IELTS Preparation: Does Practice Really Make Perfect?
A common thing that I hear students say is I’ve been practising for xx months. I’ve been going over past papers, but I’m still stuck at this band score!' If you don’t know what skills you need to master and haven’t actually mastered those skills, practice will never help you improve! This is why you need guidance about how to move forward with your preparation.
Why Just Practice Alone Will Not Help You Improve Your Score
Many students think that the more they practice, the more they will get used to the test and its questions types, and while this is true to a small extent, it does not make up for the fact that simply practising can never really help to develop a skill you don’t have. Think of it in this way, if I decide that I would like to play the piano, and instead of taking lessons of any kind, I decided to just practice playing and playing to my heart’s content. In the end, do you think I will become a master pianist, by using this method? No! of course not, I’d only end up annoying my family members around me! It’s the same idea with IELTS preparation.
Skills vs Practice
Taking mock tests will help you learn more about the format of the test and help you to reinforce the English skills you do already have. However, it will never be able to help you learn the new and necessary skills to conquer the IELTS exam. To do this you will have to use a variety of methods to help improve your language capabilities. This will include thorough preparation for each of the question types as well as a broader improvement of your language communication skills that will involve incorporating English into your everyday life. In other words, you will need to improve the English you use in everyday contexts – speak it with your friends, write notes and email in English, read English newspapers, listen to English radio. If you feel you need help with your English, you should also consider taking an English course.
Why Enrolling In A Course Is Necessary
To be honest most students just go the practice test route because they feel that they don’t have the money to spare on enrolling on an IELTS course. This often ends up being a costly mistake.
Most students think of taking an IELTS coaching class as an extra expense, which they don’t have the funds for. Not investing in taking a proper class for your test preparation is not saving money. In fact, you are most probably wasting money and valuable time as well. Failing to score well in the exam means that you will have to take the exam multiple times and you have to pay separately each time. This can easily become hundreds and thousands of dollars. This is not to mention the time lost.
Sure you can try to do it yourself – but do you really have the time do to that? Are you sure that you’ll be able to understand the finer points and details by yourself and what if you need to ask a question? In the long run, is it worth it to use all that time JUST to save the money used to pay for a course?
Unfortunately, there are plenty of candidates who have lost on the admission places or visa applications because they simply failed to produce the required IELTS scores within the specified time. Can you imagine losing out on your life’s dream, simply because you refused to pay a few dollars for a preparation course? It seems absurd but it happens all too often!