SEVEN FUN WAYS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR IELTS EXAM
Studying for the IELTS exam can be daunting. Here’s how you can make the journey more fun.
So, you’ve decided to take the IELTS exam and done your research about everything it entails—the format, the number of parts the exam has, and even set your goal for the band score you need. However, one look at the vast study material and it all seems overwhelming. The good news is, that while the IELTS exam can seem intimidating, the process of preparing for it need not be. Read on to find out how you can confidently navigate your way through the preparatory process and get the score you want.
- Find study buddies – Research has shown that collaborative studying can be effective by breaking the monotony of solitary studying, stimulating interest and helping to develop a sense of healthy competition which could work in everyone’s favour. You could even conduct mock speaking tasks with your study buddies to prepare you for the IELTS speaking test.
- Create a conducive atmosphere for learning – Your surroundings are an important catalyst when it comes to studying and learning. This could mean something as small as having a fixed area in your home dedicated to studying or even having a tidy study area that is not cluttered with books! Sit by an airy window if you can with fresh air streaming in while you study or if it’s possible, head to your neighbourhood library to be surrounded by the sound of silence and watch how you automatically absorb whatever you learn in these conducive environments.
- Switch up your study medium – Until a few years ago I only read physical books. Then I discovered Kindle and very recently, audiobooks. Now I am a fan of both mediums. While the majority of your studying and learning might be through physical books, don’t be afraid to experiment with audio-visuals and kinesthetic modes of learning. This is especially useful for those opting for the online IELTS exam. THE BIG CD IELTS Vocabulary flashcards come with online resources where you can check the audio and video pronunciation of words that you learn.
- Use colours – If you’re a visual learner i.e., you need to see information in order to process it, using colours to highlight the important sections of your notes is a great strategy to retain information. Evidence-based research shows that green and orange are useful to maintain long-term concentration while studying. Time to get those highlighters out!
- Incentivize yourself – Studying for the IELTS exam is intense and chances are you will spend hours, weeks, or even months preparing for it. However, it is also important to recognize and celebrate your efforts in the form of incentives. Say for every hour of studying, you decide to give yourself a 10-minute music break. Or if you get a band score 8 in your mock test, you decide to treat yourself to some chocolate cake! Incentives motivate you to stay on top of your game because you know there is something to look forward to.
- ‘Gamify’ your learning – Challenge your study buddies to an IELTS vocabulary quiz. Even while studying by yourself, use flashcards and give yourself a point for every correct meaning. Gamification of learning is a win-win because it makes the process that much more enjoyable while ensuring that learning takes place.
Ananya Banerjee The author is an IELTS trainer at British Council, India. She has seven years of experience as a corporate trainer, and teacher-trainer with a specialization in teaching young learners and creative writing. She has CELTA and DELTA qualifications from the University of Cambridge.