Integrating Skills, Strategies and Topics
Strategies mean those behavioural actions you can take to give yourself an advantage. Never over or underestimate these. You certainly cannot use strategies to go from a band 5 to an 8 in 3 weeks but they can make the difference between a band 6 and 6.5 so work at taking them very seriously.
Research stretching back 40 years has concluded that having prior knowledge can increase your ability to read and listen but beyond this we know from experience that it is easier to talk or write about topics with which we are familiar. Any program should include an integration of topics that are continuously being recycled in IELTS exams. Again, do not overestimate or underestimate their importance. You cannot predict all the questions that will come out, although there are many blogs and websites that purport to do just that. Still it is helpful to know what topics are currently being used and to look at common ones so you do not become over-stressed and even freeze in an exam
Make a list of SST in separate sections. Strategies and Topics are seemingly endless but are a finite number of skills being tested in the exam, so make sure you get plenty of practice in each. Be mindful that topics are probably more useful to focus on in the speaking and writing sections but it doesn’t hurt to read and listen to a variety of topics in academic sources.
Nevin Blumer (MA Applied Linguistics, B.Ed, B.Mgt, TESL Diploma) is the Director of TPS and is experienced with IELTS since 1999). He is the author of 14 IELTS books and is a former examiner.
Extending Stage 2 Topics in an event