If English is not your native language and you’d like to study a degree in English abroad, you’ll have to take an International English Language Test or IELTS test. The IELTS test format and rules are somewhat different from regular school exams so we’ve prepared some IELTS exam tips and advice to help you get totally prepared for the test and get your desired score. If you don’t want to lose marks by not being prepared, take a few minutes to read educations.com’s top tips for IELTS takers.
IELTS Tips for Before Test Day:
Identify Your Areas of Strengths and Weaknesses
Work on your weaknesses to make sure it does not negatively affect your total score. For example, if you’re a slow reader, focus on the reading test more than writing, listening and speaking tests.
Have a Study Plan
Make a plan before you start studying for IELTS test and have a tailored study plan based on your areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Study the Material
Attend an IELTS preparation course, if possible. The preparation courses provide you with the IELTS material, as well as the tips and tricks that you need to know. If you don’t have access to IELTS preparation courses, you can hire a qualified private teacher instead. An English teacher will also help you make a study plan.
Practice Until You Feel Confident
Practice boosts your self-confidence. For the speaking test, find a friend to practice speaking English with. While reading English magazines, practice skimming the texts for the reading test. Watch movies in English language every night and surround yourself with English language news and songs to improve your listening skills.
Practice Under Time Pressure
Test yourself in a 2 hours and 45 minutes time-frame just like the exam day. This will help you get to know what it feels like to take the reading, writing and listening tests consecutively. The more you practice under time pressure, the better you can manage your time.
Check out the Official IELTS Website
The official IELTS website is the best source of information for IELTS candidates. You can read about the rules and regulations of the test, the test format, and find useful IELTS exam tips and materials such as books, tests and videos on the website.
Check the Location of the Exam
In order to be on time on the exam day, make sure that you know exactly where the IELTS test center is and find out how to access the location.
IELTS Tips for Test Day:
Get a Good Night’s Sleep the Night Before the Test
Make sure that you get enough rest the night before the IELTS test as tiredness will directly affect your ability to concentrate.
Eat a good meal before the exam. Your brain definitely functions better when you’re not hungry.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Wear appropriate clothing that won’t distract you from concentrating on the exam. Don’t wear clothes that are too tight, and consider the fact that the exam room might be cold or warm so dress in layers.
Take a Soda to the Exam Hall
You are allowed to take a transparent bottle of water, pencil, eraser and passport to the exam hall. But instead of water, you can also take a bottle of soda to keep your awareness and blood sugar high as it contains both caffeine and sugar.
Pay Attention to Spelling & Punctuation
Spelling and punctuation are very important throughout the entire IELTS test and you’ll lose points if your answers are spelled incorrectly or you use punctuation incorrectly.
Pay Attention to the Word Limits
Keep in mind that you will lose marks if you exceed the word limits. So pay attention to where the answers should be “not more than three words.” as well as the writing tasks, which should be 250 and 150 words.