Do you have a dream? I have one. I want to set up a company of my own. This is a big dream that starts not even from my money – it starts from my personality. It is not enough to get a business major and have enough funds. It is not even enough to inherit a prosperous business. Believe me, a bad heir can easily cause the decline of the whole company. A good head of the company must be a person developed both professionally and personally. The business ideas and view of its development go from our inner philosophy, from our knowledge about the world.
We all know that the USA is in the avant-garde of the world’s developments. I clearly understood that if I wanted to create a really successful company, I needed foreign experience. It starts with education and, of course, passing IELTS.
I tried really hard, I had a tutor and worked three days a week, but… I failed.
I got 5.5 which can be good overall but was clearly not enough for me to have the advantage of studying in the USA. I was good at reading and writing, a little bit worse at listening, but the worst part was speaking.
Do the Results Matter?
Honestly, I felt terrible when I understood that I had failed. But I supported myself with the thought that any failure is only an experience, and we must make lessons from our mistakes. Yes, this idea is not new, and it did not make me cheerful and carefree the moment I thought that. And yet it allowed me to not feel absolutely depressed. Instead of simply thinking about how miserable I was, I focused on the mistakes I made and thought about how to correct them.
As I said, the main problem with me was speaking. Chinese accent was probably not the worst thing, but the general level of my speaking really was not impressive. My tutor was not a native speaker, and we worked more on grammar and writing. He really gave me a good basis, but it was not enough for my aim. I am grateful because my reading and writing skills were really good. Passing IELTS doesn’t mean having perfect English, as well as not passing doesn’t mean being very bad at it.
Learn English for IELTS: Apps VS Tutor
I’ll be honest – if you want to learn American English (or British, up to you) really quick, you have to be ready to pay.
There are some tools that can help you to learn the language, but they work only to a certain level. To be more specific – you can get some base from youtube and free or partly free apps like Duolingo or Ewa, but it will work for B2 (Upper-Intermediate) maximum. And it will not be the perfect Upper-Intermediate.
Learning language is a complex task, and I’m not using this word as another option for “difficult”. Learning English can be difficult as well, but you can be successful only if you are working on all sides of the language. The apps and online lessons that require payment can help you to learn English better. But they require persistence and concentration, which is easy to lose without at least a little bit of external control.
Tutors and English courses remain the most effective way to learn English because of two reasons. The first one is a schedule of regular lessons. The second one is the impact of a live person who can point at your mistakes and help to correct them.
My Tips on How to Retake IELTS
Learning English is a skill. And the more you practice, the better the skill is. Due to that, tips on learning American English online still are useful even though you have English courses or tutors. The more practice you will have, the better. While tutor or courses will be a serious part of work, the tips can be more pleasant and fun. You can watch movies or series in English and watch some videos on youtube.
Need to improve the Writing Part for your IELTS? I would suggest 3 sure ways. Firstly, write out the list of advanced phrases to use in your essay. Secondly, use the typical 3- or 5-paragraph structure. Finally, work on your spelling.
Kate Roth, the Senior Supervisors from the Essay Writing Department
If you have an account on Instagram, you can follow the pages with memes In English. I took that simple step myself, and it was quite useful. I felt some kind of pride for myself that I understood jokes created for native speakers. And I get known the language and even part of the culture a little bit more.
It’s no less useful to follow native speakers on TikTok or other platforms. Video context is very helpful to understand how people can actually sound – not only from professional actors in the movies or adios from courses. It is helpful for both listening and speaking because you learn to understand living language in a real-time manner. And listening to others can help to develop your own manner of speaking. But it is better to do that consequently.
Tips on How to Lose that Annoying Accent
The bad news is that the accent is impossible to lose. The thing we want to do when starting to learn a foreign language is to accent substitute from our to the native one. English has many different accents, and the first you have to do is to choose one you will work on. Will you master American accent? Or a British one? Or will you make a more exotic choice? This choice is important not only for tutors, courses, or apps you will choose.
It is important to choose movies, series, and natives whom you will follow on social media as well. I know that you might not feel very comfortable because I was not. But it is really important to not only passively listen but try to repeat after the actors in the movies or people from social media to practice your accent.
Overall Tips on What to Do after You Failed IELTS
As well as good business is not rising only from money and education but needs a strong personality, a good impression from someone’s English skills is not made by pure language. It is always something a little bit more. It is a relaxed pose and gestures, it is the self-confidence of a speaker.
Let’s imagine two people who worked on their American accent for a long time. But one of them is stressed, unconfident, and, even though seems to tell everything correctly, obviously worries about any mistake that can be made. And another person is relaxed and confident, and it seems that even if they make a mistake, they will simply smile and correct themselves. A better impression obviously will be from the second one.
So don’t be afraid. Not so many mistakes in our lives are fatal, and the English test is not one of them.
Sleep well before the exam, eat well, breathe deeply, and believe in yourself. I failed IELTS, but I’m getting my education in the USA now.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Be afraid not to learn from them.
I’m off preparing to retake my IELTS.