IELTS Preparation Tips for a Postgraduate Degree

Ahmed Abumughessib
Operated by the British Council, IDP, and Cambridge English Language Assessment, the International English Language Testing System, IELTS, is a global test that measures your English language proficiency. With more than three million students taking the test annually and more than 11000 organizations accepting it, IELTS is the most famous English Testing program in the world.

In this blog, I will tell you how IELTS will help you further your postgraduate education, how to get the score you are looking for, and the mistakes you should avoid when taking the test.

The Importance of IELTS for a Postgraduate Degree

If you are looking to continue your academic journey and seeking a postgraduate degree, then IELTS is a crucial step for you. When you apply for a Master's or PhD degree, the first thing the admission committee will look at is your English level. If you have bad English test results, you will be labelled as unqualified immediately (without even looking at the rest of your application).

On the other hand, good English test results will help you pass the selection process successfully (sometimes even if your academic grades are not the best). Of course, some universities and institutions don’t require IELTS and some other institutions may accept a low IELTS score, but the vast majority of institutions require a high score. 

What Score Is Required for a Postgraduate Degree?

Well, the score really depends on many things such as the university, the field-of-study, and the degree, but mostly an overall score of 6.5 is required with all the section scores above 6. In a few cases, some universities may accept a 6 overall score. Also, some universities may require an overall score of 7.0 or 7.5. 

How Long Should The Preparation Time Be?

The time needed to prepare for the test varies from one person to another. It also depends on your English level, the score you are looking for, and how much time you are willing to spend studying daily. But as a rule of thumb, 4-8 weeks with 3 hours of study daily is more than enough to get an overall score of 6.5 if you have an average English level. 

General Tips for The IELTS Exam:

1. Don't take the test too soon

First of all, the IELTS exam score is valid only for two years, so if you are not planning to do your graduate study soon, You should wait. I saw some students had to take the test again after the first score had expired

2. Take a course

At first glance, it looks like an obvious tip, but many people don’t take any courses and just look at some tests and then they take the exam. The problem is, although this is an English proficiency test, there are many tricks that you need to know about. For example, in the writing text, you need to express some cultural exposure by incorporating some idioms in your writing. If you don’t, your score will be affected even if your writing is perfect.

3. Take a trial test

Although you can take the test as many times as you want until you get the score you need, it will cost you $250-$300 every time. So, a trial test is the best way to know if you are prepared for the exam or not and what score you should expect.

4. Improve your general English

Remember that IELTS is an English language proficiency exam. So, developing your English language skills (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, reading skills, etc) is as important as studying for the exam itself. 

5. Don't leave a long gap after a course

If you take a course, don’t wait more than three months to take the exam because you will forget most of what you’ve studied anyway. So, leave a reasonable amount of time between the course and exam, not too much and not too little.

6. Take the right test for the UK

If you are going to study in the UK, note that there are two types of IELTS exam that you can take. The IELTS Academic and the IELTS for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) Academic. If your country requires a visa to study in the Uk, then you should take the UKVI Academic exam. If you don’t need a visa, then you just take the Academic exam.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, IELTS is an exam designed to test your English language proficiency, and It’s run by the British Council and IDP. The test is accepted by more than 11000 institutes and is taken by more than 3 million people annually.

It is extremely important for students seeking postgraduate education, and it can decide whether your application is accepted or not. Most institutions require an overall score of 6.5 and not less than a 6.0 score in each section.

To get this score, there are many tips that you should follow: Take a course, take a trial test, and develop your English language skills.

Ahmed Abumughessib

Ahmed graduated from the physics department at IUG two years ago. after working as a program assistant at an NGO for a couple of years, he is now working as a freelance writer. He likes to read, run, and play video games in his spare time. Contact Ahmed through Upwork.
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