Learning effective test-taking strategies in MONOL IELTS

Monol’s regular IELTS course is composed of seven hours a day with group and one-on-one classes.

In a group class, students can learn more vocabulary and grammar because they can openly discuss their views and opinions about various topics with their classmates and teacher. They can engage in more interaction, which is beneficial to all. Doing this exchange is especially helpful during the IELTS Writing class.

Because we were able to analyze and talk about a particular topic in class, we could also bring more depth to our composition when we wrote about it. Aside from this, our teacher also provided some tips, useful vocabulary, and expressions; to help us achieve accuracy. Of course, after the writing exercise, our teacher corrected grammar and other errors in our output.

Before writing, our teacher introduced the different kinds of essays in IELTS and provided examples. After getting to know each type, we practiced writing with a target score in mind. You can expect a swift improvement this way!

While the Reading subject was quite simple for me, I struggled in Listening. I believe it is what non-native speakers find it hard to master. Fortunately, with a lot of practice, one can improve on it significantly.

Our Listening teacher helped us in searching keywords, sentences, and vocabulary. Although there were parts where it was hard to understand the audio, it was easier to search for the answer after the teacher’s explanation.

Meanwhile, in the Speaking subject, the teacher introduced the basics of the IELTS Speaking test and some common topics. I was not that good at English communication at first. Because of that, I got a little tongue-tied during class. However, our teacher was always patient and earnest, which made me happy that I could study smoothly. Just like in our Writing class, we shared our opinions about different topics with each other. It was useful for expanding ideas and answers because we could accumulate vocabulary and expressions through the discussions.


I also took a one-on-one class for the Speaking subject, which was a practice course. The teacher asked questions on different topics according to the IELTS test procedure and guidelines and then corrected errors after I gave my answers. She provided explanations and suggestions on appropriate vocabulary as well. Through these practices, I learned about various topics. I think that if I took the official test, I might come across questions that I already encountered in my classes. I would feel more relaxed answering then!

The one-on-one Writing classes were also a great help to me. In the beginning, the teacher explained essential writing procedures based on group class lessons. After this, I practiced composing essays about different topics.

For each topic, the teacher and I discussed and shared our points of view before I wrote my essays. Although my teacher spent some time checking my compositions, the next day, she corrected my mistakes and gave suggestions on how to enhance them.

One-on-one classes can provide personalized teaching to students. Here, students can ask questions about grammar, sentence structure, and meaning of words freely, which are necessary for the improvement of English skills. Naturally, not all students encounter the same problems; that is why I think individualized learning is helpful.

Whenever my teachers gave back my essays, I combed through the whole thing to make sure that I understood the meaning of all the sentences. Sometimes I faced challenges that I have never encountered because of my cultural background. Without my teacher’s explanations, I had no way of understanding these myself.

I had plenty of practice during my one-on-one class in Listening. My first mock test in Listening was difficult, and I got a 4.5 band score. Because of this, I chose to take extra classes on this subject. Of course, the Listening subject was not only about writing and checking answers. The teachers explained everything to make sure I understood the passage entirely.

In case you also have difficulty in listening to audio files, you can ask your teacher to dictate the words the way I did. I made it a habit to list vocabulary that I did not understand during my Listening class and asked my teacher to pronounce those words for a few minutes before starting our lesson the next day.

Each course progresses according to the student’s abilities and goals. In a one-on-one class, students can find the most suitable rhythm for learning according to their needs.

To summarize, the group class subjects focus on imparting the basics of IELTS. Through these classes, students and teachers gain a lot of knowledge through sharing and learning together.

On the other hand, one-on-one classes promote individualized learning. Students can find the most suitable learning plan according to their level. With constant practice, they don’t only gain knowledge but also enhance their test-taking skills.


Apart from the formal classes, we took mock exams every Friday. The Listening, Reading, and Writing exams were scheduled in the morning, while we had the Speaking test in the afternoon.

According to most students, Monol’s mock exams are stricter than the actual ones. I like this arrangement because it trains us and motivates us to study more seriously!

The exam results were usually available in the afternoon when the teachers also explained the answers. For exam results in Speaking and Writing, teachers focused on providing suggestions on how the students can improve and expand their ideas.

With these weekly mock tests, students learn to apply what they’ve learned in class, at the same time, train to strengthen their test-taking skills.