Tuesday, January 17, 2017

5 Effective Study Habits for IELTS Review

Preparing for the IELTS is no minor feat. Since most test takers have other commitments, such as work and studies, reviewing for the exam is a challenging undertaking. Some examinees enroll in review courses while others engage in self-study. However, regardless of their chosen preparation arrangement, test takers must practice organized and time-efficient strategies to maximize their review effectively. 

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Here are five effective study habits that can help you accomplish an outstanding band score: 

1. Avoid or remove distractions.
As the proverb goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Remove all unnecessary objects from your study space. Notes from unrelated subjects, unfinished paperworks and other reminders of previous commitments will only distract you. Unless your review materials are stored in your gadget, put away your electronic devices. This can prevent interruptions such as text messages and eliminate the temptation to check social media updates.  Moreover, organizing your study space tends to have the same effect on your mind.
2. Come up with a "system" to organize information.
Preparing for the IELTS examination requires 100% focus. Examine the four components of the test and their coverage to narrow down your study. Sort all relevant topics that you encounter into indexed files and make sure to compile related subjects together. If you have time to spare, writing notes can help you retain information better. Having an organized system when studying can prevent loss of information and minimize the time spent when backtracking.
3. Establish a schedule (and follow it).
Consider your other commitments. Are you still studying? Are you currently employed? Keep a calendar and take note of your busy days before setting a reasonable study schedule. If you are also taking training courses in an IELTS center, create a timetable in a way that would complement your other review efforts. Make a checklist of your goals and strive to accomplish your set schedule.
4. Develop "memory devices" (mnemonics, graphic organizer, etc.).
 Explore memory devices and determine which one works best for you. Some people respond well to mnemonics which involves the creative manipulation of information into something that is easier to remember. For example, the word mnemonic for the seven coordinating conjunctions is FANBOYS which translates to for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so.

Graphic organizers are also effective study tools. Develop a visual representation of your lesson: connect similar key points, gather related topics and assign memorable images to difficult subjects.  It does not matter if you draw pictures or construct maps as long as it will help you remember your lessons better.
5. Apply what you have reviewed through exercises.
The IELTS examination assesses your English proficiency when it comes to listening, reading, writing and speaking. Focusing only on understanding the concepts of the language is not enough. Apply what you have reviewed.
Test your listening skills by watching English movies and practice your speaking skills with your peers. Evaluate your reading and writing skills by answering mock tests. If you are attending review courses in an IELTS center, polish your language skills by interacting with your instructor and classmates.

Preparing for the IELTS exam is similar to reviewing for university exams. It is just that the stakes are considerably higher and the results can open countless opportunities overseas. Some enroll in review centers like IELTS Davao, Cebu, Makati and Manila to improve their chances of getting a high band score while others prefer self-study.

Developing effective study habits such as removing of distractions, maintaining a review schedule and applying these lessons can significantly boost a test taker’s IELTS results. The personalized organization of topics and usage of memory devices can also improve exam outcome.   

"Getting Organised for Study." SkillsYouNeed. Accessed November 18, 2016.

“Memory Techniques for Exam Preparation: 10 Astonishing Ways to Harness the Power of Your Brain.” Oxford Royale Academy. June 03, 2014. Accessed November 18, 2016.

Purdy, Kevin. "Top 10 Memory Hacks." Lifehacker. April 30, 2008. Accessed November 18, 2016.

Rocci, Kevin. "13 Tips for Staying Organized While Studying for Your Test." Magoosh GMAT Blog. November 11, 2013. Accessed November 18, 2016.

YourDictionary, By. "Examples of Mnemonics." YourDictionary. Accessed November 18, 2016.

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