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IELTS is a globally recognized exam and scoring system that is accepted by top universities around the world. It tests students on their English skills in four key areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The IELTS test consists of two main parts – the Academic Module and the General Training Module. When you apply to a university in an English-speaking country overseas from Nigeria or anywhere in the world, it will usually specify which module you need to take.
You can take the IELTS test if you are a Nigerian who wants to study or work in another country, or if you want to immigrate there. In order to do this, you have to have high scores on these exams so that your chances of getting into a university or job are much higher.
If you need help preparing for your IELTS exam in Nigeria, this post contains some tips from experts who understand what it takes to write your test and pass without any hassles.
How to prepare for IELTS In Nigeria
Here are the things that you need to do in order to get the IELTS exam results you need.
Prepare yourself as best as you can –
This is the most important part of the whole exam. As mentioned earlier, studying does not always help you to pass the exam. Because IELTS is a difficult exam that is also expensive, you need to study as hard as you can to pass at once.
You need to put in the effort and dedicate yourself to study for as long as it takes. This is one of the main reasons why many people fail to pass the IELTS exam. Make sure you know the standard of English required in the country where you want to study.
Depending on which IELTS test you are going to take, you need to know the English language used in the country where you want to study. This is called the standard level.
Take Practice Tests
Identifying your weaknesses is one of the most important strategies one can adopt while preparing for any exam. The IELTS exam in Nigeria is not an exception to this rule. Identifying your weaknesses while preparing for your IELTS exam in Nigeria will require that you guide your preparation by taking practice tests.
Also, in the process of identifying your weaknesses, you are also identifying your core strengths in order to build on them and create a good foundation for the examination.
If after identifying your weaknesses, you still struggle to correct them, then you will definitely need an expert in the IELTS exam to guide you through the journey.
Be Familiar With The Test Formats
Understanding the test format is key to passing the IELTS exam. Taking lots of practice tests will help you to be very familiar with the test format.
You should know that there are four (4) parts of the IELTS exam;
This section of the IELTS exam comprises 4 sections each with 10 questions and it takes 40 minutes to complete this session. 30 minutes for the test proper, and 10 minutes for transferring your answers to an answer sheet.
The first 2 sections cover topics surrounding our daily activities and social situations.
The 3rd and 4th sections are about educational and training situations.
At the end, of the Listening test, every student is allowed to write down their answers in a sheet for the next 10 minutes.
The Reading Section of the IELTS exam consists of 3 sections all containing about 2,150 to 2,750 words. There are different kinds of question formats in this section like; multiple-choice, short answer questions, labeling diagrams, identifying information, identifying writer’s views, completing a summary from words gotten from the text, and matching information heading and features in the text.
In this section, there is a penalty for incorrect spellings (you will not get the full mark if you get a spelling incorrectly). The Reading section takes 60 minutes to complete.
In the writing section of the IELTS exam in Nigeria, you are expected to provide descriptions for diagrams, maps, charts, provide your own point of view, or write letters and short essays using your own words.
This section lasts for 60 minutes, and in the course of this, you are expected to write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes in the first task. The second task requires that you write at least 250 words for about 40 minutes.
There is a penalty if your answers are off track and completely unrelated to the story or if the answers you provide are too short.
Speaking is usually one of the most challenging sections for many who are too shy or nervous to air their views. This is because it is a face-to-face interview with an examiner.
But the questions are usually very straightforward and require no special knowledge or information. You may be asked questions about your home, family, work, studies, life, hobbies, and interests in the first section.
The second section is where you are asked to talk about a particular topic and you are given 1 minute to organize your thoughts and then you are expected to talk for about 1 to 2 minutes.
The last section is usually a discussion between you and the examiner on a topic related to the theme you talked about in the second section.
It is only by practice that you can get acquainted with all that is expected from you during your IELTS exam in Nigeria.
Don’t Get Choked Up By Time
Speed is a necessary element you need to pass the IELTS exam. The more familiar you get with the test structure, the better your chances are to complete the IELTS test within the stipulated time.
IELTS exam preparation is best done under timed conditions. So you must try to simulate similar scenarios which you expect to come up in the exam so that you can be well accustomed to the pace of the test.
You must note that each section of the IELTS test has a time limit allocated to it, and you can only have the time given for each module. You cannot carry over a time saved up from one module to the next.
Develop Your Command Of The English Language
You must be able to speak with fluency and coherence in direct conversation. A mistake that most Nigerians make while preparing for their IELTS exam is to focus just on the practice tests. But you need to immerse yourself in English by being versatile and getting acquainted with new vocabulary.
You can do this by reading subject matters that interest you in English on online magazines, blogs, etc.
One expert clearly stated that he had to start keeping a journal to improve his writing skills and self-expression. This can be one good way to improve your command of English.
Having a good command of English involves using appropriate, direct, and assertive English terms when writing.
Get As Many Study Resources As You Can Lay Your Hands On
There are many study resources both online and offline that are promising for anyone who wants to ace his/her IELTS in Nigeria. But knowing which one is genuine is paramount to making a good decision on which to use for your practice sessions.
The best study materials for IELTS in Nigeria are those ones provided by the center themselves, and people who have found an effective way to pass IELTS in Nigeria at once.
Some of these resources and study materials include;
The Official IELTS Practice Materials
The official IELTS practice Materials has a book component that contains practice tests for Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing, both for the Academic and General Training Category. It also has a DVD that contains a Listening test for candidates to practice and footage videos of students taking the speaking test.
This can serve as a tool for simulating the IELTS exam before facing the main exam properly.
IELTS Preparation Course and Training Centers
Another good way of finding assistance with the test preparation is to register with any of the local test centers in Nigeria and other language schools. You can visit your local IELTS test center to find out more about this.
Get The Official IELTS Mobile App
Nothing beats feeling relaxed while preparing for a major exam. It gives you the confidence you need to face your exams because you have every information you need at the spinal cord level.
One way to achieve this is by practicing using your mobile phone even during your leisure times like in the bus, in the restrooms, even while taking an evening walk. You can be able to do this by downloading the IELTS mobile app on PlayStore or Appstore.
Try And Feel Relaxed Before The Exam Day
Take time to let go of anxiety before your IELTS exam day. On the day before the exam, you can take your time to refresh your memory of the test rules and format. This will keep you as relaxed as possible.
Ensure you comprehend the rules for the test.
Get enough sleep and rest a night before your exam
Plan your journey to the exam center and make sure you are familiar with the location of the test center. If possible lodge in a hotel or guest house a few days before your exam so that you can get better acquainted with the area.
IELTS Exam In Nigeria: Other Tips from experts
The IELTS expert team, which is based in London, provides free support and advice to help you improve your scores and prepare for better results. IELTS Test Advisors offer free testing support over the phone, email, and Skype. They are available 24/7 to help with any questions you may have and they can provide detailed feedback to help you develop the skills and strategies that will ensure you achieve the best possible scores.
Here are some of the benefits of IELTS exam training provided by the IELTS experts:
- An improved IELTS score.
- Faster route to studying or working in Australia or Canada.
- Free IELTS exams and entry-level courses.
- An increased range of job opportunities.
- Easy-to-use IELTS practice tests.
- Test Track facility to help with revision.
What you need to do before the exam
IELTS Preparation experts share their tips on how to succeed in this exam:
Come Prepared: It is very important to plan ahead, and it is advisable to go through the material before the exam. It is difficult to revise everything on the day of the test. Also, you need time to reflect on what you have learned and adapted to the exam environment.
Do Not Forget Anything: Even though there is an option to enter a study program online, you will still have to take the IELTS test on the day. Make sure to take your time before the test to make sure you are 100% prepared. The study program has timed videos and you will have to follow the same procedure as for the exam.
Exam Day Tips: IELTS is a low-stress test and not too tough. No matter how long you have studied, the key thing is to study harder, prepare for it like it’s your last exam. You’ll be in the exam hall and need to concentrate on the process.
You should be wearing comfortable clothes that will help you concentrate. Make sure your ears are active and healthy. You must also be wearing proper identification that includes your passport.
Don’t bring any electronic device with you to the test center. And be as relaxed as possible.
My Experience With The IELTS Exam In Nigeria: By Ademiluyi David
The story I am about to share is how I got a 7.5 Band score on my IELTS Exam in Nigeria on my first try even though I am terrible with English and had only 2 weeks to prepare.
Earlier this year, I started preparing to relocate to Canada from Nigeria and one of the first steps I had to take was to write the English Exam otherwise known as IELTS [International English Language Testing System]
Without passing the IELTS exam in Nigeria, it would be truly difficult, if not impossible to complete the relocation process
In order to get a high enough point for my Canada relocation, I needed to get a minimum of 7.0 band score for the IELTS exam which was kind of scary.
It was scary because I have heard many stories of smart people who had to take the test 3 or more times before they could even score 7 out of 9 which is the total (I actually know a woman that wrote IELTS in Nigeria NINE times before she scored what she was looking for)
It is true that one can take the test as many times as possible but each test would cost N75,000 each time.
I couldn’t imagine dropping N75,000 for an exam only to check your results and discover that you didn’t even get an average score.
Another reason why I was scared had to do with my poor background in English.
Throughout my school days, I never for once passed English.
The highest I ever had was a lucky C during my SSCE Exam
My fear of failure was so strong that I almost wanted to cancel the whole relocation plan
But after a while, I remembered one of my core principles – which is that no matter what I want to learn or do, there are people who have already spent much of their life mastering that thing and succeeding at it.
All you have to do is find those people, and study them… or get coached by them.
And that is exactly what I did
I started spending time on various websites and forums to find a proven “shortcut or formula” that someone like me could use.
Many of the strategies I came across seemed to be too complex and required a lot of time.
It wasn’t until 2 weeks to the exam that I finally discovered a “high-score formula” from a book written by a Girl from Cambodia
In the book, she narrated how she was able to come up with this high-score formula after writing the IELTS exam 8 times.
And also gave several feedbacks that proved that this high-score formula has already been used successfully by many people all over the world to get a high-IELTS score.
Even in places like India and China where their English isn’t so good.
So, I bought all the recommended materials about the book and tried it.
And It Worked For Me Too…
Why Does the High-Score Formula Work So Well?
The high-score formula works effectively because of 2 reasons
- It is a straightforward and easy formula that doesn’t require a lot of time for you to prepare for the exam (HINT: Many people fail the IELTS exam due to all the stressful and time-consuming methods around)
- It helps you to focus on the main areas that get you high results in each section of the IELTS exam (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking)
This high-score system also makes it easy to answer any question you are asked regardless of whether you know the answer or not.
With this formula, you don’t have to spend hours upon hours at study centers like a lot of people do to prepare for their IELTS exams in Nigeria.
You do not need to spend N100,000 or more to hire a tutor who probably never wrote a single IETLS exam before in his life
Wishing you the best in your IELTS exams!
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