the Australian College of Kuwait, Mishref area. There were about 100-150 candidates from different ages and nationalities who are living in Kuwait. The test started by 9 am and finished by 12:30 pm. Speaking test for me was at 3 pm on the same day.
Starting with listening part which lasted for only 40 minutes. Four different audible topics with 40 questions, in which we have to pick up the words immediately and fill in the blanks, match the words, or choose the correct answer. I feel that I missed some words, but generally I did well. The exercises and tests given to me by online British council course were more difficult than questions in my test. Be careful, not all of the needed words and answers are direct and clear, you should prepare yourself for synonyms.
Also reading test was much easier for me than tests and exercises found in the mention online course. This part was the best for me, because I trained my self for different types of questions, and the main strategy for this part which is “Scanning & Skimming”. There were 3 different scientific and historical passages. The main problem in this part is the time shortage. You have only 60 minutes exactly to answer 40 questions directly in the answer sheet, unlike listening test where you have extra time to transfer your answers into answer sheet. There are multiple choice questions, short answer questions, fill in the blanks, true, not true, and not given ones which was the most difficult for me. I think if I had more extra time for reading part, I would answered all the question correctly. The main advice here are two, do not try to read every thing, otherwise will not complete answering the test, and second advice is Do not leave any question without an answer.
Third part was writing essays. You have only 60 minutes to write 2 different essays for different topics and by different ways. 150 words at least must be written for task one, whereas task two requires at least 250 words. The main advice here is to start with task two first, because it is longer than task one and is worth twice as many marks. that’s exactly what I did, but I had great mistake when I did not count my words one I finished writing, this led me to be confused, resulting in very bad conclusion; I did not cover the required number of words for both tasks. Really, I have only myself to blame. But there are some positive things such as spelling and grammar which I paid a good attention for them.
Last part is Speaking, and it is the separated one. It lasts for about 15 minutes. Here, you will sit & talk with an examiner, who will ask you different questions, not to examine your knowledge, but to examine your ability to talk and speak English. Do not panic, and do not be so fast in your talk. Relax and organize your ideas for each question you are questioned simply.
after 13 days, I have received an sms message on my mobile phone, announcing the result. But first I must tell you that I was planning to get IELTS band of 6.5 for several reasons, but the main one is my final target. This level is well acceptable by many universities to enroll and study and companies to work in. but I did not get this score, I’ve got only 6 as overall band score. As I expected, the writing part was the weakest one with only 5.5, whereas reading score was the best one with 6.5. I achieved good scores in both speaking and listing tests with 6 for each one. The main idea here that I lost 2 gifts were available in my hand; writing and speaking.
here are some useful links to prepare yourselves for IELTS:
please, If you notice any linguistic mistake in this post, Do not hesitate to write it in the comments.