Students wanting to study at an English-speaking university in a variety of countries, including the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, will have to take the IELTS at some point to show their proficiency in the English language. The reading and writing sections are particularly important, as writing papers and reading articles, peer reviews, or textbooks are typically a large part of attending university. It is important to study all aspects of the test but if you are particularly worried about your ability to write at a university level, you can take an IELTS reading practice test to see how you fare on that particular section of the test.
What Is the IELTS Test
IELTS stands for “International English Language Testing System” and is a test non-native English speakers use to show proficiency in the English language. It uses a scoring system from 1-9 to show the level of proficiency, with 1 signifying a non-speaker of English and 9 showing the test taker is an expert in the English language. There are two types of IELTS tests, the IELTS Academic exam and the IELTS General Training exam.
The Academic version of the test is used by students who are looking to attend university or work professionally in an English-speaking country. While many American and Canadian universities prefer the TOEFL exam to show English proficiency, IELTS is a better test to take if you are planning on going to a university in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. It is important to look at the program requirements for any English-speaking university, however, as you want to make sure you take the correct test.
The General Training exam is for younger students who are going to attend secondary school, high school, or a work training/work experience program in an English-speaking country. This is also the exam one must take to show English proficiency in order to immigrate to Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada.
Whatever version of the test you take, each is divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The reading and writing sections are what make the two tests different from one another. The reading section includes different types of test questions, including sentence completion and short-answer questions.
How to Practice Your Reading Skills
Even if you read often, reading academic texts at a university level can be difficult. This is true whether you are a native speaker of English or not! Being able to comprehend the academic texts you read is vital to being successful at university and will also help with your writing skills. Speaking and listening are obviously important as well but if reading is the area you feel weakest in, it would make the most sense to focus on that particular aspect of the IELTS test. It can be difficult to find classes that focus on only one section and paying for private tutors can get expensive. You can find an IELTS reading practice test that specifically focuses on that section, but what if you need some help beyond taking a test? Luckily, there is a way you can get the material you want to focus on at a fraction of the price.
Magoosh is an online learning site focused on helping students prepare for a variety of different academic tests, including the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, and of course the IELTS. Magoosh wants test prep to be accessible, affordable, and effective. Cutting the cost of test preparation does not mean cutting the quality. The team at Magoosh strives to provide the best possible test preparation. Magoosh was founded by former test takers themselves so they fully understand what it is like to have to prepare for an academic exam. They use feedback not just from their team but from their customers as well, in hopes of offering the best test preparation experience possible.
According to Magoosh, certain types of people benefit best from their programs. People who prefer to study on their own, people who learn best by watching videos, and busy students or professionals will get the most out of Magoosh. If you just don’t have time to attend a class or spend a lot of time each day studying, no worries! You can study on your own schedule and watch videos as you can. There are no deadlines to meet and no classes to attend, you set your own schedule as you see fit. You can access lessons on Magoosh not just on your computer but on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone as well for added accessibility.
Magoosh offers preparation materials for both the Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS test. While there are not individual programs for speaking, listening, reading, and writing, the great thing about Magoosh is that you don’t purchase individual lessons, you purchase time-based plans that allow you full access to all materials related to whatever test you are taking. The IELTS study programs both have one-week, one-month, and six-month plans. These plans include over 125 different video lessons that cover all concepts included in the IELTS tests, including the reading section. You will also get over 650 practice questions, four full-length mock exams, and email assistance in case you ever need some extra help.
The video lessons are divided between the four sections and you do not have to watch them in any particular order to study. This means that if you want to focus mostly on the reading section, you can. All you have to do is browse through the available materials for the videos focused on different aspects of the IETLS reading section. You can watch the videos you need to watch in order to study and don’t have to worry about sitting through weeks of a class before you actually get to the material you need to review. You can do the same thing with the hundreds of practice questions available. You don’t have to take all 650, you can go through and choose the ones you want to take. This program is truly customizable. You can create your own schedule and study only the material you want to focus on.
Videos and test questions aren’t the only way you’ll be able to study for the IELTS reading section. After you answer a test question and get back your result, there is a corresponding video you can watch in order to understand the question and why the correct answer was the best one of the available options. This is one of the best ways to learn any material. There is no use being told you have gotten a question wrong if there isn’t an explanation about why. The videos are designed to explain the question and the answer in a way that teaches you the concept behind the question, not just the answer to a specific question.
The full-length mock exams are designed to simulate an actual IELTS exam and these include all four sections. They are timed and include questions similar to what you will actually see on test day. While you cannot only take the reading section of the test when you use these mock exams, it is important to take a full mock exam before you tackle the real one. This will show you what areas you are weakest in and which areas are your strengths. It will also give you an idea of how to pace yourself and what kind of pressure you may be under when you take the real test. After taking the exam, you can then focus your study sessions on whatever aspects of the test were difficult for you.
Still having a hard time understanding something, even after you’ve reviewed videos and taken test questions related to a certain subject? You don’t have to worry about getting lost and being unable to learn. Magoosh offers email assistance with all of their IELTS test preparation programs. You can send them an email and a qualified tutor will get back to you in order to answer any questions you may have about the material you’ve gone over on Magoosh. They are always available to help and teach. You don’t need to worry that preparing for your exam online will mean that you don’t have a tutor or professor to rely on when you need extra help; Magoosh offers that as well.
Prove Your Knowledge
Chances are if you’re looking to apply to an English-speaking university, you are already ready to handle the academic environment. You just need to prove it to the universities you are applying to. There are different exams you can take and the best one will depend on where you’re applying. The IELTS is one of the most internationally recognized exams and is trusted, and actually preferred, in many English-speaking countries. Properly preparing for it can make all the difference in your overall score and help you to get into your top choice university. Magoosh comes with a guarantee: after using their program, if your score hasn’t improved by at least 0.5 points, you’ll get your money back. That itself makes it worth a shot! Get the leg up you need and feel confident when applying to English-speaking universities by taking an IELTS reading practice test or two on Magoosh.