(This post was originally published on 10th July 2015. It was added to my blog by taking permission from the writer. Thank you, Dr. Ayaz Arif, for allowing me to add your post to this blog)
I will share my experience so that everyone can benefit.
1. The choice. I went for AEO instead of the British Council because I had heard from seniors that the AEO guys are lenient in scoring. I had no concrete proof of that but just rumours. But those rumours were enough to convince me to go for AEO and I guess my choice paid off.
2. Deciding for the prep. The key for me, and the friends who prepared with me, was to not complicate things. We prepared for 10 days. On and off and very little everyday. We did one or two passages and a listening everyday. We would discuss writing topics and discuss what to do with a certain task 1. That was of immense benefit to us. Each one of us did one or two writing practice. The rest was all just discussing the topics and what we would have to write and how we would structure it. And we didn’t practice speaking at all.
3. The speaking part. Be calm and be confident. The examiner is not interested in what you say and certainly doesn’t care for fancy words although they carry a considerable advantage. However, failure to produce such words is NOT paramount to failure. You need to express yourself correctly and confidently. Grammatical mistakes WILL be punished.
4. The listening part. Focus. Focus. And focus. Focus on what? The questions. If you don’t know what to look for, you might never find it in the conversation you listen to. Stay ahead of the conversation for that. Study the questions well so that you can find what you’re looking for and answer accordingly.
5. The reading part. Time management and technique are the keys. Stay ahead of the clock. If you have more time, it means you can concentrate more and get better answers to your questions. The technique is to read the passage very quickly. Identify the points which you think you might get tested on. This will help you when you attempt answering your questions as you’ll be able to identify the places where you’ll have to look for your answers.
6. The scary writing. There is a video on YouTube which can be found easily. This would be for task 1. The video can be searched for just by typing “IELTS writing task 1 Adam”. It’s a fifteen minutes video and it speaks for itself. About task 2, we studied a small book by Ryan Higgins. What he basically does is: he takes your finger and shows you how to write and what to write. He’ll divide your essay into 15 sentences. I’ll leave task 2 to him because I shouldn’t even attempt to do what he has done so well.
Stay focused. Stay determined. And go for it. All the best.