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So what is the IELTS exam?
If you're an Australian, it's not surprising that you're not sure what this exam is. IELTS, as well as PTE, Cambridge and Trinity are all different types of English exams that international people can take, for a variety of reasons. Some international students need to take an academic exam to apply for higher education like a diploma or Master in an English-speaking country. Others may need a general, or business English certificate to apply for jobs.
Which you choose generally depends on where you're looking to go. In the Australian context, IELTS is probably the best option. It allows you to apply for different types of visas and can shorten the wait time for getting into a university course in Australia. These tests ultimately allow students of every level to show their English skills in writing, speaking, listening and reading, for both general and academic English. The IELTS test is also useful as your score will be accepted in an international context, so if you find your plans change, you still have a relevant English certificate.
Students receive a score from 0-9 on their IELTS certificate, and to attain the best score possible on the test, it's important to take some sort of preparation course. There's a range of options available, from online tutorials and practice to classes in an English school. Students can find in-person preparation courses across Australia. These courses have different durations, from weeks to years and fees can be anywhere from $500 to a full $4,000, depending on the quality and location of the school and the duration of the course.
In any type of preparation course, you will learn about a range of aspects of the English language like:
Courses can vary based on a lot of factors. First, the content covered in the course delivery will depend on the type of IELTS test you're preparing for. There are two main types, General Training and Academic. The Listening and Speaking tests are the same, but the Reading and Writing are a little different. Here's a quick breakdown of the two differ:
Another factor is the duration of the lessons, which will depend on the student's level at the beginning of the course and the level they need to achieve. If a student already has advanced skills, they may simply need a few weeks of study to learn the format and delivery of the IELTS test. However, for lower-level students, more time will be required to both improve their English skills and learn about the test. The minimum score required for an Australian visa is 4.5 (a mid-B1 on the Cambridge scale) and to apply for most diploma, honours and master's courses at Australian higher education institutions, the minimum is 6.5-7 (a low C1 on the Cambridge scale).
If you want to take your preparation course in Australia, the student visa requires that you can prove at least a full 20 hours of class time per week. In this case, classes usually last for about four hours a day, five days a week and the fees can be quite high. This type of course generally involves a high intensity of study, and you need to be ready to commit large portions of time to improve your language skills as well as possess great time management skills. A full preparation course will allow you to not only achieve a great score on their exam but also to feel confident about their English language knowledge and abilities.
Not all students are able to commit to such an intense course for their IELTS preparation but luckily, there is another option. Many private tutors can offer English classes, both online and in person. There are quite a few advantages to this style of learning. Firstly, private classes are often much more flexible in terms of time and location. You can book lessons with your tutor at any time of the day, meaning you are free to learn and work when you need, allowing for better time management. If you are in Australia, you can find a tutor to come to you, or for international candidates, you can take classes online with a native English speaker from Australia.
Another advantage is that the delivery of classes is individualised to fit each student. This is especially important in this type of course, as students in a large classroom will have very different skills. If you're confident in Reading and Writing, but really need help with Listening, your private tutor can organise more of this type of practice. This more focused course delivery will allow anyone to learn exactly what they need to get a great score on their IELTS test.
A final advantage is that one-on-one courses offer much more opportunity for feedback and flexibility. If there's something you don't like about your classes or something you specifically want to focus on, you'll be more comfortable in telling your tutor, because you will know them much better.
If private education sounds like the best option for you, check out some of the online tutor profiles on Superprof. You'll find information about fees, their years of experience, feedback from other students and how to book lessons.
The average price of IELTS lessons is $25.
However, the price of lessons will depend on a number of factors:
91% of teachers also offer their first lesson for free.
With the help of a personal IELTS teacher you can learn IELTS quickly and in total confidence.
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