Having an IELTS certificate is becoming more and more important every day for those who wish to study abroad or move to a new country. IELTS is the primary English language entry requirement in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and it is increasing in popularity in the USA and Canada, where over 2,000 institutions accept IELTS. In European countries as well, IELTS is getting a higher profile. So if you are thinking about continuing your education in another country or if you simply want to immigrate, you better start learning English and prepare for the IELTS exam.
There are several steps that you need to take if you want to succeed in the IELTS test, but one element is considered by most IELTS experts as the most essential key to IELTS success, and that is practising IELTS with IELTS mock tests.
What are IELTS mock tests and why are they so important?
As the name suggests, IELTS mock tests simulate the IELTS exam and are designed to give test takers the experience of taking the IELTS exam before the actual test.
Studies show that rehearsing an event is usually the best way to get prepared for it, and it is also the case with the IELTS exam. The more IELTS –like exams that you take, the more familiar you’ll become with the test and the fewer surprises you’ll face on the actual IELTS test.
Another thing that makes IELTS mock tests so popular is that they are way cheaper than the actual IELTS test. IELTS is a pricey exam which costs around 200 Euros all over the world, while IELTS mock tests can be as low as 20% of that price. Therefore, by taking mock tests before registering for the IELTS exam, you will know if you are entirely ready for it and if not, avoid losing money by registering at a later date.
They are also beneficial if you already have set a date for your exam. Taking mock tests in the weeks and days leading to your exam can get you in the mood for the IELTS test and can bring you to your full potential, therefore, increasing the chances of getting your desired band score in the test.
Importance of the IELTS mock test report
Most IELTS preparation methods focus on teaching you the skills and techniques that you need to succeed in the test, and that is absolutely necessary. However, none of them will give you feedback on how you are doing in your prep and what are the flaws that you need to address. This is where IELTS mock tests come into play. After each IELTS mock test, you can review your test report, which usually contains an examiner’s comments. In this report, you can clearly see which skills require more practice, in what types of questions lie your weakness and what parts of the language you need to focus on.
Since each test includes only a limited number of question types, it is recommended that you take as many mock tests as possible to make sure that you have experienced all types of questions (which are many!) at least once.
One other skill that you’ll learn to master by taking IELTS mock tests is time management. Most IELTS test takers can confirm that running out of time in the exam has been a limiting issue for them and had they known the time management skills, they would’ve achieved a higher band score. It is therefore strongly recommended that you take timed IELTS mock tests to put your time management skills to test.
What are online IELTS mock tests?
A relatively new trend in IELTS preparation with mock tests is taking online IELTS mock tests which is gaining popularity quite rapidly. These tests give you the ability to take a mock test on your own computer instead of going to a test centre and therefore are especially useful where access to trustworthy IELTS mock tests is limited. Online IELTS mock tests can be also beneficial for those test takers who wish to take several tests without spending much time in test centres and waiting a long time to get their results. “takeIELTS.net” is one of these platforms that is developed by the European Association for Education and offers one of the best services currently available. Their tests include all four IELTS skills, and even the speaking test is done online. The analytical report that they issue to the test takers are produced by certified IELTS examiners and includes tips and recommendations that they claim to increase your band score by at least 1.5.
Whether you choose to take your IELTS mock tests online or in a test centre, remember that these tests play an essential role in your IELTS preparation, so make sure that you use them effectively and abundantly.