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IELTS Tips and How to do It Properly

4 Min Read
January 18, 2023

Choosing your dream university and study destination is all fun and exciting until someone asks you, 'Have you prepared for the IELTS?' Many universities in English-speaking countries, from the United States, Canada, to Australia, require the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test for admission to their programs.

If you think that it's just another English test, well, it's much more than that! It's essential to know how to prepare for IELTS because it's a well-rounded test that assesses your English proficiency through several sections, including:

  • Writing 
  • Listening 
  • Reading 
  • Speaking 

So, figuring out how to earn a perfect score on your IELTS test? Read on to gain yourself some pointers on IELTS tips!

IELTS Tips 1:

Identify your weaknesses

Before you develop a solid study plan for the IELTS test, start taking practice tests to help you establish where your strengths and weaknesses are. This is one of the IELTS tips that people often forget, but actually very important. Not only is it essential to improve on your weaknesses, but it is equally vital to develop on your strengths in order to lay a firm foundation for the IELTS test.

If you're a slow reader, for example, you might want to focus your preparation on the reading test rather than the writing, listening, or speaking tests.


IELTS Tips 2:

Get to know the test format

Knowing the IELTS test structure allows you to become familiar with the various segments and intricacies of the test so that nothing comes as a surprise during the test day. This is one of the IELTS tips that you really need to pay attention to!

The type of questions included in the four sections of the IELTS test are:

  • Listening: Four recorded texts and speeches, with a total of 40 questions
    • Types of question: multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, sentence completion
  • Reading: 40 questions based on three passages from books, newspapers, magazines and newspapers
    • Types of question: filling gaps in a passage of written text or in a table, matching headings to written text to diagrams or charts, completing sentences, giving short answers to open questions, answering multiple choice questions
  • Writing: Two tasks (writing in a formal style)
  • Speaking: A face-to-face interview made up of three parts


IELTS Tips 3:

Do time-conscious practices

The more you understand the test structure, the higher your chances are to complete it successfully within the allocated time frame.

Conduct practice tests in the same time frame as the real test to familiarize yourself with the IELTS test and discover what it's like to take it so you can figure out which areas you need to work on while also getting accustomed to the pace of the test. The more time you spend practicing under pressure, the better you will be at managing your time.

The test lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes, divided as follows:

  • Listening: 30 minutes
  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 11–14 minutes


IELTS Tips 4:

Immerse yourself with English language into your routine

Practicing for your IELTS test can start from your daily routines, for instance, you can conduct a casual study by reading English articles on the internet or listening to English podcasts to improve your reading and listening skills. These are simple habits you can do on your way to school, during your lunch break, or whenever you're free. Remember that studying for your IELTS exam does not have to be boring!

You can listen to TED talks, or any podcasts with topics that catch your attention. You might read English articles in magazines or on the news. It makes no difference what the topic is as long as you're willing to listen and read! It's best to stick with something you're interested in rather than forcing you to study topics you don't enjoy. 


Bonus Tip: Get yourself used with different English accents

According to the British Council, you'll hear a range of accents during the Listening section of the IELTS test. This means that you'll be tested not only on your ability to understand one type of British or American English, but also on your ability to interpret accents from Canada, Australia, and even New Zealand.

When preparing for the tests, you can't get familiar with different kinds of accents by listening to just one or two audios only. Instead, spend some time listening to various radio channels, news channels, YouTube and learn different dialects all over the world.

For radio, you can listen to:

  • ABC Radio from Australia
  • CBC Radio from Canada
  • BBC Radio from the UK

Preparation is key for the IELTS test, so it's time to get yourself on the track to overcome the IELTS anxiety! Remember, be well-prepared so that you know what to expect. 

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