How to Prepare for the IELTS exam
If you are a non-native English speaker and want to study at a university in an English-speaking country, then you may be required to take the IELTS test. The test is recognized in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, although some universities may have different entry requirements.
The test is comprised of four parts: Listening, writing, reading and speaking. Your English will need to be strong and you will need to be well prepared. What’s the best way to do this? Here are our suggestions below:
Become familiar with the test
It is important to know what the test is like before you take it so that on test day, nothing will surprise you or distract you from showing off your English skills. Practice tests are available online or in practice test books. When you look at these tests, pay special attention to the answer guide to see what kind of answers you are expected to give. This way you know what is required when it comes to the real test.
A big problem for students in almost any written exam is that they plan their time poorly. They often spend too much time at the beginning of the test on questions with lower marks and then run out of time on questions with higher value. Try to time each question sensibly. For example, if a question is worth half of the exam’s total marks then try to spend half of the allowed time on that question!
Particularly in written and speaking tests and while under the pressure and stress of an exam, it can be easy to get a bit panicky and to stray away from what the question is asking. Try to keep your cool, and always remember that you will be judged on the quality of your answer, and not the length of your response. Quality, not quantity!
Improve your general English
While it is important to be familiar with the IELTS, we would not recommend only taking practice tests repeatedly. This could actually limit your English and remove your motivation to learn. Try to vary your English input and resources as much as possible to improve all of your skills and to keep the language fun! Between completing practice tests, try to chill out while watching English movies, read English news to see what’s going on in the world, and meet new people by speaking English with native speakers.
If you are thinking about taking the IELTS exam, then make sure you take a look at our special IELTS courses!
Have you taken the IELTS test before? What methods helped you to prepare for the test? Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below!
to be comprised of - to include or contain
to keep your cool - stay calm or composed
to chill out - relax