Attending an IELS review is no joke. You may see students outside an IELTS review center in Makati all smiling and laughing; however, they all feel the stress and anxiety for their upcoming examinations. I will be lying to myself if I say that I was calm during my review. I was stressed and to the point of giving up my application to Canada.
As a requirement for my work visa, I had to take review classes for the IELTS. Finding a review center for IELTS was easy for me since there is literally a lot to choose from here in Manila. Finding the best was the challenge. With recommendations from my friends and a fairly good review on the internet, I settled with an IELTS review center in Makati which was near my workplace.
I told myself I would just review for a month, then I would take the examination. What I had in mind was that this test would be a typical comprehension test, and well, I am good at English. Surprisingly, being good at the English language was totally not enough. There were a lot of things to learn and to familiarize that made me rethink of my month-review plan. Balancing work and the review, I had the hardest time of my life as my colleagues noticed how drained I was every single day. Giving up was on the table, yet my IELTS instructors pushed me and encouraged me that I could do it. Gladly, I did not give up and put in extra effort in my practices and mock tests. After four months, I took the exam and got the band score requirement for my visa. If there are things that I learned from my review, these would be those:
1. Come to class with a little knowledge about the IELTS test. The internet is very accessible; search online for information about the IELTS test. There is an orientation to the IELTS review center in Makati I enrolled; however, it will still be better if students understand the real purpose of the examination. Things will really be better.
2. Learn to love reading. I am not a fan of reading, but I had to practice reading a lot for the IELTS. It could be tedious, but you really do not have a choice. You can start practicing reading magazines or newspapers.
3. Listen to Australian news channels. I practiced my listening skills through watching these news channels. It was difficult, but with constant exposure, you will eventually get the hand of it and understand the accent better.
4. Improve your vocabulary. Vocabulary is used in all sections of the test. It makes understanding passages and building responses better. To improve vocabulary, you can enjoy reading English books or even the dictionary.
5. Review your grammar. Some topics in grammar should be studied as poor usage of grammar can affect the content of the response in both speaking and writing.
6. Find a speaking partner. This person can throw in comments on how to improve your speaking skills. Make sure to find someone who is knowledgeable or an expert in the field of English.
7. Practice writing essays. You can start off writing essays on simpler topics and have someone check these. This will practice you on your skills in developing ideas in an essay.
8. Watch videos online that show a simulation of the IELTS speaking test. Personally, I watched a lot of these videos and it helped me be better in answering responses.
9. Use English all the time. At home, in school or in any place possible, using the English language can gain you confidence.
10. Attend classes regularly. The review center for the IELTS I was with pushed me to attend daily classes in my first two weeks. I did, and I enjoyed a lot from the reviews.
These lessons are based on my experience. You can try any of them that would work best on you. Always remember that whatever preparation you do in the IELTS, always give your 100% effort in it.