Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we’ll help a listener, who got a 4.5 IELTS score on a mock test.

Here is the student’s email:

I’ve been listening to your podcast every day. I need to take the IELTS test but I’ve never taken it. One day in a simulated test my score was 4.5. I have studied English for the past year in Kaplan in Brisbane. I need a 6.5 because in one year I need to apply for a graduate visa. I’m currently a student of Masters in Business Administration so please let me know if you can do anything for me. My biggest challenge is speaking.

It seems as if this listener has been in Brisbane studying English for at least a year. However, it sounds like this has not helped much.

She got a 4.5 and feels Speaking is her lowest score.

For one, she is lacking confidence, preventing her from engaging in conversation with native speakers most likely. Just because she’s attending an English class in a language school doesn’t mean she’s learning how to speak English.

Unfortunately, this student is beginning at a deficit, seeing herself as a 4.5 student. This means that there are some road blocks to overcome in order to raise her IELTS scores.

Her confidence and abilities need to be brought up to the level needed to study IELTS, first of all.


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As she’s in an English-speaking environment, she could get her target score in 6 months, which is the amount of time granted in our course.

She should get into our course, and do all the extra activities in the study plan to improve her overall English.

Also she should get in the closed Facebook group and start interacting with other students in the course. This would be motivating, and give her a nice, outside perspective on the test, introducing it slowly and consistently.

In this period of time, 3-4 months, she will be building her English skills and IELTS knowledge. She could add activities we’ve talked about on the show, as well as find a speaking partner or study group of natives in Brisbane.

Then, after that beginning phase, she could start focusing more on the strategies and test practice.

How are you improving your English before the IELTS Exam?

Share your ideas in the comments section below!





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