This course has been designed over a number of years to help students prepare to take the IELTS exam.
The course consists of 20 lessons (for single students it is recommended that these lessons are for 90 minutes, giving a total of 30 hours (classes of 120 minutes for group classes, giving a total of 40 hours). This can be cut shorter if you don’t have enough time between starting to prepare and the date of your exam, or it can be extended if the practice tests suggest you need a little longer to prepare.
The course gives detailed explanations on how to achieve a high score in each of the four sections of the exam: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. The course is designed to maximise the value to the student, so unlike other courses, you won’t spend all your time in the classroom doing practice tests while the teacher sits and does nothing. Every second you are in the class the teacher will give you explanations, advice and feedback.
As writing is usually the most difficult part of the exam for my students, the course begins with an explanation on how to write a good essay including how to answer the different types of questions, how to structure the essay, how to write persuasive arguments, and what kind of vocabulary and grammar you will have to demonstrate. This means that from the very first lesson, you can begin to practise writing IELTS essays to get in as much preparation as possible.
Is this course for you?
Please bear in mind that this course has been designed to prepare students for the IELTS exam, not to artificially inflate their level of English.
You can’t trick or cheat IELTS into thinking that your level of English is higher than it really is, despite what some institutes might lead you to believe with their “guarantees” of a level 7 – you can only receive a high score from IELTS if you actually have a high level of English.
If you need a level 7, but you are scoring around 5.5 or 6 (either in previous attempts at the IELTS or in the assessment test you will take before you start this course), then this course will probably not be suitable for you at the moment.
According to estimates from Cambridge English, going from 5.5 (a low B2) to 6.5 (a high B2), for example, could take around 200 hours of guided learning depending on your particular strengths and weaknesses in the different language skills. Obviously, this time will be much shorter if you have strong speaking, reading and listening skills, but just need to improve your writing skills, for instance.
If you don’t currently have the level you require, you might instead consider taking my General English Course which has been designed to improve the overall level of English for speaking, writing, listening, and reading, as well as boosting your vocabulary. You’ll be assessed periodically to see when you’re ready to start preparing for the exam.
On the other hand, if your exam is next week, then you might not have many other options. If you find yourself in this situation, then we can cover the basics of the exam to help you prepare as best you can to demonstrate your level of English.
Below you can see the syllabus of the course. It is recommended to take two classes per week as this will give you time to complete all the practice tests at home. This means the course usually lasts 10 weeks. Of course, you can take the course over a shorter period of time if necessary (for example, if your exam date is in four weeks).
|1||Writing Task 2|
|2||Writing Task 2||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|3||Writing Task 2|
|4||Writing Task 2||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|5||Writing Task 2|
|6||Reading||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|7||Reading / Listening|
|8||Writing Task 1||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|9||Writing Task 1|
|10||Writing Task 1||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|12||Speaking||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|14||Speaking||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|16||Common IELTS Theme||Reading, Listening, Writing (Mock Exam)|
|17||Common IELTS Theme||Essay x 2|
|18||Common IELTS Theme|
|19||Common IELTS Theme||Essay x 2|
|20||Speaking / Feedback|
Practising at home
In addition to taking an IELTS preparation course, there are many things you can do in your own time to improve your level of English.
While it is difficult to practise writing if you don’t have anyone to give you feedback, many cities around the world have language exchanges that you can attend to practise your speaking. A quick search on Google or social media should tell you where to find these in your city.
With the amount of streaming services and videos on YouTube, you have a wide range of material to practise listening to naturally spoken English. Try not to use the subtitles if you can help it – but if it’s a series you’re really into, then using the subtitles can be forgiven!
Again, thanks to the internet, you have an infinite amount of reading material. I recommend news articles as you can practise skimming (reading quickly) for the overall gist which is a skill you’ll need for the IELTS. Think about downloading an English-language news app to your phone to give you new articles every day.
The BBC News app, for example, lets you personalise the content from different categories. Health, education, the environment and technology are the most common topics for IELTS writing tasks, each of which has its own category in the app. If you make a note of any new words and phrases you come across, this will help to boost your vocabulary scores. It will also help you think of good ideas for when you come to write the essay.
And finally, there are a number of excellent websites focused on the IELTS exam with an amazing amount of useful information and practice questions that you can visit. Some of my favourites are My IELTS Classroom, IELTS Advantage, IELTS Liz and IELTS Buddy.
For more information, please feel free to contact me.