Making technology work for you

When you have to study for the IELTS Reading, Writing or Listening tests, you don’t really need anyone to help you, but what about the Speaking test? Do you just speak to the mirror?

My idea was to use an MP3 player that can record voice. I bought one especially for that purpose, to record myself speak. It helped me to recognize and admit all of my problems: the bad pronunciation, the long pauses between words, and the super-long and confusing sentences. What you do is just speak on some topic, record yourself, listen and analyze it later. It is really necessary to recognize all of those weaknesses in advance, so you can work and improve them. Make a list of things that need improvement and look at it every time before you start speaking.

Speaking to a live partner is better, of course, but if you’re on your own – an MP3 player a great solution. Another advantage here is that you can use it for listening exercises – fill it with audio books in English or IELTS Listening tests you download from the Internet and take it with you wherever you go. This way you won’t waste any time – driving, eating lunch or walking your dog can be done while listening to English on your MP3 player.

Another idea is to prepare for the IELTS Speaking test using Skype – a very popular software that lets you talk to anyone who also has Skype. All you need to do is to install it on your and your friend’s computer, plug in a set of headphones and a microphone and call your friend using Skype. Y0u can actually make international call, talk as much as you want, the voice quality is great and it costs nothing!

IELTS on low budget – free resources

These days there are many kinds of IELTS help available – courses, books, private tutors, etc. The one thing they all have in common is that they cost a lot of money. IELTS preparation can be expensive – but it doesn’t have to be.

The good news is that you can prepare yourself for IELTS and it will cost you almost nothing. All you need is one good IELTS study book and a lot of practice. You see, IELTS is the type of exam where good English doesn’t mean success; even native speakers can fail. Preparing for IELTS doesn’t mean learning English – it mostly means learning all the tricks and traps that IELTS is famous for. Be ready, aware and watching for them, IELTS is one wicked test.

Anyone who wants to get a high band score in IELTS must expect several weeks of daily training. I came across certain books that promise to get you ready in 5 hours. Well, wake up! Have you ever done something meaningful in your life in just 5 hours? Maybe if you’re genius it would work, but regular people like me and you have to study for a month (and then, of course, we ace the test!).

Now after I’ve told you what doesn’t work, let me tell you what does. First, read the IELTS-blog tips and get to know what to expect during the IELTS exam. Second, use the free online IELTS-like tests to practice on – all the links in the right sidebar. This really is a goldmine, because free IELTS tests are hard to find, usually they cost money.

But don’t let that stop you, if you need to practice more – go ahead and buy more IELTS practice tests, it is money well spent. Another suggestion is to make a regular IELTS study plan and follow it religiously. Work every day for at least 3 hours, but don’t forget to take a day off once a week.

Click here for more IELTS preparation tips.



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