Frequently, the biggest hurdle to overcome when preparing for English exams is the lack of time available to study. Therefore, which is the best option, study FROM actual test scores or study FOR target scores?
First Plan of Action : study as and when you can, in terms of preparing yourself for entering the exam room. This involves understanding the format of the exam, what to expect on the day, the scoring system and completing a few exercises, included in the exam. After that, sit the exam, wait for the result!
When these arrive, you will know, if you’ve been successful, in achieving your target scores, or not. If the latter, then tuition can be targeted to the aspects of the exam which let you down, first time around, before you resit.
Second Plan of Action : if time allows, hold back from booking an exam date until you have done some tuition-based preparation. Despite what you may think, this is not for the benefit of tutors’ bank balances but to reduce the stress and anxiety for exam candidates! A common misconception is that these exams test English, which they don’t!
IELTS and PTE are English Language exams and therefore should be considered from a purely, functional view such as, ‘which box do you have to tick’, of ‘how do you gain/lose marks’? Sitting either of these exams without an awareness of the ‘job’ makes success more difficult to achieve which is how pre-exam tuition helps everyone, irrespective of job or education.