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First of all, I will not recommend for anyone to book their IELTS too soon. If you’re not confident about your English proficiency yet, don’t book it. However, if you are on a deadline, go ahead and do it, but make sure that you give an ample time for you to study. In my opinion, two weeks should be long enough provided that you follow a strict review schedule.

To start of, you need to assess your strength and weaknesses. Do practice tests online. There are plenty of free youtube videos that provides listening practice tests. For reading and writing practices, you can check out blogs like ieltsliz.com or engvid.com, they have plenty of practice tests you can try. For speaking, try to speak for 4 minutes non-stop about a certain topic. Make sure that you record it. You can later listen to it and check for mistakes and how you can improve it.

After doing practice tests, evaluate the results. Which section did you find difficult? In my case, I find it challenging to write two essays within one hour. Also, I found out that I use a lot of fillers when I speak non-stop and my vocabulary is between average to above average. Initially, prior to doing the practice tests, I thought I wouldn’t have any problems regarding the listening and reading sections of IELTS because I am an avid reader and I watch a lot of BBC documentaries. However, It made me a little bit nervous when I stumbled upon True/False/Not Given questions in the reading section during the practice tests. I find them confusing. The matching type questions can also be tricky and time consuming. With the listening practice tests, my only problem is my lack of focus. My mind tend to drift away while listening to the recording.

After finding out my weaknesses, I planned a study calendar to help overcome them. Create a review calendar that you can use as a guide everyday. I followed the guide for two weeks, studying for 8-10 hours a day. I know it’s a little bit inconvenient specially for those who are working full time. In my case, I already resigned from my Nursing job that’s why I have the time to study.  So, it’s important to make a review guide that fits your schedule. My calendar is filled with subjects that I need to focus on such as practice writing and speaking. I also scheduled mock tests that mimics the actual test. The mock tests helped me improve my writing under time pressure.

Many people opt to go to a review center prior to taking the IELTS. That’s a pretty good way to prepare for the exam too albeit a little expensive. The advantage of going to a review center than self studying is that there are mentors who can correct your mistakes. If you self study, you have to figure out what’s the problem and fix it yourself. Again, if you are not confident doing it on your own, go ahead and sign up for review sessions at your local IELTS review center.

It is possible to get a good band score even if you self study. You just need to be well disciplined in following your review schedule and must be willing to sacrifice your time for studying.

If you have more UKVI IELTS questions and suggestions, please leave a message at the comment box.

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

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