The IELTS is an International standard test of English Language Proficiency for non-native English speakers. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand institutions as well as around 3000 academic institutions in the United States. It is required for immigration to Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
What skills are tested in the IELTS?
The test involves evaluating reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and lasts for almost 3 hours. Scores are graded from 0 to 9 in 0.5 increments.
Now that you know some basics of IELTS, how do you prepare for this exam? What are the points you need to keep in mind? Remember, IELTS isn’t rocket science. Knowing your English language skills and following some helpful tips will help you score high in a breeze!
Here are some general tips to follow for your preparation.
Useful Tips for IELTS Preparation
- Focus on your areas of weakness. If listening is where you need to improve, go ahead and practice incessantly.
- Pay more attention to the listening and reading skills as they are graded objectively. The writing and speaking are subjective, and you may get anything.
- Have a good night’s sleep on the night before the test to perform well in the exam.
- Complete several practice tests which are helpful for your exams.
- Start reading newspapers, journals, and articles, to be well informed about current issues for speaking and writing topics.
- Increase your speed through practice. IN the IELTS, time is your biggest enemy. Listening could be quite fast and you could struggle to finish the test.
Now let us focus on specific tips on the different areas of the test!
- Make sure you use the right format and style of language (formal in essays/formal letters, informal in informal letters
- Try to answer every question even if you do not know it.
- Remember your essay should have at least 4 paragraphs
- Plan the outline of your essay on how you would go about the flow before you start writing.
- Answer all questions. Remember there are no negative marks in IELTS.
- Pick details by making notes as you read.
- While reading a passage, underline significant headings like names, dates etc. Most answers fall around these names and dates.
- The first two sections are easier than the third. So you may answer in order.
- Keep talking, the score gets higher as you speak more.
- Listen to each question carefully and answer them to the point.
- PART 1 requires shorter answers and PART 3 requires longer answers.
- PART 2 should be spoken about for at least 90 seconds.
- Exhibit confidence and avoid repetition of points.
- Try predicting answers if you are not sure since there’s no negative marking.
- You should prepare yourself to listen to multiple people conversation simultaneously as this will help focus during the exam.
- Go through the example at the beginning to get a clear idea of how it will sound, the speaker, situations etc.
- Keep your headphones volume slightly high to avoid distractions.
- While listening doesn’t focus on spellings. You can always correct them later.
Remember that examiners look for the following when they mark your test.
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy(accuracy, complexity)
- Achievement/Task Response (format, appropriate answer, style, proper opinion)
- Lexical Resource/Vocabulary (paraphrasing skills, a range of language used, idioms, phrases etc.)
- Coherence/Cohesive (Are ideas logically organized, are ideas connected, linking, referencing etc.)
High scores mean 7.0 or above. If you get a 6.0 or 6.5, it means you need to improve. Follow these above tips and we are sure you will rise and shine.
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