Taking one of our test preparation courses at BBELS is a perfect way to pass the Cambridge and IELTS exam. Each of the teachers chosen to teach the courses have had years of experience in preparing students for the exams and therefore our students have a high pass rate.
Before allowing students into our testing courses we ask each student to complete a test which checks their levels. This 1 ½ hour test focuses on speaking, listening, grammar and writing. Students are then put into class depending on their test result. Students need to have completed studies at an Intermediate level in order to be accepted into our IELTS and FCE courses, and potential CAE students need to have completed an Upper-intermediate course. Our careful testing of all students at this early stage means that our classes flow smoothly throughout the duration of the course.
BBELS teachers have regular Professional Development sessions where they share ideas on teaching methodologies related to the various areas of the exams. These professional development sessions always result in the teachers creating new resources for the testing courses. In doing so, the teachers provide their students with lessons that are specifically tailored to the requirements of the exams and our students .
Each week students in the testing classes focus on individual points of grammar and vocabulary that allow them to successfully answer different parts of the exam. Classes are tested each week as a way to check individual student progress. This helps the teacher identify any weaknesses in the students’ comprehension of what has been studied. These tests also familiarise the students with the format of the Cambridge and IELTS exam.
Our testing courses run for 12 weeks with the exception of one 10-week course per year. We believe this is enough time for students to develop their skills in all areas of the exams. As we are an authorised Cambridge testing centre we are able to test our Cambridge students here at the school, this includes the paper-based exams and the speaking exam (this is subject to student numbers). This means our students can take the exam in a familiar environment allowing them to feel relaxed.
Our regular IELTS teacher is also an IELTS examiner so she knows exactly what the students need to know before they take the test. Because of this our IELTS students always do particularly well, with many of them continuing to study at universities in Australia and overseas.
Studying one of our testing courses at BBELS is also a great way for our students to make friends both in and out of the classroom. Students can study in a multicultural classroom with students from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Outside of the classroom students can live in student-houses provided by the school. Here they can live with students from differentschool-classes and countries, expanding their circle of friends in Byron Bay.
BBELS holds regular Friday night parties at the school so that students can meet more people outside their classroom and share-house environment. This is a great way for students to unwind and recharge after a week of study and tests. Activities are also organised by the school each weekend which students can participate in, allowing the students to balance the demands of an exam course with a more relaxed lifestyle.
As Byron Bay is a small town everything is easily accessible by bike or on foot. Students often talk about the friendliness of the townspeople and so they make friends with locals quickly (if they are not too shy). It is common to see students and locals together at cafes and pubs, or surfing at one of our quiet beautiful beaches. Communicating with the locals builds the students’ confidence, something that is very important when they take the exam.
So on both academic and social levels students who choose to study a testing course at BBELS have the potential to do very well. We provide the framework for student success; the rest is up to the hard work and discipline of each individual student.