Q: How was your One Skill Retake experience?
Mr. Kodama: My initial impression is that time passed by quickly! Usually, IELTS requires sitting for almost three hours. However, this time, concentrating solely on the Listening, I wrapped it up in less than an hour.
Q: Unlike your original IELTS, you concentrated on a single skill with One Skill Retake. Did it enhance your concentration?
Mr. Kodama: Absolutely. Focusing on just one skill gave me the chance to give it my best shot. At the same time, that also meant there was added pressure to perform well in this one specific skill.
As I made a spelling mistake during the Listening section in my original test, I revisited the spellings of various words until the very last moment before my One Skill Retake began, which potentially helped me achieve a better score.
Q: What benefits did you observe in One Skill Retake?
Mr. Kodama: Having a second chance is definitely an advantage. For instance, in the Listening section I retook, a 0.5 improvement elevated my overall score. Even though it’s just one skill, it can have an impact on the overall score, making it a fantastic opportunity to reach test-takers' targeted score.
Q: Who would you recommend One Skill Retake to?
Mr. Kodama: It's suitable for those who are just a step away from reaching their target score. Let's say you have taken IELTS multiple times, achieving a personal best of 6.5 in Writing but happened to score 5.5 this time, and you would have achieved the overall targeted score with 6.0 in Writing. In such cases, One Skill Retake is recommended in the hope that you achieve 6.0 in Writing and meet your required overall.
Since you can retake one specific skill within 60 days of your original test, you can focus on studying it for one to two months before taking One skill Retake. This can save both cost and time.
Q: Any precautions you should take when considering One Skill Retake?
Mr. Kodama: Firstly, confirm whether One Skill Retake is accepted by the organisation you are applying to. Secondly, carefully consider whether your target is achievable with One Skill Retake. For example, it's quite challenging for someone with a Speaking personal best of 6.5 to score 7.5 in One Skill Retake.
Also, it's important not to rely too much on One Skill Retake. If you spend two months concentrating only on one skill and still don't reach your target score with One Skill Retake at the end, it can be disappointing. Moreover, you might not have enough time to study all four skills again. It's better to prepare for IELTS considering both situations where you can and cannot achieve your target score with One Skill Retake.
Q: Could you provide an overview of the exam experience you had to give those planning to take One Skill Retake a clearer picture?
Mr. Kodama: The experience closely resembled the original IELTS. Upon arriving at the centre, an ID check was conducted at the reception. I was then directed to the computer lab, where the test commenced simultaneously with other participants taking all four skills.
After completing only the Listening section, the IDP staff guided me smoothly to the exit. I was assigned a seat near the exit and didn't cause any disturbance while others proceeded to the Reading section.
Note from IDP: In Mr. Kodama's case, when he took the Listening section, other test-takers also started the Listening section simultaneously. If you take One Skill Retake for Reading or Writing, the timing of starting the test is the same as other test-takers, but you'll work on the specific skill you selected with One Skill Retake. IDP Staff will guide you on the day.
Q: Finally, if you have a message for those considering One Skill Retake, please share!
Mr. Kodama: One Skill Retake is a game changer, offering a second chance, which is not seen in other English proficiency tests. I recommend utilising One Skill Retake as one of the strategies to achieve your target score. It depends on test-takers, but in Speaking, factors like the topic and the condition on the day can cause a difference of 0.5 to a maximum of 2.0. For those who feel "I couldn't fully perform at the best of my abilities" or "the topic was unfamiliar to me, so I couldn't showcase my true English proficiency," after the original test, I strongly encourage considering One Skill Retake!
Interviewee: Mr. Hideo Kodama – IELTS instructor based in Tokyo, Japan
B.A. in Communication, State University of New York at Plattsburgh. After teaching at secondary schools, he joined LINGO L.L.C., and has overseen its IELTS and TOEFL preparation courses for over 10 years and is one of the leading IELTS experts in Japan. LINGO L.L.C. official website. https://www.lingollc.com/