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  • Writer's pictureSte Sharpe

The Importance of Feedback

A feedback box
Feedback for IELTS

If you’ve ever done an IELTS mock test on your own using a mock test book, I’m sure you’ve had mixed feelings of shock, joy, worry or any other positive/negative feeling when checking the answers for your reading and listening test, but the important thing is you can get instant feedback on your reading and listening skills.

But what about speaking and writing? How do you know if what you’ve written or said is accurate? How do you know if you’ve answered the question correctly for Writing Task 1 and 2? How do you know if you’ve used a wide range of vocabulary? How do you know if your pronunciation was clear?

Without feedback on speaking and writing, you won’t know which specific areas of your speaking and writing you’ll need to improve to help you make progress.

This blog post looks at the importance of feedback and how it can help you reach a higher IELTS band score.

What is feedback?

The Collins Dictionary entry for feedback explains that someone tells you how good or bad you’re doing at something and how to improve.

In teaching terms, this is when the teacher tells you how well or badly you’re doing at something and what you can do to improve in specific areas.

Why is this important when preparing for the IELTS Test?

To get a high band score, you need to show an advanced level of understanding and use of English.

In my previous blog posts about the IELTS Speaking Test descriptors (Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation), I talked about the difference between band 6 and 7. Some examples of what’s expected at a band 7 include:

Lexical Resource

Collocations: (words which are frequently used together) such as ‘make an effort’ ‘pay attention’ ‘influential figure’

Idiomatic expressions: (informal language whose literal meaning is different from the phrase) such as ‘think outside the box’ ‘feel under the weather’ ‘I’m on the fence’

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Subordinate clauses

‘Once I’ve finished my exams, I’d like to go on holiday for a month to relax’.

Complex structures

‘I could’ve been a better student when I was at university.’

Both of these descriptors also consider the amount of errors candidates make.

If you don’t receive feedback on your speaking (or writing), then you won’t know if what you’re saying (or writing) is accurate, nor will you know what the mistakes are and how to correct them in the future.

Feedback is essential on learning from your mistakes and making progress so that you can achieve a high band score.

As you know from my previous blog posts, my philosophy to teaching IELTS is:

Test Familiarisation + Language Development

IELTS is an evaluation of your current level of English, so if you want to achieve a band 7, your general English level already needs to be at band 7.

So, what should I do now?

If you’re applying for the Academic IELTS Test and need some help and guidance on your speaking, then check out my online IELTS Speaking Course where you’ll not only learn all about the IELTS Speaking Test format, but you’ll also improve your speaking skills through detailed feedback and specific activities to help you in specific areas of English. Not only that, you’ll complete 4 speaking mock tests with me, including detailed feedback related to the IELTS Speaking Test descriptors, to ensure you feel prepared and ready to give your best on the test day.

You can also join my Telegram Channel (see the link at the bottom of the web page) where you’ll receive free resources to develop your language skills.

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