In the first week of our IELTS intensive course for the advanced students we’ve begun a brief overview of the various test components and the skills involved in each area. In preparation for our first test yesterday, we spent a whole day learning about the map, which is a less common task 1 writing question. We explored the required vocabulary, how to incorporate information from the key/s and most importantly, the required content for each paragraph in the essay. (We briefly touched on the required recipe for each of the 4 paragraphs in the task 2 writing as well. Without knowledge of the recipe, your chance of getting a band score above 7 is nominal.) We also looked at the required time management skills for the writing components. All of this culminated in our first real test. (We have lots of the old IELTS exams so it will be the first of many tests given the old adage, ‘practice makes perfect’.)
We’ve also explored my IELTS bible in which I have outlined years of experience in my tips and clues for every part of the test, including the psychological aspect of controlling your nerves and thriving under what most would see as ‘the pressure’ of exam day. Finally, just because it’s my class, we’ve laughed a lot. Balance is important, especially when we work as hard as we do to get the IELTS band scores we need, regardless of whether you’re sitting the Academic IELTS or General IELTS exam.