A Positive Attitude Towards the IELTS Exam

October 2, 2017 by Andrea Castro

Exams can be stressful, as anyone who has taken an exam at some point knows. Given that exam results can have a significant effect on people’s lives and careers, it’s quite common for exams to be associated with feelings of anxiety and a lot of pressure. But, what’s easy to forget is that exams can also be immensely satisfying because they provide us with opportunities to demonstrate success.

Think about a successful exam experience you’ve had in the past. How did this exam have a positive influence on you as a learner? Whether this experience provided you with new qualifications or simply allowed you to review what you had already learnt, it’s safe to say that preparing for and taking the exam was worth the effort. To be a successful IELTS candidate, it’s important to believe that the IELTS will be beneficial for you and to see the experience as a meaningful event in your life.  

Why is IELTS useful and important?

 The IELTS is the world’s most popular English test for people who want to live, study or work in another country. This means that your IELTS score can open doors to new destinations, provide you with access to higher levels of education and can help you to achieve the goal of getting the job you want. Even if you’re taking the test for purely personal interest, achieving the IELTS score you want will show you, and others, what you’re capable of.

Additionally, there are many other positive aspects of the IELTS to keep in mind on your journey to success:

  • It provides you with a target to aim at.
  • It provides you with a challenge. This, in turn, will help you to develop the necessary skills to cope with other challenges in your life.
  • It makes you revise what you have learnt and discover new things along the way.
  • It can provide you with a chance to achieve something you’re truly proud of.
  • If at first, you don’t succeed, retaking the IELTS test can be the perfect opportunity to learn from your mistakes and can inspire greater determination. 

Enjoying the discipline of exam preparation

 Preparing for the IELTS requires you to plan well and manage your time, which can help you to develop self-discipline and better organizational skills. Even though the terms exam preparation, self-discipline and organizational skills may make you think of strict days with no room for fun, it’s important that you consider the many benefits of getting yourself organized and focused during this period of preparation.

In fact, following a good schedule can help you to increase productivity and accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself. It can also help you to feel more confident and in control of your life by knowing when, where and how you’ll be completing specific tasks. Plus, you can still be creative and spontaneous during this time: use TV and film to practice IELTS listening skills, practice using appropriate reading skills while reading an interesting article online, or practice speaking English with family and friends.

Staying motivated

 It’s very likely that you feel highly motivated when you first start preparing for the IELTS, but sustaining that motivation, especially if you’ve found the preparation period to be harder and/or longer than expected, can be challenging. While having a positive attitude to the IELTS exam is essential to achieving the outcome you want, there are other things that you can also do to give your motivation a boost when preparing for the exam:

  • Remember the big picture: every minute you spend preparing helps bring you closer to your IELTS goal.
  • Get a study buddy: studying with a partner or a group of people provides a shared goal and strong motivation to succeed.
  • Reward yourself from time to time after a hard day’s work and set aside some time to relax.

The bottom line is that being positive can help you to stay calm and motivated during your IELTS experience. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t feel stressed at times. If you do experience a build-up of pressure, take a deep breath and remind yourself of the great achievements ahead of you. And remember, little doses of stress can act as a positive motivator and give you a push to get things done.

Andrea is an experienced English teacher who has worked since 2009 in Costa Rica, Dubai and now Canada. When not working for IELTS, she spends her time with her little girl and her two canine siblings.

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