Studying English is a challenging task, especially if your aim is to progress into university study. Developing your writing style and improving your reading capabilities are fundamental to ensuring that your time in university is successful and rewarding. Therefore, preparation is key!
Typically, non-native speaking students will need to develop their academic English usage so that they will be able to engage with the modules delivered on their programme. In the UK, and many other English speaking countries, the IELTS examination is a trusted process that gives the participant feedback through four individual scores of their reading, writing, listening and speaking. These scores are then averaged to give one final score, ranging from Band 1 (Non User) to Band 9 (Expert User), and increasing in 0.5 increments (…. 5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 6.5 – 7.0 ….). For university study in the UK, applicants will typically require an IELTS score of between 6.0 and 7.0, but that depends on the institution and the course you wish to study. Therefore, IELTS preparation is key to achieving the band you need to access your course.
When you finally start your course, you will find that studying in university means a considerable amount of reading and writing. Having prepared through IELTS study, you will be accustomed to writing in an academic style. Nevertheless, your prime objective for the assignments you submit must be that the marker can easily understand your observations, findings and arguments. Consequently, real care must be taken to leave enough time to check your papers carefully before submission. Poor spelling, grammatical constructions and punctuation can result in an essay that is challenging for the reader to engage with, and will therefore reduce the grade for the submitted paper. So, either:
- leave enough time to read carefully through your paper twice, making corrections on the first pass before checking and making final alterations on the second pass;
- engage in peer editing, where you team up with other students to proofread each other’s work;
- use a professional proofreading service where native speakers can check and repair your essay.