Unless you live in China or North Korea, it’s likely that you use Facebook. Many people have problems with its privacy policies and recent data breaches, but still the internet monolith dominates much of our lives. Just like we use Google to find information, we use Facebook to reach out and talk to others.
Facebook can be a great way to prepare for IELTS, too. There are so many ways you can use the social network to improve your IELTS (and general English) skills. However, in this post, we are going to look at Facebook groups. The reason is that these are pretty open platforms where people can freely share and communicate.
But first, while you’re thinking about Facebook, please take a moment to LIKE our Facebook page: TED-IELTS. 🙂 Thanks.
Finding a Facebook Group
If you type “IELTS” into the search bar at the top of Facebook, you will see various pages and groups. As this post is all about groups, you should just click that. You will see that there are so many of them:
It can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start. Sometimes the best idea is to look for popular groups. If other people like it so much, maybe it is worthwhile. However, sometimes these groups can be a little too popular… They are often filled with annoying, pointless messages.
Another big problem that you should watch out for is scam offers. In the IELTS groups, people often advertise fake IELTS certificates. You should never engage these people. Ignore them at all costs. This is deeply immoral, and probably even illegal. You would just be wasting your money and likely getting yourself in trouble.
One more thing: be careful with your personal details. There are many people lurking in these groups, asking for personal information. Many members willingly give up their contact information, but this is not safe. Don’t share so easily with others that you don’t know.
What are the best Facebook groups for IELTS?
One of the biggest IELTS groups out there is called IELTS Free Preparation 9.0. It is a mix of the best and worst of IELTS groups. There are lots of people and most of them are very helpful. They post a wide range of things. However, there is not much moderation, and you often see scams, spam, and some irrelevant material. I do recommend this group, but proceed with caution.
IELTS Tips & Tricks is a much more orderly group. It is run mostly by Rafael Salguero, and he seems to have many rules, and is happy to ban people very readily for breaking them. I would guess he is a very strict teacher. 😉 However, this creates a better environment than the group above.
The IELTS MOOC Study Group is another big group, with more than a quarter million members!!! (By the way, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses.) It is mostly just people posting their essays and asking for free help with grammar and an estimated grade. However, there are some useful posts. (IELTS Writing Feedback is a better source of advice on writing.)
Another group called IELTS Resources is a little more targeted than the other, general groups. It is a place for people to exchange material for IELTS study. However, most of this is illegal, so be wary. Please remember that some people (myself included) spend many hours writing books to help others, and it is not kind to steal them and distribute them freely. My own book is available for free, and I do encourage sharing, but most others aren’t.
If you want to find a speaking partner, check out IELTS Speaking Partners. Here’s a disclaimer: The group is moderated by me. 🙂 This group fills one simple purpose: to let students find a speaking partner. You can post messages here to help find like-minded IELTS students who want to practice their speaking. I don’t tolerate spam and the only other rule is that people must respect each other.
How to use these groups to improve your English
Some of them have an obvious purpose, like acquiring new books or finding a speaking partner; however, for the more general groups they can be a good place to meet others and converse entirely in English. They are also good places to ask questions – such as when to expect the results of an IELTS exam, or what to do to fulfill a certain requirement.
Mostly, use these groups carefully. Avoid scams and rude people. Be respectful and helpful. If you find a good resource, share it with others, and be grateful for what they share with you.