Happy New Year to all my readers!

First of all, I’m sorry for not posting more articles recently. As you may have seen in my recent videos on YouTube, I have been come back to Scotland for Christmas with my family. Here in the UK, Christmas is a long season, and we celebrate for most of December, and even some of January. So I have been too busy with family stuff to post more often on this website. If you want to see what I have been up to, you can check my personal website: www.davidswills.com.

What I’m going to write today is a bit of simple advice for all people interested in IELTS. It’s the beginning of a new year, and that’s a time for making resolutions. So here is my advice on achieving your IELTS goals for 2019:

Set a Realistic Goal

If you want to achieve something, you need to set realistic goals. Learning a language takes time and effort, and you shouldn’t expect to become fluent overnight.

Firstly, take a practice test and find out your IELTS level. Assess which parts you are good at and which parts you need to improve.

Then choose a goal that you can realistically achieve this coming year. Don’t expect to jump from Band 4 to Band 8. Instead, look at climbing from 4 to 6, or 5 to 7.

Fix the Problems

To do this, you should work on your weaknesses. This means find out what you didn’t do well at, and get better. For example, many students struggle with writing. In that case, you should spend more time working on your English skills than any other area.

Fixing problems requires being objective in assessing your weaknesses, and showing dedication in improving. It is natural for people to practice what they find easiest, and ignore problem areas. However, if writing is holding you back, you need to improve.

It is essential to get feedback on your writing skills, otherwise you will never improve. All IELTS students should consider signing up for a writing correction service.

Work Together

Languages are about communication. You can sit at home memorizing vocabulary and studying grammar rules, but the best way to learn is to communicate.

It can be difficult for many people to speak in English because there are no native speakers nearby. However, these days the internet allows us to speak with other folks from around the world.

If want to reach out and contact others, check out the IELTS Speaking Partners Facebook group.

Of course, if you can, it is best to use your language face-to-face. Speak with anyone who wants to practice English, or use your new language skills in real everyday situations. These approaches will really help you improve fast.

Don’t Give Up

Nothing worth doing is easy. Getting your desired IELTS score is hard work, but that’s ok. There are no shortcuts or cheats. Don’t expect to suddenly speak perfect English and get that Band 9 you dreamed of. It takes hard work and long hours. But in the end, the success will be sweeter for the effort invested.