Who says that you can only improve your English skills through face to face teaching in a traditional classroom? Here is some information on Top 5 websites for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) preparation to help you sail your way up and be a part of your dream University or College.
Basic Information about the IELTS Test
IELTS scores are required for entry to British universities and other countries in English speaking countries. The test assesses all levels of English skills like reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is a multi-level test as students receive a score between 1 and 9 (overall). Half scores are also possible (e.g. 6.5). It is a common practice to demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7.
Interpretation of Bands
Band 9: Expert user with complete operational command of English
Band 8: A very good user with full operational command English coupled with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies.
Band 7: A good user of English although may show occasional inaccuracies in some situations. However, handles the language well.
Band 6: A competent user of English paired with effective command of the language despite few inaccuracies. However, the user can use the language fairly in familiar situations.
Band 5: Modest user with partial command of the language although the user is likely to make many mistakes.
Band 4: A limited user of English coupled with basic competence that is limited to familiar situations; however, is unable to use the language in a complex manner.
Band 3: A basic user of English language who understands the general meaning conveyed by the language and that too in highly familiar situations.
Band 2: An intermittent user of English who is not able to communicate properly except for using isolated words or short phrases and that too in very limited situations
Band 1: A non-user with no ability to use the language in a proper manner
Band 0: Did not attempt the test at all.
Top 5 websites for IELTS Preparation
This is the official website for IELTS exam preparation. Many students rate it highly among the top 5 websites for IELTS preparation. As such, it is a great avenue to familiarize oneself with the nature of the examination. The website offers useful practical tips to help one ace the exam. One can visit the website to get general information about the IELTS examination format, registration process, list of test centers, and sample questions. One can also go to their Facebook page to go through quizzes. People are friendly there and help each other with their queries or questions.
- IELTS-simon or DCIelts
These are 2 different sites for IELTS exam preparation and it’s hard to choose between the two as both are extremely good sources. Experts are behind the functioning of the websites. IELTS-simon is handled by an ex-IELTS examiner and DCielts is managed by an IELTS teacher. This means that there will be volumes of helpful literature over there. Aspiring students can visit the twin websites for ‘IELTS Lesson of the day’. Alternatively, one can also subscribe to get tips as emails.
- IELTS Buddy
Well, if you are thinking of enhancing your vocabulary and grammar over practical tips then IELTS buddy is the website to visit on a daily basis. It is another high ranked one among the top 5 websites for IELTS preparation. One can also benefit from going through academic wordlists. In the past, students improved their writing skills and sentence structures by relying on this website. One can also download useful materials.
- IELTS Liz YouTube channel
Some students prefer static written material while others may prefer a dynamic platform such as videos. If you belong to the latter category then you must visit www.youtube.com/user/ieltsliz. This wonderful channel helps learners cope with differing IELTS tasks. The teaching manner is well-paced and friendly. So get on with the dynamics and improve your vocabulary besides getting equipped with practical tips.
- International House (IH) London blog
IH London is another respected and dependable source for IELTS preparation even though it appears more like a blog. Pupils can benefit from concise and clear tips during their preparation stage. Students have improved both their listening and writing scores.
Help with Specific Sections and Tips to Improve Performance
Before advancing to specific tips, it is important to highlight that IELTS is a test of English language. The better your English language skills, the easier will be the test. Apart from consulting these top 5 websites for IELTS preparation; one can do other things to get going.
- Practice as much English as possible with people around you and by listening to English channels. You can also read newspapers, magazines or watch English movies without subtitles. Reading subtitles will not let you hone your listening skills!
- If feasible then consider joining an English speaking club. This will give you a chance to rehearse your speaking regularly with others who might be in the same boat!
- Don’t shy away from using English versions of forms or talking to customer care centers in English, if you have a choice between Hindi and English. These baby steps can go a long way and will also let you build your confidence.
- Don’t just blindly use a word editor on your computer. Try writing things down by using a pen and paper and then type it on ‘word’ in order to find out your mistakes. This is an excellent way to begin.
- Read aloud and record your own voice. Play that back either to yourself or to your friends. In this way, you will be able to find out how you sound to the others. This is a good tip especially for those who use a lot of pauses or fillers (e.g. uhhhh, hmmmor ahhhh).
- Stop thinking to yourself in Hindi when you are alone! Yes, you read that right. If you can sort out your private thoughts in English then you are prepared to handle your public speech in that language too.