IELTS can be cracked easily once you practice thoroughly and follow these 7 effective IELTS preparation tips which have come in handy to many till now.
New to the field? Read ‘What is IELTS?’ first.
IELTS, the abbreviated form of International English Language Testing System is one of the most popular English Language Proficiency Tests around the world which is used for several different purposes.
However, many non-native English speakers find it difficult to crack the test. Whatever the reasons might be, on reading these 7 effective IELTS preparation tips, you’ll find it easier to face the examination.
So, let’s begin by knowing what these result-driven effective IELTS practice tips are:
- Understand what purpose you are giving the test for
Sounds crazy, right? Not really! Many students from literally every corner of the world find IELTS to be a hard row to hoe, and nearly one-fourth of them drop the plan to pursue the test within the first month of practice.
Now, I’m not asking you to quit the plan to pursue the test, but there’s no harm in knowing if the test is really worth your time and energy or not. As there are several other tests which you can prepare for and apply for different visa purposes.
Click here to know more about the English Language Proficiency Tests.
And if you are pretty sure that IELTS is the only test which can be helpful for you, then understand what is the exact band score requirement of yours. And then? Continue reading further!
- Know which mode of test is the best fit for you
What? There are modes of the IELTS test? Yes, you read it right, the IELTS test is now delivered in two different ways in several countries of the world, out of which one is the all-time-favourite paper-based method, and another one is CD-IELTS.
Though there is not much difference in the examination pattern in both of these test types, most of the test-takers around the globe are opting for the latter due to some reason or the other.
Read this article to know ‘Why opt for CD-IELTS?’
Whether CD-IELTS or Paper-based, proper preparation is crucial for both and hence, make sure you read this article till the very end.
- Make a proper time-table to cover all modules
One of the biggest mistakes students make while preparing for the IELTS test is not paying proper heed to all modules. In this regard, while some completely neglect the part they feel they are confident in, others, out of fear, skip the one they are not much confident about.
Proper notes in IELTS can improve your scores, click here to know how?
Preparing a proper time-table in which you cover all the modules regardless of your scores in the same can be pretty beneficial. Certainly, a smart move is definitely allocating more time to the module you have a low score in, but make sure you cover all of them.
- Recognize all question-types and rank them
How would you react if I told you that 1 student out of 7 appearing in the IELTS test says that there is at least one question he has never come across while his preparation for the test?
Strange, huh? Well, that’s the truth!
It is crucial to know what all types of questions appear in the IELTS test in all four modules i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
Once you are aware of the question types and have practiced each of them at least thrice, rank them according to their difficulty level and find the strategy which works well for that particular question type.
- Identify your weaknesses and strengths
What scares you the most: Grammar or Vocabulary? Is it sentence formation which can cause a drop in your score, or is the spailing speeling spelling? Duh!
A good student is the one who practices and prepares for everything, whereas a legendary student is the one who recognizes what his weaknesses are and improves those. Be legendary I would say!
Understand that though you cannot excel at everything at once, changing your strategies even a bit can bring about a drastic change in your score over time, and this in turn can increase your overall score too.
Similarly, you can also focus more on parts you are already proficient in and can try new ways to be better. Afterall, no one is perfect, right?
- Acknowledge the marking criteria
There can be a significant improvement in your IELTS score if you know what exactly the examiner and test-evaluator is looking for in your answer.
While what is looked-for in your answer also clearly depends on the question and its context, knowing the parameters for the modules like writing and speaking comes in handy.
These marking criteria sheets known as descriptors (IELTS Speaking & Writing Descriptors) are available easily on the official IELTS site and can be really helpful if used properly.
- Be you
Finally, the tip which is the most important for making you enable to crack the test easily is advising you to be your own self.
Though it may look better to follow a standard template which has out-of-the-world vocabulary and ideas never heard before, the easiest way to score the most fastest is to find your method to crack the test.
Every individual has a unique style: in all terms of understanding, analysing, interpreting, and hence, attempting the examination and it would indeed be a very foolhardy move to copy someone blindly.
So be yourself and do the best!
How do I know if these IELTS preparation tips work well for me?
Well, one like me would think that why do I follow these tips when there are literally thousands of other tips on the same topic all over the internet.
And you know what, there’s nothing wrong in thinking like this!
In this world, where there is too much data on literally every topic one could think of, it is crucial to know which information is the most relevant, and also the best fit for oneself.
Similar is the case with these IELTS preparation tips. Just knowing and applying the tips may not ensure a desirable result/band score in the test, and hence it is important to what changes the implementation of these tips brings about in the outcomes.
Therefore, lookout for these signs to know if the above mentioned 7 IELTS preparation strategies work out for you:
- Your scores in practice tests are increasing
No we don’t mean reaching 8.5 from 3.5 straightaway, but yes, after following the above mentioned tips if there is even a small progression in your scores of even 0.5 or 1.0 bands, that’s something to be proud of!
Sometimes, there might not be an increase in your overall score however, your teacher/ language instructor informs you that your writing/speaking style has improved altogether.
However, don’t be sad if you feel there is an improvement but don’t see any hike in the scores, as there are several factors taken into consideration while assigning scores to any task.
- You are more confident about the questions you face while preparing
‘Nah! I don’t fear the Multiple Choice Questions anymore!’
Do you hear yourself speaking such statements more often after following the above-mentioned tips? If yes, then congratulations! You are on the right track.
When your preparation covers all the aspects of the test leaving no stone unturned, then you for sure get more confident in answering every single question you face not only while preparing but also during the actual test.
- You don’t fear the test anymore
Did you get panicky whenever anyone asked you to choose a date for the test, but now realize that those were the talks of old-times? Wow! You’ve levelled up one step.
Once your practice gets on the right track and you get more confident about each section of the exam, you automatically feel like giving the test that very moment (which is also not right though!)
One sign of good preparation is no more fear of the test, in fact you acknowledge the fact that it is just a language proficiency test and hence, needs your practice and not your fear.
- A strict test-marker no longer scares you
I remember when I was preparing for my IELTS test, there used to be one teacher I always dreaded and never wanted to mark my papers. The reason? Her strict marking and honest but demotivating feedback.
Gradually, as the time went by and my preparation grew stronger, I no longer dreaded the teacher. In fact, she turned out to be a great inspiration for me as her feedback was honest and following her tips only meant improvement for me.
And believe me, this was not just the case with me but all of my peers and several students I thought over the years. If your preparation is on the right track, you’ll crave honest feedback even if it is not something you want to hear!
- Your gut says you are ready
We often tend to look up to our teachers and friends/classmates when it comes to booking a date for the examination, right?
Though this is not technically wrong and every student needs to consult his teacher before finalizing a decision of this kind, taking any step solely after listening to others is not appropriate either.
When your prep for the test is on the right path, your instinctive feeling will itself let you know how much prepared you are for appearing in the examination.
Is that it? Actually, no!
Till now, you have read about all the things that you ought to do in order to achieve a high band score in your test, but we all know that at times doing the right things is not the only way out.
It is also vital to stop doing the wrong things, for example, while exercising may improve your health to some extent, there wouldn’t be much difference until you stop eating junk food, right?
So here we are, with the list of things to avoid while preparing for IELTS effectively:
- Stop comparing yourself to others
Yes, that’s the first thing that needs to stop – comparison. English is a language, and any language is a skill, which can be acquired at any point of life.
However, not everyone does that at the same time or at the same pace, and these individual differences that we have are nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Take your time, you will learn things by regular practice, but not at once.
Rome was not built in a day!
- Don’t set unrealistic timelines to your practice
‘I will get 9.0 bands till the 15th of this month, for sure!’
Is this someone like you? Do you find setting timelines to your practice, and get upset when you are unable to accomplish the desired score in that timeframe?
Now I don’t wish to interfere in your process of manifestation of a high score, and I also don’t want your practice to continue forever. However, setting timelines which are too strict will cause more harm than benefit.
Ultimately, you will get too demotivated everytime you see yourself unable to achieve the target you have set for yourself. So challenge yourself but also at the same time, stop being too harsh on yourself.
- Shun getting demotivated on having low scores while practicing
As a teacher, whenever I used to announce the results of mock tests of students, I would hear some of them say, “Oh shoot! I couldn’t achieve that target score this time too”
And where on one hand, having this disappointment is a sign of worry for your test, too much of this feeling can cause burnout in you.
Understand that there are several factors which can result in a low band score, and in no case scoring low while practicing is bad. In fact, the worse things you face initially, more is the chance to score higher in the actual test.
- Don’t seek perfection
Aiming for 9.0 is not wrong, but getting anxious when the actual result is no closer to it surely is. No one is perfect, especially in language, and we don’t even need to be to be very honest.
Set a target score for yourself and check what parameters you need to work on, to get the desired score in the test.
Move up the ladder but step-by-step, you won’t be able to reach the top with one giant leap. Enjoy the process of learning and know that everyone has his own strengths and weaknesses.
- Stop being desperate for a great result
Most of the students who prepare for the IELTS test focus on achieving a high-score since the beginning, sometimes even without knowing the pattern of the test.
Although the target is to achieve a high score, it is also important to know that one cannot score high by just wanting that to happen.
A high band score needs a lot of practice, and above all – patience. Being anxious or desperate will not be beneficial in any case. So, focus on things which improve the results and not on the results directly.
I really hope that this lovely one-sided interaction regarding 007 Effective IELTS Preparation Tips would have given you some fair idea on how to efficiently prepare for the IELTS test, which can also be a self-study with the right practice material.
Looking for good quality IELTS practice material? Click here.
However, there is pretty high-chance that you are on the lookout for an experienced teacher who can guide you through the thick and thin of the IELTS preparation.
In that case too, we might help you, just click here to find the best institute or trainer in any corner of the world.
And that’s it, in case there is some other suggestion which has proven to be beneficial in your preparation, let all know about it in the comments’ section below. IELTS24x7 would love to hear from you!
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