How to choose the right IELTS course or tutor
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How to choose the right IELTS course or tutor

Getting help with your IELTS preparation may be the best decision you can make. But, with hundreds of IELTS courses and tutors to choose from, how can you choose the right one for you? Well, it starts by being clear on exactly what kind of help you need. What kind of help do you need? Not all IELTS courses and tutors offer the same kind of help so it’s important to know exactly what help you need before making any decisions. You may, for example, need help with… all parts of the IELTS test because you don’t know where to start or how to prepare improving one skill (e.g. Writing) because you need to improve your band score in this area and  don’t know how to improve it on your own improving your English in general before you start preparing for the IELTS test You may also need the encouragement, motivation and/ or support that you can get from working with other people. So, take some time now and write down what it is that you need help with. An IELTS course or tutor? When you know what help you need, it’s easier to decide  whether a course or a tutor is going to be better for you. To help you make the decision, here are some general characteristics of IELTS courses and the help that tutors can provide. IELTS courses generally provide ...  a structured way for you to learn about the IELTS test and some opportunities to practise some guidance on how to answer different types of IELTS questions some feedback on your performance  opportunities to work with, and learn from, other people preparing for IELTS  encouragement and support from a teacher and others Some courses may not provide all of these while others may also provide more. An online self-study course, for example, may not provide opportunities to work with other people or may be focused on one skill. A classroom-based course may also provide some guidance on how to learn more effectively. IELTS tutors generally provide … an individual programme based on exactly what you need guidance on how to overcome the specific difficulties you are experiencing more detailed feedback on your performance than you get on a course personal encouragement and support  So which is going to give you the help you need: an IELTS course or tutor? Choosing an IELTS course or tutor Once you’ve made the decision to take an IELTS course or to work with an IELTS tutor, it’s time to find the right one for you. When choosing an online or classroom-based course, it’s important to check… if the school/ website has a good reputation and can be trusted what the course includes how much teacher support is provided and who the teachers are what kind of feedback you’ll receive how many other people will be on the course, where they are from and what their level of English is This online IELTS Academic course is from Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Assessment English and Kaplan, covers all four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and has a teacher-led or self-study option. When choosing an IELTS tutor, it’s important to check (or ask) … if they are a qualified English language teacher, e.g. do they have the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) or equivalent how experienced they are in helping people prepare for IELTS how familiar they are with the IELTS Writing and Speaking criteria what kind of feedback they give A good way to check what kind of feedback a tutor gives is to ask for an example of feedback they have given to someone else. It’s also very important that you like the tutor! How much do courses/tutors cost? The cost of an IELTS course or tutor ranges from very little to a lot. So, if the option you want is too expensive, keep looking because you may be able to find a more affordable option that is still useful. When considering the cost, don’t forget to think about the cost in time and money if you don’t get help and don’t get the IELTS band score you need! I hope this post has helped you make a decision about the kind of course or tutor you need. Pete

Pete Jones

11 November, 2020

How to choose the right IELTS course or tutor

How to choose the right IELTS course or tutor

Getting help with your IELTS preparation may be the best decision you can make.

But, with hundreds of IELTS courses and tutors to choose from, how can you choose the right one for you?

Well, it starts by being clear on exactly what kind of help you need.

What kind of help do you need?

Not all IELTS courses and tutors offer the same kind of help so it’s important to know exactly what help you need before making any decisions.

You may, for example, need help with…

  • all parts of the IELTS test because you don’t know where to start or how to prepare
  • improving one skill (e.g. Writing) because you need to improve your band score in this area and  don’t know how to improve it on your own
  • improving your English in general before you start preparing for the IELTS test

You may also need the encouragement, motivation and/ or support that you can get from working with other people.

So, take some time now and write down what it is that you need help with.

An IELTS course or tutor?

When you know what help you need, it’s easier to decide  whether a course or a tutor is going to be better for you.

To help you make the decision, here are some general characteristics of IELTS courses and the help that tutors can provide.

IELTS courses generally provide ... 

  • a structured way for you to learn about the IELTS test and some opportunities to practise
  • some guidance on how to answer different types of IELTS questions
  • some feedback on your performance 
  • opportunities to work with, and learn from, other people preparing for IELTS 
  • encouragement and support from a teacher and others

Some courses may not provide all of these while others may also provide more. An online self-study course, for example, may not provide opportunities to work with other people or may be focused on one skill. A classroom-based course may also provide some guidance on how to learn more effectively.

IELTS tutors generally provide …

  • an individual programme based on exactly what you need
  • guidance on how to overcome the specific difficulties you are experiencing
  • more detailed feedback on your performance than you get on a course
  • personal encouragement and support 

So which is going to give you the help you need: an IELTS course or tutor?

Choosing an IELTS course or tutor

Once you’ve made the decision to take an IELTS course or to work with an IELTS tutor, it’s time to find the right one for you.

When choosing an online or classroom-based course, it’s important to check…

  • if the school/ website has a good reputation and can be trusted
  • what the course includes
  • how much teacher support is provided and who the teachers are
  • what kind of feedback you’ll receive
  • how many other people will be on the course, where they are from and what their level of English is

This online IELTS Academic course is from Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Assessment English and Kaplan, covers all four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and has a teacher-led or self-study option.

When choosing an IELTS tutor, it’s important to check (or ask) …

  • if they are a qualified English language teacher, e.g. do they have the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) or equivalent
  • how experienced they are in helping people prepare for IELTS
  • how familiar they are with the IELTS Writing and Speaking criteria
  • what kind of feedback they give

A good way to check what kind of feedback a tutor gives is to ask for an example of feedback they have given to someone else.

It’s also very important that you like the tutor!

How much do courses/tutors cost?

The cost of an IELTS course or tutor ranges from very little to a lot. So, if the option you want is too expensive, keep looking because you may be able to find a more affordable option that is still useful.

When considering the cost, don’t forget to think about the cost in time and money if you don’t get help and don’t get the IELTS band score you need!

I hope this post has helped you make a decision about the kind of course or tutor you need.

Pete

Pete Jones

Pete has been helping IELTS test takers and teachers for many years and really enjoys helping people improve their English and their IELTS band score.

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