Fears and Apprehensions Related to IELTS

Fears and Apprehensions Related to IELTS

IELTS Exam Preparation Bangalore

Generally, not many people have a liking for IELTS exams. IELTS Exams tend to make people anxious and uncomfortable. They challenge a student’s confidence and stress him out. In few but extreme scenarios, exams even lead to people getting panicked and lose the capacity to think objectively.

IELTS Exams is also one of such exams that make some people anxious which causes problem for them. There are many aspects of IELTS Exams that can be daunting to answer unless a candidate knows how to handle them. People get scared and apprehensive of the unfamiliar aspects, while the solution is to get known with all the “scary” features of the IELTS exams. Once a candidate is successful in weeding out the element of surprise from IELTS Exams, these fears will fade away.

Most of the candidates, generally the ones who are appearing for the IELTS exam (General Training or Academic) for the very first time, do have certain fears and apprehensions regarding various aspects of the IELTS test. We shall discuss such issues in order to remove any type of doubt, apprehension, dilemma, suspicion or hesitation from the candidate’s mind before he or she decides to sit for the IELTS exam.

Here are the 5 aspects of IELTS Exams people are most apprehensive about IELTS Exams:

1. What if I miss track of sound recording being played and consequently the link of question and answers in the Listening section?

IELTS ExamsThis is an apprehension of losing attention and focus from the sound recording being played in the IELTS Exams Listening section. Most of the IELTS Exams candidate, when asked about one thing they fear most in the Listening section, simply said that they were afraid to lose track of the sound recording being played and hence, miss answers.

To end this apprehension, candidates are suggested to practice the listening section as much as possible. Practising not only boosts up a candidate’s confidence, but also teaches him how to recover even if he has missed a question or two; how to carry further and move on to next question. Practice identifies a candidate’s week spots, tasks which he finds most difficult, and where exactly the points are usually lost. Paying extra efforts in learning how to answer those tasks not only saves precious points but also improves the overall band score for the candidate.

Some additional tips are given below to address the fear of losing track of sound recording:

  1. Before the sound recording for each of the tasks start, candidates should read the questions for that task carefully. This will help the candidate to follow the sound recording and spot the answers as the questions proceed
  2. Once the sound recording of a particular task gets over, candidate should look ahead and read the questions for the next task instead of guessing missed questions in the last task
  3. Candidates may be asked to write down words that would be spelled out in the sound recording. For this, a candidate should have proper knowledge of the English alphabet and its pronunciation. For example, the letter ‘H’ will be pronounced as ‘Aitch’
  4. Candidate should listen attentively for words that indicate a particular stage of the recording he or she is listening to. For example, ‘To start with’, ‘Furthermore’, ‘In brief’, etc. These words can help to identify which question the recording is referring to
  5. It is recommended to the candidate that while he is listening to the sound recording, he should cross out options that don’t fit. This makes it easier for him to stumble on the correct answer
  6. In case, a candidate is not able to find answer to a particular question, then he should leave it and focus on the next question. Instead, the student should attempt the unanswered questions at the end, if there is some time left

2. What if I don’t have enough time to answer my questions in Reading & Writing Sections?

For many candidates of the IELTS exams, the most common apprehension is, to not finish the answers on time while answering the Reading and Writing sections. The best way to deal with this apprehension is to keep a check on the time and manage it carefully. A candidate is given several passages to answer. Hence he should take care not devote more than required time on any one passage.

One of the effective time management methods is to divide and allot the time to each of the tasks in a given section in the very beginning of the test and then decide when to start working on each passage. Even if the candidate is falling short of completing his answer, he should move on to the next passage. Candidate should take it as a damage control mechanism – that is, even if some questions are missed, it will make sure most of the questions will be answered.

Some additional tips are given below to address the fear of falling short of time to answer the questions:

  1. In case, a candidate is not able to find answer to a particular question, then he should leave it and focus on the next question. Otherwise, he can end up wasting too much time on that question, which may result in very little time for remaining questions. This may further result in candidate not able to answer questions which are comparatively easier due to insufficient time. Hence, student should attempt the unanswered questions at the end, if there is some time left
  2. Candidate should underline key words as he proceeds to read the passage. For example, if a reading passage includes many city names or languages, candidate should underline them since doing so will make it easier to find such details later if they are asked in any of the questions
  3. In Academic Writing Task 1, candidate should describe only relevant and key information from data presented in a graph, diagram or table. Writing about every minute detail might lead to spending excess of time on Task 1, leaving very less time to answer Task 2
  4. Candidates should avoid writing very long sentences in the Writing test. Apart from being less coherent which is the main aspect of a writing test, long sentences also utilize additional time which may lead to insufficient time for remaining task

3. What if I have nothing to write about on the given topic in Writing Section?

This is a common fear while answering the Writing section of the IELTS exam. Many students get apprehensive about getting a topic for the essay writing, which they are totally unaware of. The easiest way to avoid such a situation is to prepare well before the exams by reading a lot of essays on different subjects and to understand other people’s point of view. Another relieving fact is that IELTS examiners don’t check for the source of the information presented in the essay. All that matters for them is the way an essay is written by the candidate.

Some additional tips are given below to address the fear of falling short of ideas to Write an essay on a topic:

  1. Candidate should study the question carefully so that while answering it, he or she covers all the points raised in the question
  2. In Task 2 of the Writing test (both Academic & General Training), candidate should plan his essay structure before writing. He should start with an introduction; followed by opinions to support his statement; real-life instances and example to prove his points; and lastly, a conclusion summarising his point of view
  3. Candidate should spend around five minutes to plan his essay before starting to write. Also he should spare five minutes at the end to review his answer and check for mistakes
  4. Lastly, Candidate is advised to start reading English texts from Journals, News Papers and Magazines to increase his awareness about general societal issues prevailing and happening in daily life. This will widen his resource bank of opinions and thoughts

4. What if during the Speaking Test, I give a statement which may not be liked or deemed ‘wrong’ by the examiner?

In certain candidates, there is a fear of stating ‘unsuitable’ or ‘inappropriate’ ideas during the Speaking section of IELTS test. Conversely to what many people think, there is nothing such as a right answer or a wrong answer in a Speaking test. The examiner will just assess the candidate for his ability to converse and talk at length on a specific topic given to him using suitable language while organising the views and thoughts rationally in good English. As long as the student is speaking on topic and expressing their thoughts in a logical way, no idea can harm their score.

Candidate should not worry whether the examiner agrees with the opinions he or she expresses during Speaking test, since the candidate will not be assessed on his or her opinions, rather on his or her use of English vocabulary.

5. What if I have nothing to speak when I am asked a question during Speaking Test?

This is a common fear of interaction with the examiner while answering the Speaking section of the IELTS exam. In common practice, the Speaking section often makes people feel uncomfortable because there is very less or almost no time to think. People get apprehensive thinking ‘What if the examiner asks me a question on a topic that I have no idea or opinion about?’ To let this fear go away, a candidate needs to build up his confidence. Candidates are advised to practice speaking as much as possible for a couple of weeks prior to Speaking Test with a list of topics. This can actually do wonders for the candidates not only during the speaking test, but in day to day life of the candidate post the exam. After the candidate has proven his ability to speak to himself, it becomes much easier for him to demonstrate it to the examiner.

Some additional tips are given below to address the fear of falling short of words to speak on a topic:

  1. Before appearing for the Speaking test, candidate should practice enough to speak in English. He can practice at home with family members, at college with friends or at work with colleagues. Another ideal way of practicing for a candidate is to record himself and listen the recording for self-assessment purpose. Candidate can also ask a teacher or trainer to listen his recording and suggest for possible improvements. This will greatly help the candidate to boost up his confidence while speaking English during the test
  2. For beginners, who hesitate to practice speaking in front of family, friends or colleagues, it is suggested that they should start THINKING in English. Anything they think should be in English. For example, planning their daily activities or summary of how the day unfolded for them. This way, there will be zero hesitation in correcting a mistake they notice while thinking. Gradually, they will develop confidence to speak in front of others too
  3. Candidate should also concentrate on practicing correct pronunciation. Incorrect pronunciation makes the speech less clear, which results in loss of scores
  4. Candidate should try widely used simple English words while speaking instead of less used complex ones, in case he or she is not an ardent English speaker. It is advisable to speak in uncomplicated and generally used vocabulary in a correct manner than to use sophisticated vocabulary, which a candidate is unsure about
  5. Lastly, candidate should never be in a hurry to answer the question. Once the question is asked, candidate should understand its context and intent before speaking to answer it. There is nothing wrong in taking a pause for a moment and framing the answer in mind. This prevents highlighting the candidate’s anxiety to the examiner while answering

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