I have worked in the field of IELTS since 2008 and do you know what the most frequently asked question has been in all those years?
“Why am I not getting the band score I need?”
This is a constantly repeated refrain when I encounter anyone in the medical field, all of whom need a score of band 7.5 with a minimum of 7 in each skill to be able to practise their profession in the United Kingdom.
My response to the “coaching” question is always the same
If anyone asks me, an IELTS teacher with many years’ experience, that question, my response is very straightforward. I say:
“What you really need is an IELTS professional coach to point you in the right direction”
There are lots of reasons why these students are not getting their band 7 and the hardest IELTS skill to get a band 7 or 7.5 in is the writing section of the IELTS exam.
Without coaching you are practising in the dark
When you are practising writing your task 1s and task 2s independently, you are – strictly speaking – writing in the dark.
You are asking yourself:
“Is this the right format for the task 1?”
“Is this the right format for the task 2?”
My reply is:
If you are looking to almost guarantee to achieve the very high IELTS band scores needed for some professions and jobs, you are in danger of, you really do need a trained IELTS expert to guide you.
It is the job of the trained person to tell you:
if you don’t do this, you’ll get your band 7.
If you do this, you’ll get your band 7.
The IELTS candidate needs to know what errors will stop him getting a band 7 and what to include, as well, so that when he is practising at home, he is self correcting his mistakes and is using techniques naturally for the dream band 7 or higher.
Candidates often take the IELTS Test many times
So many of my students have taken the IELTS twice, three times, or EVEN nine times and I say this is nothing to be embarrassed about. The IELTS exam is not as easy to pass as you were imagining.
The next thing I say is let an IELTS coach help you. With their guidance and your own input, you will achieve your desired grade next time.
Coaching pays dividends
I have many, many letters from students I have successfully coached, saying:
“Oh Andrea, I regret that I did not know about you earlier. Trying to achieve the IELTS Score I need and have not achieved has made my morale very low. Now, I’m talking to you, I feel much better and more confident.”
And of course the confidence an IELTS candidate gains from his or her professional coach is also part of the secret to succeeding in obtaining your required IELTS Score.
Coaching improves confidence
If you go into the exam, having been prepared by the IELTS coach and knowing that the techniques you are about to use will help you achieve your score of 7 or 7.5, your confidence will also support you in the next 3 hours of the IELTS exam and especially the hour of writing and you will leave that exam feeling much happier than you ever have in previous IELTS exams.
Lo and behold 9 or 10 working days later, my students will usually write to me saying:
“Thanks Andrea. I’m happy to say I finally got the 7 (or 7.5 (and sometimes higher!)) in writing, that until now, I have not been getting.”
“This means that I can now take the professional exams that required the IELTS band 7 and I can, thankfully, follow my chosen career.”
Some pointers to remember – which a good coach would stress
What IELTS Candidates forget is that in the writing exam, even though they write a good Task 2, it is easy to lose marks on the Task 1. The IELTS coach will insist on reminding you of this, to allow you, at least, to be in with a chance of getting a writing score of 7.
It is actually quite hard to get a band 7 for your Task 1, which highlights the fact that you need your IELTS coach to show you what techniques to use to get your band 7 in Task 1.
Remember: Not only IELTS Writing needs coaching
Reading – The IELTS candidate often has trouble getting a band 7 or higher in reading. Your IELTS coach will give you techniques for finding the correct answers more quickly in the IELTS Reading test.
Listening – The IELTS coach can guide you with techniques to improve each of the 4 IELTS listening sections
Speaking – The IELTS coach will show you how to use whatever techniques you use to improve your speaking skills in your IELTS speaking test.
Practice makes perfect
Your IELTS coach will give you the techniques to help you make your dream come true.
After a session with the IELTS coach, go away and use these techniques and practise until you go into the IELTS exam confident that this time you will get the IELTS band score you’ll need.
Then, you too will be writing to me saying:
“Thank you so much Andrea. I finally did it!!! I got the IELTS band score I need to continue my dream.”
So my advice is to think about using a coach as a key part of your IELTS Test preparation. It will definitely improve your confidence and improve your performance.