This is a question many IELTS candidates ask and the answer is: "Possibly. It all depends". In fact, of course, there is no one answer, just more questions about:
The international standard Common European Framework of Reference ( CEFR) language levels and their corresponding IELTS band scores show that a B2 CEFR English language user would score somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 in IELTS, whereas a C1 user would get an overall band score of 6.5 to 8.0. A C2 would practically be guaranteed 8.0 to 9.0 but if your level is judged to be B1, then you'll get a final IELTS band score of 4.0 to 5.5. For more on this, go to : https://www.ielts.org/ielts-for-organisations/common-european-framework.
This should make it very clear that before we start talking about how much time it might take to prepare for IELTS, one of the first steps you must take is:
How? Without worrying too much about bands and CEFR levels, it is likely that you have a very good idea of how good your English language skills are but there are many short online tests that will give you some idea. For example: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/test-your-english/
IELTS study means knowing the IELTS exam. It's a matter of exam skills, not just language skills. You need to know:
The best way to find out is by:
Yes. If you have IELTS practice materials and you feel comfortable studying alone, no problem. But most IELTS candidates, including those whose English language skills place them at a good C1 or even C2 level, seek and benefit from professional help.
The IELTS exam expert can help you to prepare for the IELTS by:
In terms of time, between you and the expert, it would mean:
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
You will find all kinds of advice and information on how much time is takes to reach a certain desired IELTS level. Some reduce it to a simple looking formula :-
In other words, one month = one band level. I want a 7.0 and my practice test gave me 6.0. One month study.
But how many hours a day, a week? And do I split my time evenly between Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking? I have read advice suggesting that 20 or more a week is better than 10 or 15. Now, that is a surprise!
Let's be honest. The number of hours you put into studying for IELTS is important. But what is more important is how you turn those hours into quality time by:
In other words, it's not a matter of "if" but "how". Your score can go up a point overall at least if you give enough time to preparation but that can only happen through careful planning, receiving expert help and hard work.
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