You can read the first four parts of IELTS Beginners here:
Deciding whether you need the help of an IELTS teacher is a difficult but important decision. As the test is so expensive, you don’t want to waste money on a teacher that doesn’t suit your personal requirements. However, you also don’t want to waste money repeating the test many times.
This article will outline three questions you must ask yourself to help you decide whether you need an IELTS teacher. This will also help you decide which type is right for you.
Question 1: Am I Confident that I Can Get the Score I Need?
If you are an IELTS beginner and truly believe you can get a high score in the IELTS exam without the help of a teacher, it is likely that you fall into one of the two categories:
- You are a fluent English speaker
- You have no idea how difficult the IELTS exam is!
For many IELTS students, the exam is the event that makes them realise just how much work is required to get a high band. Nothing clarifies this more than trying to tackle the exam when unprepared. Obviously, this is an undesirable option for most candidates, as the costs of the exam are so high.
The Dunning-Kruger theory shows the mental journey that humans take when learning a new skill. It suggests that people experience a huge amount of confidence in the early stages of their learning, despite having little competence to support it.
You can see how the Dunning-Kruger theory can be applied to the IELTS journey in the gif below:
As you can see, with a gradual increase of knowledge comes a drastic dip in confidence once you realise how much work is required from you. This is also true for candidates with a high level of English as the test requires you to master the exam skills as well as having an appropriate level of English.
This mid-stage of ‘this is impossible’ is the most difficult hurdle for most IELTS pupils to overcome. However, if you invest the time and energy needed to learn IELTS skills and strategies, you will find that both your confidence and competence will improve massively.
To learn more about the importance of mindset when taking the IELTS exam, make sure to sign up for our new IELTS Mindset Mini-Course. It’s completely free to join and begins next week — click here to learn more.
One way of improving your confidence is by using free materials from the internet. You can compare your work with practice or sample papers, but the process of improvement will be much slower and less effective without a good teacher.
And honestly, free websites will never provide the expert feedback you need to identify your mistakes and guide your studies.
If you aren’t confident with your IELTS skills, you would benefit massively from the help of a teacher.
Question 2: Can I afford not to hire a tutor?
The answer to this question will differ from student to student.
However, many IELTS pupils choose not to hire a teacher because they think it will save them some money. This is a very reasonable assumption to make, but truthfully, it rarely works out so well.
As I have already mentioned, the IELTS exam is expensive to take. Therefore, the cost of taking it and failing multiple times would equal a price far higher than that of a preparation course or tutor.
For example, take a look at Crystal’s story below:
Crystal failed the IELTS exam eight times before discovering our VIP Course. Once she did, Crystal was equipped with the tools she needed to score an overall Band 8. Imagine how much money Crystal would have saved if she had discovered us at the beginning of her IELTS journey?
Similarly, you must consider the likelihood that you won’t get the scores you need if you prepare on your own. For most people, this is simply because they don’t know which mistakes they are making.
Can you afford to fail the test multiple times? Or would it be in your best interest to invest in a tutor or course? Either way, it’s important that you think very carefully and make sure you do what is right for you.
Question 3: Should I Find an Online Teacher or a Live Teacher?
Again, the answer to this question depends on your individual needs, as everyone learns differently.
Many IELTS students find a number of advantages in learning from a local IELTS teacher. For example, discussing IELTS in your native tongue appeals to those that aren’t confident with their English skills. Furthermore, a number of pupils enjoy learning in a classroom with fellow IELTS students.
Comparatively, online courses are better suited to those that prefer to learn on an individual basis and absorb information through repetition. While a live teacher might do an impressive face-to-face lesson, once the lesson is over — it’s over. The benefit of a reliable online course is that lessons are stored. This means that you can download and rewatch video lessons as often as you like.
However, in my experience, the main concern for most IELTS test-takers is class schedules.
Live teachers can offer a range of class times and dates. However, it can be difficult finding a time that suits your busy schedule every single week.
In comparison, there are a number of online courses that allow you to gain the help of an IELTS expert from the comfort of your own home, at a time that is chosen by you.
If you’re unsure about the process of choosing an IELTS teacher or course, feel free to watch the following video. In it, a student outlines factors that you should consider when you make your decision:
If you are reading this, then you have reached the conclusion of IELTS Beginners! Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the preparation required to get the score you need and activate the next chapter of your life.
If there’s anything we can do to help you with this, just let us know.
While we offer a range of online services with IELTS experts, unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to help everyone. If you are serious about your IELTS preparation and believe you would benefit from professional help, send us an email, tell us a bit about your IELTS history and we’ll have a chat. I can’t promise you that I can help you get the score you need in time for your exam, but I’ll definitely try my best.