To register with the GMC, you are required to obtain an average of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7 in each category) in IELTS. Or you could obtain a Grade B or above in OET.
To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, you are required to obtain an average of 4 in each section. Alternatively, if your primary medical degree was taught in English you could use UKNARIC as evidence of your English language skills.
There are various ways to prepare for your IELTS exam and each individual person has a preferred revision technique to support their learning. However, we wanted to share some top tips to help you ensure that you successfully pass your IELTS exam.
A common mistake international doctors make is to rush into booking their exam with not much preparation.
It is important to remember that the IELTS exam is skill-based, not knowledge-based and this means that each IELTS exam will contain different questions asking you to evidence your skills within completely different topics. Therefore, before booking your exam you should ensure that you are confident in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English.
If you find your English language skills are lacking in one particular area it may be a good idea to find an English language tutor or take a course. The more English becomes natural to you, the more likely you are to pass the IELTS test.
A useful way to improve your English language skills is to read authentic materials. For example, you could visit BBC News Articles daily as their website offers interesting news stories, reports, interviews with a global focus.
Another useful way to improve your English language skills on the go is to listen to songs or podcasts and watch YouTube videos.
The more you read or listen to English, the more natural it will be to you!
It is tempting to look at example essay answers and memorise them, however, this will only hinder you in the exam. The IELTS questions change every exam sitting and so you could be asked about ANY topic. From the environment to transportation. Try and learn the language rather than memorise answers for the exam. This way, you are less likely to make a mistake because your answers are not based on memory, but skill.
Ensure you understand the exam format and so you will not be confused and overwhelmed when you first open the paper in the exam hall.
Leading on from tip 4, it is wise to sit a few mock exams.
Once you feel confident with your revision, you should frequently test yourself within a 2 hours and 45-minute time frame, replicating the exam day. This will allow you to know what it feels like to complete the four different tests consecutively. At the end of your mock exam, you can mark yourself to see what areas you struggled with the most and then put more revision time into that area.
During the exam, you may feel overwhelmed and so it is important to go through the paper, check and double check if you have answered all of the questions. This way you will not accidentally miss out on a large portion of marks.
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