Whether you desire to migrate, work or study in a country where the English Language is the native language, then the IELTS exam is the right one for you.
IELTS is an acronym that stands for International English Language Testing System and is an English language test expected to test your level of English language proficiency.
Additionally, it will ascertain how possible for you to effortlessly communicate in an English-speaking country.
To achieve a high score on the test, it is essential to understand how to prepare adequately for it. Check out this step-by-step guide to ace your IELTS.
You can also check out 7 IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks Academic (PDF)
1. Identify the suitable IELTS exam you should take
In preparing to pass your IELTS Test with flying colours, there is a need to understand what IELTS Test is suitable for what you want to achieve. There are two types of IELTS you can take namely, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
In deciding which test to write, you need to consider your intention of travelling to your desired country of destination.
The IELTS Academic test is designed for interested people applying for higher education in an English-speaking country while IELTS General Training evaluates your proficiency in the English language in an everyday setting if you plan on relocating to any English-speaking country around the world.
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2. Understand the IELTS exam format
The IELTS exam tests all 4 language skills which are listening, reading, speaking, and writing. It is extremely important to master the skills equally well as this is an important study tip For Success in the test.
For instance, IELTS speaking is a face-to-face informal test with the examiner with 3 different sections. The IELTS listening is a 30-minute audio recording with 40 questions. IELTS reading duration is about an hour with 40 questions. IELTS writing is divided into Task 1 and Task 2.
Task 1 for Academic papers is made up of charts, graphs, maps, etc. while Task 2 for General Training is a letter. Task 2 for both Academic and GT is an academic essay and the duration for IELTS writing is one hour.
3. Know how the IELTS exam band score is calculated to enable you to prepare appropriately
All IELTS Band scores range from 0-9 and these scores are given for language skills which are writing, speaking, listening, and reading. In estimating the overall band score, the average result of each skill is calculated to the nearest whole.
Interestingly, the IELTS exam doesn’t have a pass or fail score, it uses a 9-band scale to identify your level of proficiency in the English language.
The IELTS scale is generally accepted worldwide so you can be sure that you will be graded based on your true understanding of the English language.
4. Make sure you confirm the minimum band score you need
Knowing the minimum band score you require is essential to get your desired score. The IELTS band score varies and occasionally there are even certain requirements for the minimum score in each one of the skills of the IELTS exam (speaking, writing, listening, and reading), based on every visa category.
Individual organizations such as universities, immigration authorities, and employers decide the entry scores according to the requirement for English proficiency in each country and it is essential as an applicant to understand the specific IELTS band score requirement for your result to be useful.
To improve your score read 7 Ways To Improve IELTS Reading Score From 5 to 7.
5. Understand the question types of each test in the IELTS exam
In each skill of the IELTS exam either academic or general, there are different question types and techniques needed and it is important to get familiar with the question types in each test part and the duration to complete the listening, reading, writing, and speaking tests.
6. Develop a study schedule and be consistent with it
It is essential to decide on how many hours you want to spend preparing for IELTS and creating a study schedule around the four skills ( listening, reading, writing and speaking )will go a long way in improving your chances for a good IELTS score.
These 25 Powerful Study Habits Of Highly Successful Students will be very helpful.
7. Make sure you have enough time to practice before the IELTS exam
Practice makes perfect. It is important to practice before the exams. you can set aside some minutes each day to practice something about the test thereby making it a habit and familiarising yourself with the test.
This will help you to develop the necessary skills in all four skills of the test with constant practice.
8. Ensure you practice test questions under exam conditions as well to develop your skills
In preparing for the IELTS test, it is essential you practice under real exam conditions. This will ensure that you are not surprised and under pressure on the day of the test.
You can make use of a timed clock to know how well you will perform, either in assessing your writing, listening, reading, or speaking skills. You can download the IELTS answer sheet to assist you in your preparation.
This will give you an idea of what to expect in the test, build up your confidence level and increase your chances of passing the test.
9. Practice proper time management before the IELTS exam
Building speed in answering your questions and effectively managing your time effectively is crucial to passing your IELTS test. There is a fixed time limit to assess each skill and it is important to learn how to manage your time to get your desired band score on the test.
10. Ensure you don’t leave questions unanswered
Try not to leave empty spaces during your test for the reading, writing, and listening sections, likewise, during your speaking test you don’t keep mute but say something. You can take a guess answer because you will not lose marks for incorrect answers.
11. Get professional training for the IELTS exam
Experienced and trained tutors can guide you to develop skills for all four sections of the IELTS Test. Getting professional training will boost your confidence and potential to do well in the test because the trained tutors will give you insight from their well of knowledge.
12. Develop your IELTS Skills
From actual words conversations such as interactions with neighbours and colleagues at work to speaking in front of the mirror, down to listening to a foreign country’s news, reading newspapers and various educational materials. These and many more can improve your English skills and help you to succeed in your test.
See also 7 keys to academic success
13. Never memorize sample answers before the IELTS exam
IELTS scores show your true level and memorizing answers like your writing essays and copying it out on the day of your test are not appropriate and natural. It does not represent your life, your experience, country.
You should study model answers and learn the varieties of examples and ideas that can come in handy during your test.
14. Pay attention to the instructions given
Following instructions to the letter in all aspects of the test is essential. For each skill assessed during the test, make sure you adhere to the rules and regulations required and specified guidelines if you want to succeed in the test.
15. Pay attention to your weakest skill
You must understand the skill you need to improve the most. Identify that skill it could be listening, writing, reading, or speaking, and spend time on the specific areas within that skill.
16. Take your test when you fully understand the IELTS exam
The IELTS Test requires proper preparation. It is important to take your test when you are fully prepared and confident in your English skills, so you do not waste your time and resources.
For better understanding, read Memorization VS Understanding: 10 Things To Know About Each
17. Pay attention to feedback
During your preparations, take up a preliminary IELTS test, to identify which skills are stronger than the others and pay attention to the feedback from the assessment. Use the feedback to get better in other to pass your IELTS exams with remarkably high scores.
18. Sleep and eat well before the day of the IELTS exam
Ensure you sleep and eat well before the day of the test to prevent any form of stress. Staying stress-free before and during your test is key. It is natural to feel anxious and stressed but it is important to note that such anxious feelings will put you under pressure.
These 7 Super Tips To Study Smart For Exam In Less Time will also help.
19. Ask for clarification
There is no shame in asking for clarification, especially during the IELTS speaking test. When you are not sure of what the examiner said, it is right to request clarification. it enables you to be sure about what the examiner wants from you.
20. Do not keep on writing after the invigilator informs you to stop
To prevent your result from being withheld or cancelled, make sure you don’t keep writing after the invigilator informs you to stop as this might jeopardize all your efforts to pass your exams with very high scores.
The tips written are to guide you and equip you with strategies needed to pass your exams with excellence.