Yet they still practise.
Boy, do they practise!
Beckham and Woods never stop practising
When Beckham was at Manchester United Alex Ferguson (Team Coach) said that he “practised with discipline to achieve an accuracy that others wouldn’t care about”.
Tiger Woods is the same. The day after he won the 2000 PGA championship he didn’t take a well-deserved break. He was back on the range practising!
A high band score in the IELTS examination does not come on a silver platter.
So here is the lesson from David Beckham and Tiger Woods:
There are three ways to ensure your IELTS Test success – Preparation, Preparation and Preparation!
Fail to prepare and you will throw your money and time down the drain.
What a waste!
Nobody wants to waste resources in the current economic climate and there is no magical “abracadabra” method to ensure success in the IELTS Test.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the IELTS Test:
Understand the IELTS Test and what the examiners are looking for
Having no knowledge of what IELTS is all about puts you at a disadvantage during the test. This is one of the reasons why candidates under-achieve their target band scores. You need to have a strong understanding of each area of the exam and what skills are required to ace them. Read available information from IELTS.org and this site and talk to your teachers and those who have taken the IELTS Test ahead of you to understand more.
Each part of the IELTS Test is testing different aspects of your English language capability. Get to know what each is assessing – and how.
Know your weaknesses
Why is knowing your strength and weaknesses important?
Once you determine the most difficult and the easiest part of the IELTS test for you, you can make a study plan to help you budget your time effectively by tailoring a study plan that suits your learning needs. You can maximize your time in areas you are not good at – but beware! this does not mean concentrating on just one aspect. As you set time in your IELTS preparation consider how you will improve your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation to boost your reading, listening, writing and speaking skills.
Have a plan!
After establishing a study plan, it is time to practise.
As with all languages, you have to: acquire a broad range of vocabulary; develop a sound knowledge of grammar; build your pronunciation, improve writing techniques and listening skills.
Having improved your language skills you should also concentrate on specific skills and techniques that you will need in the actual test. IELTS practice tests can help you get the feel of the question formats and develop strategies to solve the sample questions in each section and timing matter. Think also about registering for courses which specialise in teaching IELTS preparation skills.
Exposure to tests can also help combat psychological barriers like mental block and test anxiety during the test.
Stick to your plan (1) – Practice in the right place with the right materials.
Practise makes perfect but practising in a wrong way has an opposite effect.
Many dreams have been crushed because candidates were ill-advised. So, be critical in your choice of coaches and online sites to help you in your preparation. You need materials which are prepared thoroughly by people who understand English and IELTS exam, who feel the pain if you don’t reach your dream just because of single point lapse.
Stick to your plan (2) – Practice in plenty of time
Set into your mind that IELTS preparation time is usually lengthy, especially when you are improving your general language proficiency. Students who start at IELTS band score 4 and who want to move a point up often study for 6 months or more. Even more time is required if you aim for band 6 or higher. So, you should know your level in English first. If you do not know how, use English level assessment tests available online or from an experienced IELTS Test teacher.
Stick to your plan (3) – Track your progress
Preparing for IELTS can be very stressful. Sticking to a study schedule can keep you sane and help you set time aside for preparation. Study time should not be used for other things or messed up or you will lose your focus. Spend the allocated time you set in your study plan and do the activities religiously. Self-discipline helps. Make a timetable that suits you and strictly follow it.
Human as you are, you want a reward in every endeavor that you do. Tracking your progress can give you self-satisfaction and quick gratification and an indication of which aspect you have to spend more effort on.
Here are the steps that you should cover in your IELTS test preparation:
1. Use a notebook to track your performance in every practice test that you take. You must work within the time limit for each section.
2. After you finish a practice test, make notes of your mistakes and correct them – these are your weaknesses.
3. Check your mistakes and make sure you do not repeat them. You should incorporate a daily revision of your mistakes by retaking the same part of the practice test. (This is applicable for your Listening and Reading section)
4. Develop a checklist of vocabulary learned and use it every day to improve your speaking and writing – don’t forget to include synonyms and antonyms for each word.
5. Work with a friend to practise – Also, engage someone who can evaluate your speaking skill through a mock test.
6. Have an experienced teacher, tutor or coach check your writing and speaking. Take note on the areas you have to improve and have improved on. Make sure the teacher corrects your pronunciation, grammar and coherence.
7. Keep on practising. Your performance progress will deteriorate when you stop and grow as you practise.
Success is never easy and does not come without effort. It needs the right preparation so you must begin by knowing what you are capable and incapable of. That way you can set a plan that will help you overcome your limitations.
Plans structured with the right materials, people, and persistence are the ingredients of IELTS success.
To your IELTS success!
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