Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you need resources to prepare for the IELTS exam?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica talk about three creative practice recommendations, and three textbooks to help you prepare for the IELTS exam!

Preparation for the IELTS can feel overwhelming.  It’s difficult to narrow down the best ways to practice, and the best textbooks for studying.  However you decide to do it, remember that you need to integrate both real skills practice and test practice.

Practice Resources: A native English speaker is definitely best for practicing for the speaking and listening parts of the test.  If you live in a large city, opportunities to talk to native speakers might be all around you, in the form of either students or ex-patriots.

  • For speaking, you want structured practice.  Look for opportunities at local libraries or universities.  Consider advertising for a language exchange or a skills exchange.  Practicing English while teaching a native English speaker something is a great way to gain confidence.
  • For listening, podcasts are excellent for improving your comprehension.  Find a topic that interests and motivates you.  There are podcasts about virtually every subject!
  • For writing, again check out local libraries or universities for writing lab opportunities.

Textbook Test Preparation: With a textbook, you want something interesting that includes brainstorming and vocabulary activities that help you come up with ideas.  Here are three good examples:

  • Introduction to Academic English (Ann Hogue, Alice Oshima).  This book has nice visuals and word maps to help give you ideas, but also to focus you so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
  • Cambridge IELTS Series.  This series contains the best examples of what you will see on IELTS.  It’s not skills practice, only test practice.
  • IELTS Foundation Series.  This series is a good resource for middle-level skill building and preperation.

What resources have you used in preparing for the IELTS exam?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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