IELTS: Know what you need

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Paul Bacon英语
2017年5月17日
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In one of my previous blogs, I gave the example of Pascal, a French student who lost concentration and panicked when he found one of his listening questions difficult. This caused him to fall into something of a vicious circle. He struggled with question 5 and the resulting panic meant that he was not listening when the information for questions 6, 7 and 8 came over the audio. I argued that he needed to learn to let go and not worry about losing that one mark - in the end, he lost three or four marks because he cared too much about one question.

In this entry, I want to expand on the idea I introduced in that previous blog. Specifically, I want to talk about objectives. In both the listening and reading sections, you need to know exactly what you require to get the band you want. The crux of this issue is that many students think they need to try to get every question correct. In all honesty, this is just not possible. Instead, they need to focus on getting the amount that will give them the band they need:

LISTENING

  • 5.0 = 16 to 19
  • 5.5 = 20 to 22
  • 6.0 = 23 to 26
  • 6.5 = 27 to 29
  • 7.0 = 30 to 32
  • 7.5 = 33 to 34
  • 8.0 = 35 to 37


READING (Academic)

  • 5.0 = 15 to 18
  • 5.5 = 19 to 22
  • 6.0 = 23 to 26
  • 6.5 = 27 to 29
  • 7.0 = 30 to 32
  • 7.5 = 33 to 34
  • 8.0 = 35 to 36

I like to equate the tactic here to American politics. When Hillary and Trump contested the US election in 2016, neither candidate expected to win all of the 50 states. There was no chance that Hillary would do well in the South or Trump would clean up in the North-East. The same is true in the IELTS. You cannot expect to get every question correct. You have to get enough correct to get the band you need.

With this in mind, it is important to remember what you actually need to do and how many questions you can afford to let go. For example, if you need 7.0, you can get up to 10 questions incorrect. So, if you are in the same situation as Pascal, you need to remember that one question won't destroy your hopes but 3 or 4 may go quite some way to making you fail to meet your goals.

So, how does this apply when you take the exam? We covered the listening in the earlier blog, but I will recap. Do not allow yourself to be overly distracted by one question so that you miss the next two or three. For the reading, it is all about time-management. You have one hour. No more. Do not spend five or ten minutes trying to answer a question that you simply cannot understand or find an answer to. Use the time better to get as many as the others correct as possible.
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Paul

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I am a professional English teacher. I hold a TESOL Certificate, a TESOL Diploma and a qualification in Teaching Online from the University of New South Wales in Australia. I have 12 years of experience I have taught in Korea, China, Turkey, Oman, France and UAE. I have taught students from over 50 countries. I have a great track-record in preparing students for TOEFL and IELTS. In TOEIC I regularly get students to score over 800 and 850. In IELTS I often get students jumping bands in short spaces of time. I have very focused and results-oriented techniques that help students improve dramatically. I have a very strong background in Business English. I have worked for major Fortune 500 companies across the world, particularly in France and China. I have a lot of experience in building specific classes for different companies and industries.
$18.00
USD/h
Flag 英语
英国
2
英语
母语
I am a professional English teacher. I hold a TESOL Certificate, a TESOL Diploma and a qualification in Teaching Online from the University of New South Wales in Australia. I have 12 years of experience I have taught in Korea, China, Turkey, Oman, France and UAE. I have taught students from over 50 countries. I have a great track-record in preparing students for TOEFL and IELTS. In TOEIC I regularly get students to score over 800 and 850. In IELTS I often get students jumping bands in short spaces of time. I have very focused and results-oriented techniques that help students improve dramatically. I have a very strong background in Business English. I have worked for major Fortune 500 companies across the world, particularly in France and China. I have a lot of experience in building specific classes for different companies and industries.

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