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IELTS Success – Studying Academic English at a School

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Xuất bản 14/08/2015
What's it like to study for IELTS at a school? I'll take you to a top language school in London and show you real IELTS classes, as well as speak to students and staff at the school. You might be surprised to learn, as I was, that it's not just about studying for the IELTS itself. More general academic English skills and classes on how to live and interact in an English-speaking country are also extremely important. The London School of English on YouTube: TRANSCRIPT: Hi, there. We get a lot of questions on the site about all the different exams you can do with English. So we've decided to come along to a very good English school this morning to ask Shirley, who's in charge of exams and qualifications at the London School of English, about the different exams you can take, and Monica, who is a successful candidate of the IELTS exam. So Shirley, there are so many different qualifications. Why is the IELTS, in particular, one that many people try and do? Because it's the gateway to university. IELTS is the exam that you need to get into university and for further study. There are other exams that you can take, but IELTS is by far the most popular. And if you have a level of 6.5 or 7, you can go on to do whatever it is you want to do in your life. So getting that exam can be very tricky. So I think probably one of the reasons you get so many questions is because people are constantly looking for ideas and help and tips on how to get the best out of their exam. Sure. Monica, how did you find doing the IELTS? Did it take you a long time? Did you have to study very hard to do this exam? And how did you find it easier by coming here to the school? I study almost six months IELTS in Japan. But I couldn't get my IELTS score in my country. So that's why I decided to come here. And then -- yes. I can say my English skill was improved a lot in this school. So -- and then, this experience has contributed to getting into university. And did I get it right, Shirley, that there are two different kinds of IELTS? There's academic and general. General, yes. By far, the most popular one is the academic one. But if you want to -- if you need an exam for visa purposes or for immigration purposes, you can use a general IELTS, which is a slightly different exam. Actually, the writing paper is different, and the reading paper is different. But the speaking and the listening are the same. On the general English exam, the writing is much more about the kind of writing that you would have to do if you were living in a country, so it's letters. And the reading is more about understanding life around you. The type of IELTS that you probably get questions about is academic. And the writing is a sample of the kind of writing you can expect to produce in university and the same with the reading. It's the kind of text that you will need to access. And they are very difficult. But they're designed so that they can test every level from a beginner right through to advanced. So you really need to understand how to tackle the text because there will always be a question -- if you're a level 6 or a level 7, there will always be a question that you can't answer because only a level 9 can answer everything. And if you don't know how to tackle these texts, it can really feel like an impossible task. But it's not. You just need to know what you're doing. It starts from -- well, you've got -- a level 1 would be a beginner. And a level 9 is native speaker competence, so somebody who's completely comfortable with the language, and everywhere in between. So if you're looking at what you want for university, it will generally start around a level 6. And a level 6 will get you into a lot of universities. But you'll find your course quite stressful because it's pretty low. Actually, it will get you in the door, but if you want to really succeed, you need more than a 6. And I would say you aim for a 6.5 or a 7 to feel really comfortable. And it's not always IELTS that will get you there because often, you need more general English. You need to understand more about English in general before you can understand the academic side. If you study purely IELTS, you'll never get anywhere. You have to study IELTS and general English side by side. Yeah. So you've studied at this school for a while now. You've obviously become much better in your language skills. But are there other things that you've learned? Maybe you've learned thinking skills, analytical skills that have helped you?
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