Okay, so you are about to finish off high school and are thinking of moving abroad to pursue your studies. You have actually already applied to an overseas university and have been accepted, however, they are requiring you to take an IELTS exam. You aren’t exactly sure what an IELTS exam is, so before you panic you decide to google it. Google tells you it’s an exam that tests your English proficiency levels. Now you officially start to panic because English is not your home language and you don’t currently feel confident that you will get the admissions department’s IELTS requirement score of 7.5. You sit on your bed, and feel like your dreams of studying abroad are over.
You are not the only one
This is a situation that many young people who don’t come from native English countries have found themselves in. What they soon come to realise, which you will too, is that the language barrier should not hinder you from pursuing your dreams to study abroad. Yes, the university wants you to get a good IELTS score, and yes, you probably think that it is impossible for you the get the required score. The good news for you is that many have felt this way, and yet still passed and are now studying in their chosen universities abroad.
One thing that I tell my IELTS students is that English is merely a means of communication. The same way you use your native language to communicate is the same way you will use English to communicate. However, it is not going to be easy, you will have to put in some work in order to achieve your goals. This will mean preparing for your IELTS exam, the same way you prepare for your final high school exams.
Don’t let the score requirement give you a fright
Right off the bat, the first thing you need to do is find out your current English proficiency level according to the IELTS scoring system. Seeing a score requirement of 7.5 from your university’s admissions office seems terrifying and unattainable only because you don’t have a point of reference. Now imagine you get an IELTS tutor who gives you a mock exam, testing your English reading, speaking, writing and listening skills. On the basis of your mock exam, your tutor informs you that your over-all score is 6.5. Now you have a point of reference, that score of 7.5 no longer seems out of reach because you can now gauge how much preparation you will need to acquire it. The same will apply if you got a score of 5.5 or 4.5, you now have a clear and definitive starting place.
You can now start preparing by hiring an English tutor, which by the way you can easily find online, purchasing some online courses, and start studying for your score based on your level. This way you will know exactly how much effort you need to put in to get your desired outcome, work hard and work diligently.