Quick & Simple IELTS Preparation Tips


Quick & Simple
IELTS Preparation Tips

To score high marks in your IELTS exams and IELTS general practice test, you must have a thorough understanding of the test pattern. Taking a lot of IELTS practice tests can help you understand the pattern better. Your time management skills play a vital role when you take the test. Therefore, taking the IELTS  practise test enables you to manage your time better. The more you practice, the higher are your chances of acing the test with a high score.

  1. For the IELTS Listening Section, the audio will be played only once. So when you take the practice tests, limit yourself to listening to the audio only once. Listen to topics from various situations like lectures, conversations and monologues as the IELTS listening section deals with these, and you can train your ear.
  2. The IELTS Reading section consists of different questions, and each question requires particular reading skills. By following a specific strategy for IELTS test preparation, you can easily ace this section. Instead of repeatedly reading through the entire section, you must learn to skim and scan the text to comprehend the idea in a shorter time during the IELTS general and IELTS academic reading practice test.
  3. Plan your essay before you start writing your essay. Note down your ideas roughly and start by organising them into an essay form. It is essential to plan your time too. Keep in mind that you will need more time to complete the second task. So do not spend more than 20 minutes on the first task and spend 40 minutes on the second task.
  4. It includes a face-to-face interview, which is divided into three parts.  The IELTS Speaking Section includes subjects like work, education, friends and more. Work on improving your vocabulary and grammatical skills as they both play a vital role in this section. Prepare ahead for specific topics so that you can be more confident during the IELTS speaking test.

IELTS Listening Preparation Tips

  • Get accustomed to various accents. The IELTS Listening test incorporates a variety of accents to mirror the global usage of English. Thus, it's crucial to acclimate yourself to accents from diverse English-speaking nations.
  • Rather than solely tuning in to the BBC, consider listening to smaller regional radio stations or actively watching TV series from various English-speaking countries. A simple Google search will provide you with plenty of options.
  • Maintain your focus. Concentrating during the IELTS Listening test can be challenging, but it's vital for achieving a Band 7 or higher.
  • To bolster your concentration, practise active listening. This involves assigning yourself small tasks during practice and actively engaging with the material, just as you would in the actual test.
  • Pay close attention to the instructions. This is particularly important regarding the word limit. If the question specifies 'No more than three words,' you must adhere to this limit. If your response consists of four words, it will be marked correctly.
  • Become familiar with various question formats. This will enable you to anticipate what to expect on the test day and how to respond to different question types. Utilise authentic IELTS past test papers for practice.
  • Train yourself to listen only once. Many instructors allow students to replay a recording three or four times. However, practising under exam-like conditions is highly advisable, which means listening only once.
Continuous practice and familiarising yourself with the test format are key to performing well in the IELTS Listening section.

IELTS Reading Preparation Tips

Effective Strategies for the IELTS Reading Test:

  • Regularly practice reading various English texts to cultivate the ability to read swiftly.
  • Thoroughly read each question before answering to facilitate locating answers later. Indicate potential answers while reading. For computer-based IELTS, make notes or highlight text sections.
  • Initially, read the text quickly to grasp a general understanding. Then, carefully read it again, considering the questions you need to answer.
  • Since the passage contains all the answers, read attentively to avoid overlooking them.
  • Verify that your spelling matches those in the passage while answering.
  • Occasionally, questions may assess your comprehension of the passage, such as questions about the main theme or specific words or ideas that encapsulate the passage's essence.
  • It's beneficial to highlight keywords while reading, like crucial dates, making them easier to locate if a question pertains to them.
  • Always ensure correct spelling, particularly when transcribing from the passage.
  • If taking the paper-based IELTS, record your answers directly on the answer sheet, as there won't be additional time for transferring answers later.
  • Download other essential official IDP Education IELTS preparation tools to enhance your preparation.

Remember, practice and familiarity with the exam structure are crucial for success in the IELTS Reading section.

IELTS Writing Preparation Tips

Essential Tips for IELTS Writing

Before taking the test, consider these key IELTS writing tips to excel in the writing section:

  • Master the essay structure: Essay writing is crucial in the IELTS exam. Understand the essay structure, organise your thoughts clearly, and use paragraphs. This showcases your organisational skills and makes your essays more engaging. Pay attention to the IELTS essay structure, which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Practise test topics: Practice is key to boosting confidence during the exam. Utilise free tests available on the British Council website and other platforms. Use various practice questions and complete your writing within the time and word limits. The more you practice, the better prepared you'll be.
  • Write grammatically correct sentences: Many test-takers struggle with grammar. Ensure your sentences are grammatically correct, as this impacts your writing and speaking scores. Proper grammar and connective words demonstrate your language proficiency. Also, match singular and plural nouns in your answers to the question form.
  • Mind your vocabulary: Avoid word repetition and use appropriate vocabulary. While some candidates use advanced vocabulary and long sentences to demonstrate their language skills, only do this if you are proficient in English.
  • Brainstorm: Quickly jot down ideas and create a mental essay map after completing a task. This ensures clear writing.
  • Monitor your word count: Complete task 1 within 150 words and task 2 within 250 words to avoid penalties. Computer-based test-takers can easily track word count, but paper-based test-takers must practice to estimate the word limit accurately.
  • Maintain a formal tone: Write formally to achieve a higher band score (8 and above). Academic essays differ from informal letters, so choose your writing style carefully.
  • Avoid irrelevant answers: Focus on quality over quantity in the IELTS writing test. Provide concise, relevant answers rather than lengthy ones.
  • Manage your time: Time management is crucial. Practice to determine how long it takes to complete both tasks, reducing pressure during the actual exam.
  • Ensure readability: Use clear, concise, and straightforward writing to engage your examiner. Avoid crowded paragraphs that may confuse or bore examiners.
  • Answer all questions: After finishing, check that you've answered all questions to avoid losing marks.
  • Correct spellings: Use standard American, British, or Australian spellings, all of which are acceptable in IELTS.

These vital IELTS writing tips will help you achieve high marks in the IELTS writing exam.

IELTS Speaking Preparation Tips

Essential Tips for IELTS Speaking

  • Speak English Daily: All Band 7+ students practice English daily. Practice daily and gradually improve rather than only speaking English during your IELTS class. More IELTS Speaking practice tips can be found here.
  • Ask the examiner for clarification: The IELTS Speaking test should feel like a normal conversation. If you don't understand a word, ask the examiner to explain it. You can say, 'I'm sorry, could you explain what X means?' You can also ask them to repeat the question, but you can't ask them to explain the entire sentence. Here’s what to do if you encounter an unfamiliar topic in your IELTS Speaking test.
  • Do a 24-hour English warm-up: Most IELTS students need 10-15 minutes to 'warm up' and perform their best on test day. Just as athletes warm up before a sporting event, you should warm up before your IELTS exam by engaging in English for 24 hours before your IELTS Speaking test. While your family and friends may find this strange, it can significantly impact your score!
  • Provide complete answers: 'Yes' and 'No' are NOT sufficient for your IELTS Speaking test. You need to demonstrate your English skills to the examiner. Short answers don't allow the examiner to assess your abilities, so expand your answers with explanations and examples.
  • Correct your mistakes: It's common to make small mistakes when speaking, especially when nervous about an exam. Correcting your mistakes as you make them can demonstrate to the examiner that you have a good grasp of grammar and vocabulary. When you make a minor mistake, apologise and repeat the sentence correctly.

Regular IELTS mock tests are an essential step in your journey to IELTS preparation. Here are some reasons why it is important to take regular IELTS mock tests:

Mock Tests and Practice Papers

Importance of Taking Regular Mock Tests:

  • Familiarise yourself with the exam format: Taking IELTS mock tests helps you familiarise yourself with the structure, timing, difficulty, format and marking of the actual IELTS exam.
  • Get ready mentally and emotionally: Your mental and emotional state determines the outcome of your test. Taking a mock test helps you manage anxiety and stress and build confidence.
  • Assess your current skills: An IELTS mock test can assess your skills when you are not stressed. It will then show you the path forward to your desired score.
  • Eliminate emotional surprises: Taking a mock test eliminates surprises you don’t know are possible. You get a feel of the experience and how your reaction will be.
  • Practice time management: Taking a mock test is useful in time management. You learn to manage your time well regarding certain parts of the exam.
  • Improve your stamina and pacing: Simulating test-like conditions helps improve your stamina, pacing, and understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Get feedback from certified examiners: Certified IELTS examiners mark IELTS mock tests and scores are usually returned much faster than the IELTS test.
Most IELTS experts believe that regular IELTS mock tests can help you achieve your desired band score more easily, sooner and cheaper.

Utilising Official IELTS Practice Materials:

Utilising official IELTS practice materials has several benefits. These materials are designed to help you understand the IELTS test format and the types of questions you may be asked. 

Here are some benefits of using official IELTS practice materials:

  • Familiarise yourself with the test format: Using official IELTS practice materials will help you familiarise yourself with the structure, timing, difficulty, format and marking of the IELTS exam.
  • Experience the types of tasks you will be asked to undertake: Official IELTS practice materials provide sample questions that will give you an idea of the test format and what to expect in the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests.
  • Test yourself under timed conditions: Official IELTS practice materials allow you to test yourself under timed conditions, simulating the actual test environment.
  • Review your answers and compare them with model answers: Official IELTS practice materials provide model answers that allow you to review your answers and compare them with the correct ones.

Some official IELTS practice materials include:

  • IELTS Progress Check: An official online practice test that provides feedback, including an indicative overall band score and individual band scores for each section: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
  • Official IELTS Practice Materials (book and DVD): This book contains official practice test material covering all four skills and is suitable for IELTS Academic and General Training. It has a DVD of the Listening test audio and three sample Speaking test answers. Examiner comments for Writing and Speaking sample answers will help you improve your score.
IELTS Official Facebook and Instagram: These social media pages are regularly updated with test quizzes, hints and tips to help you prepare for your test.

Day Before the Exam

Last-Minute Preparation Tips

The day before your IELTS exam can be a very stressful time. Here are some last-minute tips to help you prepare for the test:

  • Overcome your stress: Try to relax and calm your nerves. Take deep breaths, meditate, or do some light exercise to help reduce stress.
  • Warm up properly: Do not go for any mock test. Instead, review your notes and practice some light exercises to keep your mind sharp.
  • Get everything ready: Ensure you have everything you need for the test, including your ID, pencils and erasers. Don’t leave anything until the last minute.
  • Sleep and eat well: Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy meal before the test. This will help you stay focused and alert during the exam.

Importance of relaxation and a good night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep and relaxation before the IELTS exam is crucial for your performance. A good night’s sleep helps improve memory retention, concentration, and decision-making abilities. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact your performance on the test. So get plenty of rest before the big day!
By embracing IELTS preparation tips and advice, Filipino students can open doors to worldwide opportunities by refining language proficiency and gaining a universally recognised certification, fostering a path toward academic and career aspirations.
Unlock boundless horizons today! Take the leap with IELTS for a brighter future, and let AECC, your dedicated study abroad partner, illuminate your path to international education success.

Frequently Asked Questions

To effectively prepare for the IELTS exam, you should familiarise yourself with the test format, regularly use official IELTS practice materials, and focus on improving your language skills.
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