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Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Rozitah 講師のコラム

Free vs Paid Lessons in IELTS Preparations

2017年3月20日

I have been receiving a lot of new enquiries recently about my IELTS courses. Is it exam season already? Most of the questions are usually quite typical - How much do your lessons cost? How long does the course take? Can I have lessons in the evening? etc etc. I do, sometimes get queries that go a bit further such as this one here:

What's the difference between your lessons and the free ones on YouTube?

Interesting that.

A common belief among a lot of IELTS candidates is:

"I can learn everything on the internet now for free. Why is it still relevant for me to join an IELTS preparation course like the one you're offering? I can learn a few speaking tips here, a little bit of essay writing there."

This, I think, is definitely a positive thing that there is so much free information available for everyone to learn out on the internet. Whatever you want to know about preparing for the IELTS, you can find it all online for free. And a bit more!

A very wise man called E.O. Wilson once said:

We’re drowning in information, but we’re starving for wisdom.

If you are a self-disciplined and organised life-long learner who has lots of time to sift through all the information on the internet and parse things together, then go for it! But I can promise you that with the amount of information out there, and especially if your test date is just around the corner , it’s really getting harder and harder.:

  1. to filter through which information you need and which you don't,
  2. to understand who the voices you can trust are and
  3. what the sequence is.

If you don’t get the sequence right, it’s not going to work. If you don’t have

  1. a source that you can trust and verify,
  2. other people to connect with,
  3. someone telling you and guiding you,

you'll be lost quite easily. This is really important for your IELTS preparations. You need someone to help you sort out which information is really relevant, and which to pretty much ignore. When it comes to training with The IELTS Tutor, it's not about super trendy IELTS videos. It's not about information you can't get anywhere else. I have been getting students IELTS-prepared for over a decade now and tested thousands of candidates around the world.

  • It's more about the transformation - from an inexperienced test taker to a confident one.
  • It's about the involvement - applying that understanding to practice.
  • It's about putting yourself in an environment that challenges you to reach your full potential in the test.

It's good that you have so much information at your fingertips. But the big question is:

  • Are you doing anything with it?
  • Have you used the information you have?
  • Is anyone pushing your forward?

No? Then ask yourself:

What's the value of all that free information?

It does not matter if it's a course with me or any other courses that you do, if you can find a qualified, (and I mean, qualified, and not just any Tom Dick or Harry without any professional qualifications or experience in testing candidates) instructor, teacher, or trainer, someone you resonate with, whose energy starts to pull out the best in you, go for it! Do whatever you've got to do, whether it's a £10 lesson or a £10, 000 course, get that motivation in order to put your best foot forward in the test!

In my own experience as a learner, there are certain teachers or trainers who, even if I feel that "I know all that information", I will go to that course or teacher again, because something happens in me. Something gets activated, or switched on, or powered on. I find a new level of motivation and commitment in myself, and I find new ideas.

So basically, it is not about getting stuff for free. All that you want to know is floating on the internet right now. It is really about saying to yourself:

"What is it going to take, for me to put all these into action, and do I want to do it in such a way where I am really giving myself the best chance possible to get results?"

Until next time!

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