If you’re planning to take TOEFL or IELTS exam, maybe you’ve wondered, “Do I really need to take a test preparation course before my exam? Can I get a good score just by studying on my own?” It’s possible to get a good score studying alone, but there are several reasons a test preparation course might be worth your time!
1. You’ll improve faster with more feedback
There are several TOEFL and IELTS preparation books on the market with practice exam questions and answers. Working through these questions and checking your answers can be a good way to study on your own, especially for the reading and listening sections of the exams. But what if you don’t understand some of the answers in the book? And what about the practice questions for the writing and speaking sections? A test preparation book can’t give you feedback on your writing and speaking. This is where a test preparation course is very helpful. In a course, you’ll be able to ask your instructor questions when you don’t understand, saving you a lot of time and frustration. Your instructor can also review your answers to the speaking and writing practice questions. Your instructor’s feedback will help you know what you’re doing well and how you can improve.
2. You’ll know what to focus on while preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam
You know that to keep improving your language skills, regular English practice is a must—and there are so many exciting ways to practice English! But when you’re preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam, some methods of practicing are better than others. For example, watching a popular film in English can be a great way to develop English listening skills, but it’s not so helpful for the TOEFL. This is because popular films usually don’t have a lot of academic vocabulary and phrases, but the TOEFL is full of them! To make the most of your practice time, you need to focus on the knowledge and skills required for the exam you’re taking.
A TOEFL or IELTS preparation course gives you exactly this—specific English practice for success on the exam. Your instructor can recommend specific exercises and activities based on your abilities that will help you increase your score in as little time as possible.
3. You’ll have accountability
Studying on your own can be great, but let’s admit it…sometimes it’s difficult to stay motivated! We all have times when we don’t feel like opening a book or sitting down to write another essay. A test preparation course can help you commit to preparing for the exam. Your instructor will expect you to attend class and complete assignments. He or she will be there to encourage you. And if you attend a class with other students, they can be great source of encouragement and support, too. If you’re not sure that you can motivate yourself to practice and study consistently on your own, a course can make all the difference!
4. You’ll gain confidence for taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam
If the thought of taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam makes you nervous, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, a little nervousness can actually enhance your abilities! Too much anxiety, however, can hurt your score and make the test a negative experience. If you’ve successfully taken a test preparation course, you’ll know that you’ve practiced and studied consistently, completed high quality exercises and activities, and received useful feedback from your instructor along the way. You’ll also be familiar with the exam format, including how long you have to complete each section and the types of questions you’ll be asked. This should help calm your fears as you approach the exam and give you the confidence you need to do your very best on test day.
5. You’ll be putting your best foot forward
Your TOEFL or IELTS exam score is important. Universities have strict score requirements, so even a small improvement in your score can be the difference between a university acceptance or rejection. You want to “put your best foot forward”—in other words, you want to give universities the best possible information about yourself. You’ve worked hard to develop your English skills, so you owe it to yourself to make sure that your TOEFL or IELTS exam score reflects all of your hard work. A test preparation course can help you do this in all the ways listed above. So, if you know that the TOEFL or IELTS is in your future and you like what you’ve read here, sign up for a preparation course and get ready to ace your exam!