Being an IELTS instructor, I was asked a dozen times whether reviewing is essential in the IELTS test. Students are wondering whether they can go to the exam without even knowing reading manuals or review materials for the IELTS. I always tell them that it is their decision to make whether to come to a test without any reviewing done. I make my point by giving them the pros and cons of reviewing and not reviewing for the IELTS test. Here is my two cents regarding the issue.
Taking the IELTS without reviewing
- There is no need to be conscious of attending classes since you are not enrolled in any review center. You have all the free time in the world and just wait for the day of your exam. Be at the test center, take the exam, and off you go right after.
- No additional costs aside from the test registration. IELTS review can cost up to Php 5000. That is somehow a big amount of money, and if you are in a very tight budget, reviewing seems to be impractical. You can just use this money for your registration instead.
- Poor understanding of the questions during the examination. Since you are not familiar with the question types and even the test format, it is difficult to find the right answers for reading and listening and create appropriate responses for speaking and writing.
- Lack of English skills used in the test. Without the skills taught in an IELTS review, it is a challenge for anyone without review to finish the exam without feeling burdened. Your skills are just basic as any person who do not know the IELTS.
- Less impressive responses in speaking and writing. Poor vocabulary and sentence construction are most likely to happen. This leads to a poor band score in both sub-tests.
- Getting a high score? Impossible. You may not even get an overall band score of 5.0 when you do not review for the IELTS test.
Taking the IELTS with review
- Better comprehension of reading and listening passages. This is for the reason that you have had lectures and enough practice prior to the examination date. You know what to do when faced with questions and you will never hesitate in finding the right answers to every question.
- Improved vocabulary and grammar. When reviewing, particularly with review centers, you will be able to develop your grammar skills and learn new vocabulary that is essential for the examination.
- Speaking responses are smart and logical. Familiarity with the questions increases the chances of giving an appropriate response during the interview. Also, you feel more confident and you are ready to answer any kind of question your interviewer throws at you.
- Writing essays has never been easier. Reviewing lets you realize the tasks that are to be completed in the writing. With these addressed in your essay, getting a good score is a piece of cake.
- Getting a high score? Not a problem. With your practice, you are sure to hit your target score.
- Less time because you prioritize your future by studying the IELTS test with the dream of getting a high score to be used for your visa applications.
- Less money in the pocket but a guaranteed good score in the exam.
These are my pros and cons on both. Weigh them both because at the end, it is still your decision to make.