English Exam Preparation

IELTS Journal in 4 Parts: Preparation Tips and Insights About the IELTS Exam

Flalingo 04.11.2023

The IELTS exam has become an integral part of our lives not only for going abroad but also domestically. IELTS, used for both education and employment purposes, serves as proof of your English proficiency. As one of the popular English language exams, IELTS assesses not only your English language skills but also your communication abilities. It comes in a format that is different from the standardized exam format we are familiar with. In this regard, an IELTS student who recently took the "IELTS Academic" exam will provide you with detailed insights. Today, we will learn about the preparation recommendations for the IELTS exam from a student who has been taking online English lessons for the IELTS exam.

If you have plans for higher education, a career, or living abroad, at this point where the importance of the IELTS exam has increased, let us mention that Flalingo is with you 24/7 with its translation lessons. During the IELTS preparation process, we are ready for both speaking and the other sections with Flalingo's professional instructors who are native English speakers.

Table of Contents:

1. IELTS Exam Format and Strategies

1.1 Listening

1.2. Reading

1.3.Writing Task

1.4. Writing Task 2

1.5. Speaking

2. Institutions Providing the IELTS Exam: British Council IELTS and IDP IELTS

3. Online English Education Platforms for IELTS

4. Conclusion: Flalingo for IELTS Preparation

IELTS Exam Format and Strategies

Knowing the IELTS exam format in advance is one of the most important criteria for achieving an above-average score. The fact that this test differs from the exams we have taken in school and at the national level for years requires adaptation. I believe that you should acquire the necessary adaptation by researching in advance and taking practice tests. Of course, this criterion is valid for those who already have a good command of English. Since I graduated from an English department, I went through a preparation process focused solely on the exam. For example, at this point, I addressed my shortcomings in speaking, especially using the Flalingo platform. Of course, your list of things to do to improve your English can be longer. Flalingo will be there to assist you in completing these tasks over time.

Now, I will focus on the exam format and discuss what to pay attention to for each section.

1.1. Listening

The IELTS Listening section assesses individuals' English listening skills. It is the first part of the written exam, designed with various question types. The recording for the IELTS Listening section is common for both "Academic" and "General" tests. IELTS Academic questions are different from IELTS General questions. Additionally, like the other sections, there is a different scoring system for each module. You answer 40 questions in 30 minutes and receive a score out of 9.

One of the critical aspects of the IELTS listening test is correct spelling. Just being able to hear a word and understand its meaning is not enough. A single letter error can result in a mistake. Another important aspect is knowledge of synonyms. For instance, when solving a gap-fill question, the text you hear may be different from what you read. To fill in the gap, you should follow the question with these synonymous words. Therefore, your vocabulary is as important as your ability to comprehend what you hear. If you are lacking in this area, I believe that with the right guidance, you can make progress in a short time. For example, while taking IELTS-focused lessons from Flalingo, I used Oxford University Press resources. The resources provided by Flalingo offer the most reliable content for exam preparation. You can improve both your vocabulary and your speed in solving questions with its exam-compatible practice tests.

1.3. Reading

In the IELTS Reading section, there are also 40 questions, and you are given 60 minutes to answer them. Once again, there are various question types, including gap-fill, multiple-choice, and matching. For the Academic and General tests, there are further distinctions. The reading passages provided for IELTS Academic are longer and contain more complex texts. Similar to the listening and other sections, you receive a score out of 9.

To succeed in this section, knowledge of synonymous words is crucial once again. The sentences in the text are not repeated in the questions. Instead, you are asked to capture the same meaning with different words. With the right guidance and preparation, you can also achieve a successful score in the Reading section.

Another tip I will give you is to read the paragraphs until the end. Yes, there are many questions to answer in a short time. However, especially in certain sections, such as paragraph-heading matching questions, you should be a bit more patient. In the same paragraph, there can be two different topics, and you may match it with the first heading you see. But this method may not always work. I recommend avoiding making mistakes by reading just a few more sentences to find the main topic of the paragraph and the appropriate heading. Especially, this paragraph-heading matching question type was the most challenging for me. I used to make the most mistakes in this part during practice tests and wasted a lot of time. However, with the Flalingo online lessons I took for the IELTS exam, the instructors taught us the necessary strategies. As I mentioned earlier, the Oxford University Press content provided to us was very helpful in my preparation process. With both sample questions and practice tests, I further improved my reading skills. Especially for an exam like IELTS, we need reliable sources. I can say that Flalingo resources are lifesavers in this regard.

At this point, with the guidance of an experienced individual, you can achieve the desired results in a single attempt. Especially considering the cost of the IELTS exam, the necessary preparation process becomes a worthwhile investment.

1.3. Writing Task 1

The IELTS Writing section is divided into two parts. You are required to write two different essays on two different topics. I believe that a dedicated study program specifically for IELTS becomes necessary at this point.

First, I will talk about the relatively simple IELTS Writing Task 1. In this section, you will be asked to summarize a given graph in at least 150 words. However, you should not add your own opinion or use external information apart from the graph. Otherwise, you can lose a significant number of points. The first tip I will provide is related to "paraphrasing." This means that you should express the given sentence with different words without losing its meaning. After using the short information provided in paragraph form, you can start interpreting the graph. I applied a recommendation from one of my Flalingo instructors, and I would like to share it with you. After this introductory paragraph, you can take a general look at the graph. For example, you can touch upon the top two points. In the final paragraph, you can finish by addressing the necessary details. The overview paragraph serves as a kind of summary. However, the reason for writing it in the second place is crucial; the absence of this paragraph leads to point deductions. But writing two sentences less in the detail paragraph will not result in as much point loss. That's why some instructors recommend this strategy for time management and point gain.

I also answered sample questions about tables or graphs that you may encounter in the exam through the resources provided by Flalingo. After that, the instructors helped me review my errors in the necessary way. Even if you are proficient in writing like me, you can prepare with Flalingo at the point where you do not want to experience difficulties due to the different requirements of the exam.

1.4. Writing Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2 is the final part of the written exam, where you are required to write a minimum of 250 words and express your own opinion. In this stage, you are given a topic. You may be asked to present two opposing views or conduct an advantage-disadvantage assessment. You need to be very careful about the different question types and requirements. You wouldn't want to be evaluated as off-topic due to even the slightest lack of attention.

For this reason, my first recommendation is to read carefully. Based on this, you should develop the necessary strategy and then write on it. Just like in other sections, learning synonymous words is very important. In addition, using different grammatical structures correctly throughout the writing section is a scoring criterion. Therefore, I recommend addressing your shortcomings in this regard. Seeking advice from an experienced person for this task will improve your exam performance. But in my opinion, the most important thing is to practice these essays before the exam. In addition, getting feedback from an experienced professional in IELTS about your writing is crucial. Providing necessary suggestions within your writing abilities and correcting your mistakes will make it more likely for you to succeed in the exam. Flalingo instructors already play a significant role in this regard. You can gain speed with the evaluations you receive and minimize your mistakes.

1.5. Speaking

IELTS Speaking was the section I was most concerned about. As I mentioned, I had completed my undergraduate education in English. Although my listening, reading, and writing skills were above average, I was nervous about speaking. I was afraid of making mistakes and hesitant to speak. Due to a lack of practice, I faced this problem on my own. However, as the cost of the IELTS exam increased day by day, I did not want to fail due to this short section that would last 11-14 minutes. Therefore, I quickly sought support from Flalingo, an online English education platform that would provide me with the opportunity to speak. The instructors are native English speakers, and they are all professionals in this field. I spoke slowly and steadily, and eventually, I was able to achieve the fluency I desired. In short, the secret to this section is practice, practice, and more practice.

In this section, your conversations are recorded. Initially, a few personal questions are asked. Then, in the second part, you are given a topic and specific questions. After providing you with paper and a pen, you brainstorm for a minute and answer the questions. In the remaining time, after a pleasant conversation on the questions that expand on the topic, this section is completed.

2. Institutions Providing the IELTS Exam: British Council IELTS and IDP IELTS

British Council, similar to IDP, provides a comparable service. You can make a test reservation online at your preferred date. While speaking exams are conducted face-to-face, you can take the written exam either on paper or on a computer.

IDP, like the previous option, is your second choice as an institution to take the IELTS exam. Similar to British Council, you can make a reservation and make a payment at the same price. In other words, IDP IELTS does not differ from British Council IELTS in terms of price, format, or simplicity. It also provides the exam service on a computer or on paper.

3. Online English Education Platforms for IELTS

Online English education platforms for IELTS will assist you regardless of your level. IELTS requires various rules, question types, and grammar skills, making it essential to create a strategy, learn the topics, and refresh your knowledge by taking lessons. Moreover, for the speaking section, you must practice adequately.

You can find the necessary options in the online world for this. I prepared for the exam with Flalingo. I reviewed some topics both in terms of necessary vocabulary and grammar knowledge. If your English level is lower, lessons suitable for your level will be a lifesaver. Additionally, Flalingo provided me with the necessary opportunity for speaking practice. With effective use, I became more fluent in a short time. I recommend trying Flalingo, a platform where you can take lessons at any time, before IELTS.

4. Conclusion: Flalingo for IELTS Preparation

In conclusion, we received the format information and recommendations from a student emphasizing the importance of Flalingo for IELTS preparation. Flalingo provides the necessary training with a personalized program, without neglecting the required speaking practice. With Flalingo, which offers the opportunity to attend live lessons 24/7, you can find the necessary support in your IELTS preparation process. Let's end this article by saying, "Don't embark on the IELTS journey without Flalingo."

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