The Inside Edge: A Unique Way to Improve your IELTS Score

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

Did you know that on average it takes 3 months of intensive English practice to gain ½ band score on the IELTS (Elder & O’Loughlin, 2003)? Many students come to us with a band score of 5, hoping to jump to a 6 after taking 20 hours of study. Is this even possible? Research says this is highly unlikely. To make significant gains on the IELTS, two things are needed: a great deal of language exposure and practice and knowledge of the test itself.

If you are short on time, your best option is to learn more about the IELTS test, its format and design, to prepare while practising. But unfortunately, this information is limited. Courses tend to give you the basic general information on the different parts of the test – knowledge that is already open to the public. What you need is the Inside Edge.

Canada’s Terra Nova Institute of Learning offers just that. Its courses (both online and in-class) are unique in that they are built around the research findings of their PhD instructors in Second Language Education. For example, a content analysis conducted on 24 task one writing prompts (taken from official IELTS exams) revealed the most likely prompt you will get on task 1 is either a bar or line graph focusing on a social science issue that refers to geographical locations in the West. Your course, therefore, will review all the forms possible on the test (and the likelihood of their appearance on test day) and then offer practice with the most common type. This strategy of applied research teaching is used to teach all skills for the IELTS –allowing you to gain the Inside Edge.

For more information on our Inside Edge program, visit:


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