IELTS Tutors: Finding the Right Fit

January 28, 2019 by Ashlee Fisher

There are a variety of ways to prepare for the IELTS test. Some candidates prefer taking IELTS classes, while others prefer to study on their own. Another popular choice is finding an IELTS tutor. When choosing a tutor, there are a few things to consider so that candidates maximize their study time.

Online vs. In-Person Prep

You can choose to find an IELTS tutor either online or in-person. If you choose online, many different companies and websites offer IELTS specific lessons. All aspects can be studied online such as writing correction and speaking practice through webcam-based tutoring.

If you choose to study in-person with a tutor, there are different ways to find IELTS experienced tutors. Check library boards for IELTS tutoring advertisements. Also, check with ESL schools in your area for instructors who are also knowledgeable in IELTS that do tutoring.

Depending on your location, the number of IELTS tutors that do in-person tutoring may vary; however, there are many tutors online. This number may be intimidating.

When choosing to do either online or in-person tutoring, make sure that the tutor you choose meets your needs and wants for IELTS preparation.

Students are preparing exam

Experienced Tutors

Although most tutors are satisfactory for learning English such as teachers, professors, etc., try to find an experienced IELTS tutor. This could be a former IELTS examiner or administrator, an IELTS instructor, or a candidate who has taken the test before and has attained a high score. Finding knowledgeable tutors is beneficial because they understand the structure of the test as well as the strategies to do well on the test. They will not only teach you general English skills but also skills that are relatable to the test.

When learning from an experienced IELTS tutor, your time will be spent more efficiently and effectively because it's tailored to your needs in terms of the IELTS test.

Understanding Your IELTS Needs

When choosing an IELTS tutor, you should have a conversation with them before deciding to choose them as a tutor. This conversation will allow you to see if you feel comfortable with them and if they understand what you need and want from the lessons.

You should be very clear about what you want from the lessons. Do you want overall IELTS practice or do you want to focus on a particular skill? You should also discuss the reason why you're taking the test and what your desired score is. Also, discuss when you're taking the test, how many lessons you want and for how long. All of these things will let the tutor know how intense the lessons need to be as well as how serious you are as a candidate.

Finally, either online or in-person, you need to discuss price and what's included in that price. Make sure that you're satisfied with what you're getting for how much you're paying. Different tutors charge different rates depending on experience, what's covered, materials, etc. Some tutors will do group tutoring sessions if money is a concern. Also, be careful of online IELTS scams. Some websites will charge you for IELTS material that you can find somewhere else for free. There's lots of IELTS practice material, online and at the library, that's free and great for IELTS preparation.

Student and tutor

Understanding Your Level

Your tutor should also understand your current English ability concerning the IELTS test. Once you've had a couple of lessons with your tutor, they should be able to spot your strengths and weaknesses. They should be not only building up your weak areas but also tweaking your strengths so that you can get the best score you can on the test. Again, this may include working on many different areas or just certain sections of the IELTS test.

The IELTS test is a high stakes test and it's vital to some people’s lives. When choosing a tutor, consider everything and pick someone that fits you as an IELTS candidate.

Ashlee has been involved in the ESL world for over ten years and has now planted her roots in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nothing gives her more pleasure than watching students and candidates reach their language and IELTS goals.

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