Tutoring is one of the most in-demand programs in education. From a young child who needs one-on-one help learning basic multiplication equations to an adult learner honing his or her writing skills for an English language test, meeting with an expert for a few hours a week can make an impact.
Private lessons for an exam such as IELTS, CELPIP, OET, TOEFL, or Cambridge, is exactly what certain students need – especially if that student is writing the exam for the second, third, or even fourth attempt. IELTS preparation is a necessity for everyone, even native speakers, but it’s important to understand that IELTS private lessons are not always the most affordable and/or the most effective way to prepare for the IELTS exam. For many candidates, full-time classes are essential.
One of the most common challenges is improving from an overall band score of 6 to an overall band score of 7. At first glance, it seems easily attainable – it is, after all, only one point. This can be misleading for candidates and may send them down a longer path that won’t yield the best results. Moving from IELTS 6 to 7 requires full-time studies, which will be discussed in a future blog post and in future videos on our YouTube channel. For now, let’s stay on the topic of IELTS private lessons.
Consider two things: cost-per-hour and time invested. Since private lessons can be as much as $100 per hour at an official IELTS centre, it’s clear that your one-on-one sessions could be costly over a short period of time. To keep costs at a minimum, it’s recommended that private lessons be used for one skill only and the total length is limited to between four hours and six hours. For some candidates, private lessons are the obvious answer, while for others it can be rather confusing.
For example, candidate A has written the IELTS test twice. He has achieved the band scores he needs in every skill except writing. On both attempts, he has scored 0.5 below the band score he needs. In this situation, candidate A knows he doesn’t need to take a month-long full-time IELTS course reviewing all the skills for the IELTS test along with weekly practice exams. He needs someone to assess his practice writing tasks and tell him specifically what he is doing wrong and how to change it. Typically this can be achieved in a short time: two hours of assessment and some practice, followed by another two hours of the same later that week.
Let’s look at another example. Candidate B has written the IELTS test only once and ended up one point below her desired band score in writing and speaking. Her goal was 7 in both of those skills, but she only scored 6. As noted previously, improving by 0.5 in one skill can be achieved in 2-4 hours. So if she needs to improve by one full band score in two skills, she will need more than ten hours of private lessons. This is where cost becomes a factor. For her, an IELTS class that covers only writing and speaking would be a more practical option. A four-week part-time program is typically less than $500. The class size is small, so candidate B would still have ample on-one-on time with the instructor. It’s more affordable and equally effective.
These are only two examples out of numerous possibilities. Every student is different, but the attitude of any person preparing for the IELTS test needs to be the same: trust in an expert. Meet with a qualified advisor at an official IELTS testing centre and come up with an agreed upon plan. IELTS preparation in Vancouver is simply one step on your path in life. It shouldn’t be something that stops you from moving forward or demands months of anxiety. You can read about all of our IELTS programs at Global Village Vancouver. We’re here to help.