In the 20 years we have been preparing candidates for the IELTS test (both online and in classrooms), we have found that the fastest, most effective way of helping you achieve your IELTS goals is to work with you one to one to address issues you are having.
That's why we have the discussion sessions - one to one discussions with you and your personal support tutor via Skype or Whatsapp. We can talk about anything related to your IELTS preparations, so take a look at some of the case studies below.
Permission has been granted from each person named below to talk about their situation
Because of a low writing score, Majid had taken the IELTS test 4 times before he enrolled with us. Over three discussion sessions, we analysed Majid's writing, discussing areas where he was making simple errors in the introduction, and where the register he was using in the essay was too informal. Majid took the test for the 5th - and final! - time the following week, and scored 7.5.
Kiran was having difficulty in the speaking test because of a low level of grammar. He was able to respond in Part One of the speaking test, but wasn't able to show enough grammar range in Part Three to get more than a band 6.0 (he needed 7.0). We looked at the grammar forms that need to be used in Part Three (like conditional sentences, participle clauses etc), and also practiced a technique using his fingers to make sure that he included sentences using an example of each form of more advanced grammar. It took 5 discussions sessions to really make this become natural, but Kiran was able to show that range he had previously been missing.
Aleeta was having difficulty in the listening test. She was getting a good score in the first three sections of the test, but was only getting 2 or 3 correct answers in Section 4. We looked at how Section 4 tests slightly different skills and is harder because there is no break in between, and then discussed some techniques that can be applied to this section and how to most effectively use the preparation time you are given.
Amandeep was struggling with her speaking skills. Although she understood the correct rules of grammar and had a good vocabulary, she was unable to produce this in the test without losing fluency. We talked about techniques for improving her fluency and how to demonstrate a range of grammar. We then used a discussion session to run a mock speaking assessment to make sure that Amandeep had improved. Her final band score was 7.0 - enough for her to apply for residency in Canada!
Louisa's difficulty was one of the more common situations we talk about in the discussion sessions - how can I quickly come up with ideas for Task 2 writing? We looked at some of the techniques that can help, and it only took 2 discussion sessions for Louisa to be able to brainstorm and plan an essay in less than 3 minutes.
Khalid was aiming for a high band score (he wanted a band 8.0), but his speaking was stuck at 7.5. Over 4 discussion sessions, we worked with Khalid on his main area of weakness - his pronunciation. When he took the test three weeks later, he reached his goal!
Ghille had a MAJOR problem in his writing - he was writing over 700 words for Task 2 and couldn't seem to reduce this! We reviewed his writing and talked about how he was not staying on topic and that his paragraphs were covering too many different points. With practice, Ghille was able to write a great paragraph in just a few minutes, and after the 5th discussion session he was writing a complete essay of just under 300 words in less than 38 minutes.
Nadia had spoken English for most of her life at a very high level, but had failed to reach band 7.0 in the reading test. The problem was not because she didn't understand, but that she kept running out of time. Over a few discussion sessions, we talked about the skills the IELTS reading test is actually assessing and how the test is designed intentionally to put pressure on the candidate. We then applied some techniques (and broke some bad old habits). By the end of the 4th discussion session, Nadia was able to complete the reading test with time to spare!
Daved was having problems with the listening test. Although he did well in Sections 1 and 2, he wasn't able to sustain this and in Sections 3 and 4 he was losing a lot of points. During the discussion session, we identified that it wasn't Daved's ability that was the problem - it was his focus. We talked about techniques for staying on track and skills for active listening, and Daved was able to increase from 24 / 25 correct answers per test up to 35 - a massive leap, and in only 1 discussion session!
Wei's problem was that she had studied English for years, but had not had much opportunity to actually speak. Her writing, reading and listening were all a comfortable band 7.0, but her speaking was only 5.5. Wei used 4 discussion sessions practicing becoming more fluent, and then we ran mock speaking tests. After the 3rd speaking test, Wei was able to speak for 2 minutes in Part Two with no hesitation, and was able to give extended, detailed answers in Part Three. We even had a mock test on the morning of her official speaking test, and she finally achieved the band 7.0 she was aiming for.
RUN THE NUMBERS
14 YEARS - developing, running and expanding our online IELTS course
16 YEARS - working as British Council IELTS examiners
20 YEARS - coaching candidates to sit their IELTS test
7.5 - the average Band score that our MASTER membership users get
More than 100 - the number of lessons in the online course
More than 400 - the number of learning videos on the site
More than 700 - the number of pages in the downloadable eBook
More than 1000 - the number of exercises & practice sections in the course
30 hours - the amount of listening practice recordings in the course
120 hours - the average time it takes users to complete our course