เตรียมสอบ IELTS ตอนที่ 1
เดือนหน้า เพื่อนเราชวนไปสอบ IELTS แหละ
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วันนี้ เริ่มจากบทความเรื่อง "Right Preparation is essential"
โดย อ. David Park กันนะคะ
"Right Preparation is essential"
If you’re like the large majority of Thai candidates doing the academic version of Ielts (International English Language Testing System), you’re aiming to get an overall band score of 6.5 or 7.0.
To get an overall band score of 6.5, you’ll need three band sixes and at least one band seven in the individual language skills (listening, reading writing and speaking).
A score of band seven, in any lan language skill, represents an excellent level of English.To get band seven, you must have:
Well - developed Engilsh grammar, vocabulary and language skills;
good knowledge of test-taking strategies; and
well - organized test practice to develop your test - taking skills.
Unfortunately, most Thai candidates don’ t get what they wanrt. In 2006, 14 percent of Thai candidates gained an overall score of 6.5 (the lowest score allowed for study in most master’s programs), and only nine percent achieved a higher score. Around 80 percent of Thai candidates got an overall score between 4.5 and 6.0, with an average of 5.7.
This is well below what candidates need to do postgraduate studies at overseas universities.
Why is there a gap between the score candidates want and the one the actually receive?
The candidates often of ten wrongly believe their English is good enough for university studies.
One reason for this belief is they have managed to pass English tests at high school or university. However, there’s usually a huge difference between the level of English needed to pass at Thai schools and the level of English needed to study at foreign universities.
Confident that they already have a satisfactory level of English, around 80 percent of Thai candidates do not organize Ielts preparation. Their preparation is restricted to reading test brochures and various websites. Others may briefly try out some practice activities in a course book.
Lack of preparation
Of course, there are candidates who recognize that formal, organized preparation would help them. Unfortunately, candidates frequently underestimate how much time they’ ll need to prepare.
Candidates usually decide to study in another country a year or more before their overseas course starts. They may spend months talking to different university agents about course options.
Despite that, most Thai candidates only start preparing for Ielts less than four or five months before taking the exam. However, the preparation time they actually need is often much longer.
Research has found that around 300 hours of full – time study is needed to lift a candidate’s overall band score from 5.5 to 6.0. However, even more study time is needed to move the average candidate from 6.0 to 6.5 to 6.5 or form 6.5 to 7.0.
With an average score of 5.7, the average Thai candidate would need seven to nine months of full – time study (18 hours a week) to get an overall score of 6.5.
The best way to do well in Ielts is to develop your overall ability to use Engilsh. In other words, you need to develop your grammar and vocabulary, as well as your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Sadly, however, too many candidates think they just need to do as many practice tests as they can. This is not the best way to prepare for the exam.
If you don’ t develop your grammar, vocabulary language skills, your band score will not change. It won’ t matter how many Ielts practice tests you do, nor how many test – taking skills courses you attend. There will be no significant improvement in your overall Ielts score without basic language development.
Stages of prepartion
There are two preparation stages.
Stage 1 : language development. First improve your ability to communicate in English by working on your grammar, vocabulary and the four language skills.
Stage 2 : Test – taking skills development. Once your English is at a high enough level, concentrate on learning the many test – taking strategies and skills. Doing plenty of practice tests in the second stage will help make the test – taking methods automatic.
How to prepare
Not getting the band score you want can be an unpleasant surprise. Fortunately, you can avoid bitter disappointment and costly delays. To do well, follow these three steps.
Step 1 : Establish your current level of English. Get your language level assessed objectively. Take expert advice from people who specialize in Ielts.
Step 2 : Allow enough time. Realistic planning is essential. The sooner you get your language level assessed, the sooner you can start appropriate preparation for the lest.
University agents will inform you that you must take the test as part of the university application process. However, they may not make it clear enough just how long it can take to get your language skills up to university – standard. It takes much effort to increase your proficiency level.
In fact, most university agents are not able to determine how much preparation time you’ ll need. You should take the initiative and get your language assessed by Ielts experts when you start talking to university agents.
Step 3 : Have an appropriate preparation program. To maximize your chances of success, your program of studies must include a mix of :
- Language development (grammar, vocabulary and the four language skills).
- Test – taking skills development.
- Private study. There are many things you can do. For example, read English newspapers and newspapers and magazines, develop and review your vocabulary, listen to English language TV and revise your course work.
- Practice. It’s essential to English in order to improve your English. Take every opportunity to use English both inside and outside the classroom.
The most effective way to prepare for Ielts is to do a mix of private study and custom – designed preparation courses. Focus on the development of language skills and test – taking skills.
|Create Date : 08 ธันวาคม 2551
|Last Update : 8 ธันวาคม 2551 22:36:24 น.
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