A common question that many would-be IELTS test takers from Singapore are curious about is whether or not they can prepare for the IELTS exam using only free IELTS resources and practice materials.
Be Wary Of IELTS Free Preparation Materials.
There is an old saying that goes ‘it’s too good to be true’ and it’s often true. There is often some underlying reason why certain IELTS resources and materials are offered free of cost, and most would be test-takers are unaware of this.
There are far too many fake free resources such as badly written sample answers. Many of these answers are themselves riddled with grammatical errors and branded as band 8 or our English 9 model answers.
Using such inauthentic free materials can give the incorrect impression about the level of difficulty of the IELTS exam or give you an over-inflated sense of your English Language capabilities. However, there are some ways in which you can use some of these free resources to help with your IELTS test preparation.
In this article, we will take a look at how you can effectively use free IELTS resources as part of the preparation for the exam.
Recent IELTS Test Questions
There are plenty of websites which claim to provide authentic recent writing and speaking questions as reported by test takers. You can use these questions to get a clearer idea about the common core topics that are usually asked about in this part of the test. collect vocabulary and phrases related to these topics, so that you are not stumped if you do get asked about them on test day.
Reading Practice Tests
Many sites also offer reading tests with answers. Not only can you use these passages to practice skills such as skimming and scanning, but you can also use the passages to get a good amount of uncommon vocabulary. Most IELTS reading passages, especially the academic ones contain very high-level vocabulary. By even reading just a few paragraphs, you are sure to come across a few linguistical gems. Remember to categorise these words by topic, so that they will be easier to revise later one.
IELTS Preparation Mock Tests
In an effort to lure potential students to find out more about their course, many institutes offer free practice tests with an in-depth analysis of scores at the end of the test. A mock test can give you an idea about the timings, structure and level of difficulty of an actual mock test. you can also get an accurate idea about your current level of proficiency.
Another added benefit of taking an online mock test is that you will be able to observe how the computer-based IELTS test is displayed on test day. Therefore it is crucial to make sure that the free mock test you take, actually mimics exact IELTS test conditions.
General Test Information
Many online courses also have a sister website or blog, which also includes more general information about the IELTS exam. You can use such information to get an idea about the IELTS test, its format and content. You can also judge by the way such information is presented if opting for enrolling with this organisation is worthwhile or not. But as I mentioned before, there is usually a reason this information is free and most IELTS prep organisations withhold their most valuable bits of information, which is only available to paying students or customers.