Are you wasting your time on sub-standard IELTS training? Most IELTS training is delivered by companies who have no real IELTS expertise. A typical English teacher, even a native speaker, or those with a high IELTS score are not experts, only trained IELTS examiners are!
I am not going to spend too much time talking about the reasons why qualified examiners are the only people who fully understand the IELTS speaking and writing tests. This has been covered in a previous post.
Most IELTS trainers are not examiners, so they don't fully understand what is required, and the simple changes that can be made to make a significant improvement in the test result. Instead, often the focus is on practising answering past questions. Many training organisations have people waiting outside the test centres, to ask their students about the questions they had to answer.
The thinking is that if their students can memorise correct responses to specific types of question and ideally, the exact ones they have practised, they will do better in the test. This is especially the case with speaking! The big problem with this training strategy is that it does not work!
IELTS speaking and writing are communication tests. They are not about looking for the correct answer. The message is much less important than the method of delivery. Consequently, memorising the message, without perfecting how it is presented, is just wasting your time, and to be frank the examiners time.
Many candidates get very stressed before and during the tests. However, I can let you into a secret; it can be very stressful for examiners also! Day after day of reading and listening to question responses, which are so obviously rehearsed. From my own personal experience, reading a well-written answer or having a real discussion with a candidate, even if not perfect, was a refreshing experience, that made the task worthwhile. Listening and reading endless identical, obviously rehearsed responses, had the opposite effect.
Examiners are looking for natural responses, even if factually incorrect! Unless you are a top professional actor, you are not going to fool them. Remember we are human, and if we are frustrated, have a tendency not to be as generous in our marking, as we might be!
If you are learning to memorise questions and answers, you are wasting your time on sub-standard IELTS training!
Keep the examiner happy, if you want the best possible score.
DO NOT DELIVER MEMORISED RESPONSES.
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