The International English Language Testing System, better known as IELTS, is the most prestigious language examination anywhere in the world. If you’re a student looking to pursue their undergraduate education overseas, preparing for the IELTS should be your top priority. One of the best resources available today that can help IELTS test takers prepare for their upcoming examinations is webinars.
Besides learning valuable tips in boosting your scores, you may also get the rare opportunity to hear from previous test-takers as they share their experiences, stories, and exclusive tips.
Here are 8 effective ways to leverage webinars and use them to your fullest advantage.
8 Strategies to maximise your IELTS webinar experience
1. Take better notes
While it may sound like a menial and no-brainer task, your ability to take good notes during a webinar can be the ultimate game-changer.
Good notes matter both during and after the webinar itself. During the session, jotting down notes will allow you to stay engaged and focus, and help you retain important information that will be useful afterwards.
After the webinar, your notes would be filled with summarised versions of key information that will come in handy during your tests. Always try to avoid multitasking and truly dedicate your time and energy to absorbing whatever you can.
Take a look at these note-taking systems and find the ideal one that works best for you.
2. Download note-taking apps like Evernote to assist you
After mastering the art of purposefully taking notes, you’re going to need the best note-taking apps to help you get the job done more quickly and efficiently. With the average pace of webinars, you’re going to need more than pen and paper.
Compared to your regular word document, digital note-taking apps have a more intuitive interface and unique features like support styluses and image-to-text features specifically made for notes.
Since your notes are stored within the app and not on paper, this also allows for automating syncing and sharing with other students or friends who may also be preparing for their IELTS examination.
From Notion, Evernote to Google Keep, here are some of our top recommendations for the best note-taking apps available today.
3. Prepare a list of key questions for the Q&A section in live webinars
The designated Q&A session after every webinar is one of the best times to ask any burning questions that you may have on the IELTS examination. However, it’s also important to prepare beforehand.
Especially for live webinars, make it a point to take advantage of the opportunity for real-time dialogue. This grants speakers and moderators the chance to integrate your questions into the discussion and bounce off ideas from one another, allowing you to get the most out of the session.
At the same time, your fellow attendees can also benefit from the response to your question as well.
4. Stay focused by choosing the best time slots for pre-recorded webinars
Because of COVID-19 and the need to adapt to the digital audience, most seminars that would’ve been conducted physically were held online instead. This has made it even more easy and accessible for students worldwide to get access to exclusive webinars from renowned speakers and moderators across the globe.
It may be tempting to impulsively sign up for all the free webinars available. But make it a point to only sign up for ones with the most convenient time slots that work for your schedule.
The last thing you’d want is to wake up in the wee hours of the morning for a webinar that’s happening at noon in pacific time.
5. Collaborate with other attendees and share notes to identify what you might have missed out
Apart from gaining access to insights from moderators and speakers, did you know that webinars are a great platform to collaborate and network with other attendees as well?
Similar to a university lecture where you’ll be introduced to your classmates, participants and presenters will have the chance to circulate their contact details beforehand to get acquainted with one another.
From there, you can continue the discussion even after the webinar, and exchange and share notes on discussion topics that you may have missed out on during the session.
Keeping in touch with the connections you made may also have benefits that extend beyond the webinar itself and become useful in your future career. So be sure to take this networking opportunity in your stride!
6. Choose the most pressing webinars based on content, format & source
Instead of signing up for sessions in a week, make wise decisions on the webinars you choose to attend. An effective way to weigh your options is to choose based on content, format and source. Here’s a quick breakdown of how this works:
Content: Webinars that provide content that is relevant to your current goals, preparation techniques, and boosting your IELTS scores should be your main priority. Anything apart from that should be optional.
Format: From live online conferences to informative presentations, webinars come in a variety of different formats. For instance, webinars for Listening tests for IELTS may be best in a live format as opposed to a pre-recorded version.
Source: Take into consideration the webinar organisers as well as the speakers and groups associated with the event. Attending webinars hosted by highly qualified thought leaders and professors may be more worthwhile than smaller groups.
Ensure that you look out for webinars with these three factors in mind.
7. Go through & practice the tips or advice given in the webinar
After all the different seminars you have attended, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice to solidify your newfound knowledge.
Go over the notes you’ve taken during the sessions and apply your learnings through a practice test.
Taking an online mock test is an effective way to familiarise yourself with the format of IELTS and gauge how well you’ll perform during the actual examination.
8. Create flashcards to help you better recollect key information
One of the most effective note-taking techniques for all types of learners is using flashcards. As simple as this method may be, it aids the retention of information more efficiently and facilitates metacognition.
This concept teaches people to understand their thought processes and the patterns behind them, as opposed to just simply memorising notes. When you engage in active recall through the help of flashcards, it trains your brain to remember a term more quickly without the need for contextual clues.
Learn more about the power of flashcards and how to maximise them through the eyes of Scott H. Young here.