Be realistic about your IELTS goals!
“I am band 4. I want band 6 in 2 weeks.”
“I took IELTS and got band 5. I need 7 next month.”
“I scored 6 last time, but I have to get 6.5 in 2 months.”
These are 3 examples of IELTS candidates who need help with their test preparation. Which do you think will get the score they are looking for?
If you improve your English, you improve your IELTS band. The IELTS is a test of how good your English is and, as you know, getting better at any language takes time. Unfortunately, there’s no secret formula for going from band 5 to 7. You need to study, revise and practice, but that takes time and commitment. Some students do weekend crash courses and hope they can learn enough to get the score they want. That might work if you need to improve by 0.5 but if you want to go from band 5 to 7, you need more than a weekend.
My advice would be don’t take the test before you are ready because it will not only be disappointing when you don’t get your desired results, but it will also be costly if you have to repeat the test again. You would never expect to learn to play the piano like an expert in a week, so make sure you have enough time to reach the IELTS level you want.
Also, be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. One of these is often pronunciation which many students think is not very important, but it is one of the 4 key criteria in the speaking test. So, make sure you work on your stress and intonation as well as your vocabulary and grammar. Also, if you know you have a good range of vocabulary but weak at grammar, work on improving your accuracy. Aim to get your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation levels the same. That goes for your reading, listening and writing skills too.
Some IELTS students neglect one particular skill, especially their writing and say “I’m better at reading and listening so it will be OK.” This is very dangerous. Yes, it is harder to improve your productive skills but you have to try and the best way is simply by practising them.
Be honest about what level you are now, think about your strengths and weaknesses and how much time, realistically, you need to get the band score you need. At iPass we have 30-day / 45-day / 60-day course options depending on your current level which you can check here and get a 10% discount on IELTS 7 and IELTS Express.