Most of the time, we get disheartened by our failures. Not understanding that our lives don’t end there. When we were learning how to ride a bike, we kept on falling down. We didn’t stop thinking about the bruises; we took a leap of faith and continued to pedal further until one day we rode without falling down. The exams require us to deal with them in the same manner.
- Pause and breathe- You will hear several IELTS trainers say that there is no perfect band score but the band which your dream university has set for its admissions. Having the command over the language doesn’t imply that you would always excel in the competitive exams. Now, that you have given the exam once, you have a fair idea of what it is like. Take it as experience gained rather than an opportunity missed. Celebrate the fact that you sat for the test and you worked hard for it.
- Recognize what didn’t work- Once you have reenergized yourself, now it is time to reflect on your weak areas. Be true to yourself and identify where you could have done better. There could be many reasons why you didn’t score. To name a few: lack of practice and regularity, study material, incorrect assessment on strengths and weaknesses, lack of external guidance, so on and so forth.
- Understand the exam pattern- As trainers, we often find students having a misconception that the understanding of the IELTS test pattern is simply to know the number of questions and time each section will provide. It has to be deeper than that. You must know the types of questions which can come under each section. Along with that, you must have clarity on dealing with each of them.
- Polish your weak areas- Now that you have highlighted your areas of improvement and revisited the exam pattern, you need to work on the various techniques to improve your band score in those areas. Always pay heed to the fact that the band score evaluation system is different from the percentage evaluation system. In this format, you are allowed to make some mistakes and still get a great band. So, if you find yourself unable to master one or two techniques, don’t panic.
- Sit and take mock tests- Students blindly keep solving the mock tests day after day. Yes, it is crucial to solve them but it is equally important to diagnose the mistakes. If you have joined classes for IELTS, ask your trainer to maintain a progress report of all the question types which you answer incorrectly in your mock tests.
- Join online forums, Facebook groups- Make IELTS buddy with whom you can practice and share your success. You can also connect with people all over the world discussing IELTS tips, struggles and latest updates on online forums and various Facebook groups.
- Consider getting help- No one can be one man’s army, at least not for long. It is always advisable to attend test prep classes for retaking the IELTS exam. This will allow you to clear your doubts faster and more effectively as you will be getting guidance from the experts who have been in the field of IELTS training for years.
- Grammar and vocabulary- Learning is an on-going process. We all assume that our grammatical accuracy and lexical knowledge would be at an advanced level because we have been studying English for several years. However, that is not the case. Native English speakers also make errors and oftentimes common mistakes. Therefore, it is always better to constantly practice grammar topics and enhance our vocabulary.