DON’T IGNORE YOUR TEACHER’S ADVICE
Throughout your course, listen to your teacher’s feedback. Whenever they correct something in your writing or speaking, try and understand why you needed to make an improvement and think about that the next time you do a task. I and many of my colleagues who teach IELTS in Galway often find our advice falling on deaf ears. Make sure you’re one of the students who takes full advantage of having access to a good teacher.
We look carefully at what the examiners want from our students and try to steer them in the right direction. The coursebooks used in classes are carefully written to contain the correct and relevant IELTS preparation course content that will help you the most. Trust your teacher and take everything you do in class seriously, even if it’s not always exam practice. There are more ways to improve your skills than just by doing practice tests.
DO THINK ABOUT TIME
As with all exam preparation, time is very important. The IELTS exam is very time sensitive and your teacher will help you manage your time, but you should think about it as well. You need to think about the limited time you’ll have on the day of the test; and the best way to prepare for this is to start timing your homework. Try to do some of the tasks you’re assigned the way you will on the test: no phone, no distractions, within the time limit.
Homework and study time outside of the class are essential. You need to organise in the long term as well. Think about how many weeks you have before the test, what skills you want to work on, and how much you want to do each night. The more work you do in your first two weeks of the course, the less stressed you’ll feel when you reach the end.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Having said that, be careful that you don’t overwhelm yourself or make the experience more stressful than it needs to be. If you’re doing your IELTS course in Ireland, away from home, make sure you take good care of yourself. Talk to your friends and family regularly and find some fun things to do with friends outside of your preparation course.
Remember: we offer an exciting activities programme for our students so every time you go out and do something fun while speaking in English, you’re still studying! Don’t only study by doing exam tasks. Read magazines and books in English, watch films and series to work on your listening, and speak as much as you can about as many topics as you can. Studying doesn’t have to be tiring and stressful.