Are IELTS Prep Classes Necessary?

August 23, 2017 by Lyla Hage

If you're planning to take an IELTS test you've probably seen a lot of information about IELTS prep classes. The question we're going to answer today is, are these classes necessary?

Before taking an IELTS exam, it's important to consider whether or not to take an IELTS class to help you prepare for the exam. I'm often asked whether such classes are necessary in order to be ready for the test. While the answer is not always a simple yes or no, most of the time I recommend that test-takes consider taking an IELTS class before their exam.

Below are some things to consider about IELTS classes:

• There’s a class for everyone

In terms of IELTS classes, there are many options out there, so there's something for everyone. The classes can help you with all of your skills including listening, reading, writing and speaking, and they can also offer tips, strategies, advice plus more.

One important thing to keep in mind is cost: some IELTS prep classes are free, while others are not. For those that have a cost, the fee can range dramatically.

Some classes are offered online, while others are in-class. Classes that are online or face-to-face may last anywhere from a number of hours to several days, weeks, or months. In addition, there may be shorter workshops and seminars that are not as in-depth as some classes.

Another important consideration is who teaches the class. You want to ensure your class is taught by a qualified and experienced professional, with a solid knowledge of the IELTS test.

IDP offers a wide variety of IELTS class options including online webinars (in Canada and Latin America), and in-person seminars (in Canada). IELTS Masterclass Webinars are live, 90-minute sessions with an IELTS expert and are available at least four times a month.

Ultimately you must determine what works best for your schedule, your budget, and your needs and goals. My advice is to take some time to research the various options, and then determine what works best for you.

• Helps to increase your confidence

Here’s the truth: test-takers are sometimes nervous before and/or during the IELTS test. My advice on managing nervousness is to actively take steps to increase your confidence; one way to do that is to take an IELTS prep class.

How does taking a class increase your confidence? IELTS prep classes can help you get ready for your test by giving you tips, practice tests with sample questions and answers, and practical information about the format of the test, timing, and more. Having this knowledge often helps test-takers feel more confident going into the test.

There is no doubt that it’s better to have a good idea of what to expect before you go into your test, and taking an IELTS prep class can help you gain some important and useful knowledge before your test day.

• Questions answered and information shared

Taking an IELTS class is a great opportunity for you to ask questions of the instructor and classmates. As mentioned above, your instructor should be trained and knowledgeable and will be able to answer questions that you have about various aspects of the test.

When you take an IELTS class, it’s also a great opportunity to share your experiences and tips with other learners, and they, in turn, can share their knowledge with you. That’s what we call a win-win situation. When you take an IELTS prep course, there's a good chance others in the class will have taken the IELTS test in the past and they may have some valuable insight and information to share.

At the end of the day, you must decide what's best for you and your situation. I suggest you consider the points above and do your research to determine what kind of class works best for you. The bottom line is preparation is very important when taking the IELTS test, and by taking an IELTS class, you will better prepare yourself for your test.

Good luck and happy test preparation!

Lyla is an English language instructor working with international students and immigrants in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lyla loves everything about her work, especially helping people reach their language and learning goals.

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