Why candidates struggle to get 7.0 in IELTS?

English language expert from Greenwich English College answers this one big life changing question.

As a migration or education agent, you will no doubt have been asked: “What score do I need in IELTS to get this visa?”

In many cases, the answer puts the customer in a panic mode as many of them need to get the ‘magic’ 7.0 to be able to apply for a certain type of visa.

Many candidates decide to study by themselves and use materials available online, while others choose to do a course at an English college in Australia. No matter what option they choose, in many situations candidates still struggle to get 7.0. Therefore, my suggestion is to choose both the online materials and the English provider carefully.

First of all, candidates should get help and find what their weakness is and why they cannot reach the level required to get 7.0. Please remember that in an IELTS test not only your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are being assessed, but also your grammar and syntax (word order). Candidates need to understand what examiners look for when they mark the tests. In this way they will know what to focus on to improve their skills and get the so much wanted 7.0.

The IELTS Public Descriptors are available online and they give an indication of what a candidate needs to know/produce in order to get a certain score. Based on this rationale, we have built a very solid process at Greenwich English College. Students who are interested in doing a face to face course are being tested to check their level and ultimately find their weakness and a course recommendation is given.

Most of our students follow these study plans and they get the desired scores at the end of the course. Other students choose to study by themselves and use our IELTS Online course (www.preparationielts.com). The IELTS Online course designed by Greenwich English College is different from all the other IELTS Online courses and this is because we focus on two very important language aspects: GRAMMAR and WORD ORDER. Apart from these there are a lot of materials on all the other skills (LISTENING, READING, WRITING AND SPEAKING) and also VOCABULARY. It is a COMPLETE IELTS ONLINE COURSE.

We know that there are candidates who have done the test many times and still get 6.5 either in writing or speaking or the scores are not consistent, they are either higher or lower. Is it because of the IELTS centre? Is it because of the examiner? Well, in most of the cases it is the candidate’s level which is not strong enough to offer consistency.

For example, being able to write in English is not enough. You need to know how to do it correctly, what structure to follow, what kind of language/vocabulary to use, how to put the words in a sentence, how to combine words in a natural way, what kind of grammar structures to use, and how to use complex grammar, etc. Many of the IELTS candidates call them tips, but are these tips? Is it something you can learn overnight? The answer is NO. If you do not accept this answer, you may have to do the test a few times to convince yourself. That will lead to money and time wasted but it is each person’s decision.

Another myth is the fact that doing the test in a certain IELTS centre will help candidates get a higher score. However, it is just a myth! We do know of candidates who have been doing the IELST test so many times trying to step up from 6.5 to 7.0. Once candidates get 6.0-6.5 they think that the next step is to get 7.

Luck DOES NOT help candidates in IELTS. You need to know what and how to do the test. The gap between 6.5 and 7.0 is huge and candidates keep on doing the test hoping that the next one will bring miracles. Unfortunately it doesn’t work this way. For instance, perfect grammar doesn’t guarantee a 7.0. It is not how correct it is, but how complex it is. If you use only short sentences (simple clauses) that use one verb only or you connect sentences with ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’ and all of them are correct, the highest score you can get in grammar is 5.0.

In order to get 7.0 in grammar, a lot of complexity must to be used. What is complexity? The ability to use subordinate clauses (relative, conditional, purpose clauses, etc). In addition candidates think that if they are able to use the so much popular linking words (furthermore, moreover, in addition, etc) again it guarantees a 7.0. Well, not again as when using these linking words, candidates stop using complex structures and other ways of connecting ideas which bring variety in their writing. COMPLEXITY and VARIETY guarantee a 7.0 in IELTS.

Five important steps need to be remembered:

1. What do I need to know to get 7.0 in IELTS?
2. What is my current level?
3. What is my weakness?
4. What can I do to improve my weakness? Can I do a course or should I choose to do it online?
5. How do I choose the right online materials?

If you need help with answers to these questions, our expert staff at Greenwich English College will gladly help you. (Please email us at info@greenwichcollege.com.au if you need help or would like to partner with us). You may also direct your students to our highly acclaimed online IELTS preparation course, which features over 120 hours of IELTS exercises and personalized assessment and feedback from real IELTS teachers.

Also, as a migration and/or education agent, you can sell this course to your candidates and receive great commissions. To start offering this course to your students please visit www.preparationielts.com or visit the Greenwich Website at www.greenwichcollege.com.au.

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