The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a trendy and widely recognized English language proficiency exam for individuals aspiring to study or work in an English-speaking country. Achieving a high score on the IELTS test can significantly enhance your chances of being accepted into your desired educational institution or job position.
However, preparing for the IELTS exam can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with its standards and format.
This blog provides ten valuable IELTS preparation tips that can assist you in achieving the desired score and excelling in your academic and professional pursuits.
What is IELTS?
International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a standardized exam that assesses the language skills of non-native English speakers. IELTS evaluates a test taker's proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English. The exam establishes a person's readiness for employment or education in an English-speaking nation. Universities, colleges, and companies in nations including the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA widely accept IELTS.
IELTS exam pattern and format
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is a widely recognised test that assesses an individual's English language proficiency in English-speaking countries for study, work, and migration purposes. The exam measures an individual's listening, Reading, Writing, and speaking proficiency.
- The IELTS exam has two types - Academic and General Training. The Academic version is intended for individuals who wish to enrol in undergraduate or graduate programs or other professional registration bodies. In contrast, the General Training version is designed for individuals seeking work experience or training programs.
- Both exam versions have the same format and consist of four sections. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both versions, while the Reading and Writing sections differ slightly. The exam is paper-based or computer-based, depending on the test centre.
- The Listening section consists of 40 questions that test an individual's listening skills. The Reading section consists of 40 questions, and the Writing section has two tasks. The Speaking section is a face-to-face interview with an examiner and assesses an individual's ability to communicate effectively in English. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Also, Read IELTS Exam Preparation
Best Online Platforms for IELTS Preparation
- IELTS.org - The IELTS exam's official website offers various free resources, including sample questions, practice tests, and tips for test-takers.
- British Council - The British Council offers a range of IELTS preparation courses, including online courses and practice tests.
- IDP Education - IDP Education is another official partner of the IELTS exam and provides various preparation resources, including online courses, practice tests, and study materials.
- Magoosh - Magoosh is an online platform that offers affordable IELTS preparation courses with personalised study plans, video lessons, practice questions, and more.
- Kaplan - Kaplan is a well-known test preparation company that offers online IELTS courses, with live and on-demand classes, practice tests, and study materials.
- E2Language - E2Language is an online platform that provides IELTS preparation courses with live classes, video lessons, practice tests, and study materials.
- IELTS Advantage - IELTS Advantage is an online platform that offers IELTS preparation courses with video lessons, practice tests, and study materials.
- Exam English - Exam English is a free online resource that provides practice tests and study materials for the IELTS exam.
- Road to IELTS - Road to IELTS is a comprehensive online preparation course offered by the British Council, with video lessons, practice tests, and study materials.
- IELTS Online Tests - IELTS Online Tests is a free online resource that provides test-takers with practice tests, study materials, and tips.
Top 10 Tips For IELTS Preparation
Understand the format and requirements of the exam
Understanding the exam's requirements and format is crucial before you begin your IELTS preparation. Learn about the test's Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking components and the time given for each section.
Build your vocabulary
Having a strong vocabulary is essential for success in IELTS. Start by learning new words every day and use them in context to improve your vocabulary.
Improve your grammar
Grammar is a crucial component of the IELTS exam. Focus on the areas of grammar that you find difficult and practice with sample questions.
Practice with sample questions
To succeed in the IELTS, practice is essential. To improve your abilities, familiarize yourself with the questions in each area and practice with example questions.
Take mock tests
Mock tests simulate the actual test environment and help you get accustomed to the exam format and time limits. Take mock tests regularly to track your progress and identify improvement areas.
Focus on your weaknesses.
Identify the sections or skills you find challenging and focus on improving them. Dedicate more time to practice those areas to boost your confidence.
Manage your time effectively.
Time management is crucial in IELTS. Practice with time limits to improve your speed and accuracy, and develop strategies to save time during the exam.
Improve your reading speed.
The Reading section of IELTS requires you to read and comprehend long passages in a limited time. Improve your reading speed by practising timed exercises and developing skimming and scanning techniques.
Work on your pronunciation.
In the Speaking section of IELTS, pronunciation plays a critical role in scoring. Practice your pronunciation by listening to native speakers and repeating them.
Stay calm and focused.
On the day of the exam, stay calm and focused. Take deep breaths to relax and maintain a positive attitude throughout the exam.
What is the duration of the IELTS exam, and how many sections does it have?
The IELTS exam lasts for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. It is divided into four sections: Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening.
How long does it take to prepare for the IELTS exam?
The duration of preparation depends on your current level of proficiency in English. However, preparing for at least 4-6 weeks before taking the exam is recommended.
What are some practical ways to prepare for the IELTS exam?
Some practical ways to prepare for the IELTS exam include practising sample papers, taking online mock tests, improving your vocabulary and grammar skills, listening to English news and podcasts, and seeking guidance from a professional IELTS tutor.
Is it necessary to take coaching classes for IELTS preparation?
No, it is not necessary to take coaching classes for IELTS preparation. However, coaching classes can be helpful if you require more structured guidance and personalised attention.
Can I retake the IELTS exam if I am unsatisfied with my score?
Yes, you can retake the IELTS exam if you are unsatisfied with your score. You can take the exam as many times as you want, but it is recommended to prepare well before retaking the exam.
How is the IELTS score calculated?
The IELTS score is calculated based on your performance in the four sections - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section is scored on a band scale of 0-9; the overall score is the average of the four section scores.
What is the minimum IELTS score required for admission to universities abroad?
Depending on the school and the degree you are looking for, different universities worldwide have different minimum IELTS requirements for admission. Checking the particular requirements of the university or institution you are interested in is advised.