Even though we are currently in trying times, it doesn’t mean you can’t work towards fulfilling your dreams of studying abroad. If you’re still planning on getting your IELTS in time for university registration, why don’t you try out the following!
1. Develop your general English
According to research, test practice by itself doesn’t really help students become better test takers. One study even found that a general English class fared better in exams than a class that focused on exam practice. Of course, one study isn’t generalisable to the whole world, but simply put, if you’re preparing for your IELTS test by doing practice test after practice test by yourself, you’re not really making good use of your time.
The main reason why students can’t achieve higher bands in IELTS is because they simply do not have the language to understand the test or make themselves understood to the examiner. This means that if you want to improve your IELTS score, the first thing you should do is develop your English!
One simple way to develop your English at home is to read books. Or listen to podcasts or watch films and TV for that matter. What’s important is being immersed in English while doing something you love. So don’t read books that are interesting but hard, choose those that are fun and easy for you. You can go to openlibrary.org to find hundreds of thousands of ebooks that you can read for free, or try out the British Council LearnEnglish Podcasts! They’re free and there are interesting ones for beginner students to advanced students.
2. Use self-study resources
Of course, self-study resources are super useful, but again, focus on developing your English generally, and do something fun. British Council offers free apps (https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/apps) for anyone all over the world to study English at their own pace. There’s LearnEnglish apps for Grammar, Pronunciation, even one with videos where you can explore famous museums and sites in the UK.
But if you want something a bit more serious, British Council in Indonesia have a teaching centre to for adult to improve English language skills with internationally certified teachers. Check this site for the different types of English courses from the British Council.
3. Try a MOOC
Massive Open Online Courses provide another avenue of learning English. MOOCs are free, online courses on topics ranging from Computer Science to Supply Chain Management to Architectural History. All from reputable universities around the world like Harvard, Oxford, and the National University of Singapore.
Registering for a MOOC will not only help you learn your subject of interest, but also, all the learning you’re doing in English will help you develop your English as well as prepare you for studying abroad!
But if you want to focus more on IELTS preparation, you can also take a British Council MOOC called understanding IELTS on Future Learn. Check it out! https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/understanding-ielts
4. Register for an online class
And finally, of course, you can find online classes. Now, most people think that online classes aren’t as good as face-to-face ones. There’s less real-time communication, there’s no issues with bandwidth, and everything is quicker when technology doesn’t get in the way.
But there’s no doubt that at the end of the day, if you want to learn something, the best way of doing it is by having an expert give you individualised feedback. This means you’ll know exactly what you’re doing right, and what you need to improve on. This is especially useful when you’re preparing for an exam. You have deadlines and you need to make sure you’re using your time wisely and a teacher can help you with that.
If you need to develop your English and you’re on a schedule, check out British Council’s myClass Online. Not only do we help you develop your general English, we also have lessons specifically about IELTS and give you individual feedback on what you need to do to improve. Talk to one of our consultants now and take one step closer to your dream of studying abroad.