Six Effective tips to help you prepare for IELTS

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an international level systematized test of English language and its purpose is to assess non-native English speaking people. This exam is accepted by more than 10,000 educational institutes in more than 150 countries. There are two modules of the IELTS:

1) Academic Module:

This module is for those who want to go for higher education in a university in an English speaking country.

2) General Training Module:

This module is intended for those who want to gain work experience, or want to immigrate to an English speaking country.

The IELTS partners also offer a separate test IELTS Life Skills for those who need to improve their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The paper comprises of four sections- Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking (Table1). The candidates are evaluated on these four parameters. The complete test duration is 2hours and 45 minutes.

          SECTION           DURATION NO. OF QUESTIONS PER SECTION
Listening  30 minutes 4
Reading 60 minutes 40
Writing  60 minutes 2
Speaking 11-14 minutes 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Table1) 

Each module of the test is graded separately as a ‘Band score’. The module scores are added to give overall band score which ranges from 1 to 9.

Now we will talk about some effective tips to keep in mind while preparing for IELTS.

Here is an IELTS preparation guide for all aspirants

1)  Work on your vocabulary:

IELTS tests your skills on how you use new words and pronounce them. One should have a good vocabulary and to improve your vocabulary you can read the dictionary and explore new words. Use a good monolingual dictionary to check proper word arrangements. While you are learning new words make sure you don’t translate their meaning into your own language. Try to put words into the proper context.

Once you have learned a new word use it as much as you can. Read novels, English newspapers, magazines daily. Whenever you come across a new word write it down in a notebook and go through it once in a week. Start thinking and talking in English. It will boost up your confidence and will make it easier to remember words.

2) Improve your writing skills:

To express yourself while writing you need to have a good command on vocabulary, grammar and spellings. Grammar is a very important part because it improves the quality of your writing, Punctuation is necessary to make it clear and fluent. Always remember to use appropriate tense. 

Incorrect spellings make it difficult for the reader to understand and sometimes it changes the meaning of the word. For example: ‘there’ and ‘their’ sound the same but their meaning is entirely different. One should have a good command to spell words correctly. This can be improved by testing yourself in free time by dictation test or just writing down the words on a sheet. Read as much as you can. It is a great way to get an idea of writing and using words appropriately. You can pen down articles on the topics you like as a practice. Remember, practice makes a man perfect.

3) Practice your listening skills

Watch English movies without subtitles, you can listen to the news in English everyday. In the exam you will be able to read the questions before you hear the recordings. You will hear the recording of the test only once. You can practice listening test at home. Be attentive and relaxed while listening to the audio. Don’t pause the audio while giving mock tests at home. After checking your answers, listen to the audio once again and try to work out on the parts where you faced the problem.

4) Practice your speaking skills

The most interesting section of IELTS is speaking section which involves one-on-one interaction with an invigilator. To enhance your speaking skills you can participate in various activities like, group discussions, debates etc. You can record your responses on tape and listen to them to focus on individual mistakes and pronunciation. Avoid using fillers words like ‘um’, ’uh’, ’er’, ’you know’. Learn native like fluency by listening to different podcasts and Ted talks. Practice as many sample speaking tests as you can. 

5) Building up a strategy before the exam

Finally, build up a strategy and apply them to mock tests. This will help to learn time management during exam and how to use it to complete each section on time, take time to understand the paper, how many questions are there? How long are they? All of this will help you in managing your time, learning about the question types will also make you familiar with the pattern of questions coming every year. 

6) Practice and Analyze

Before appearing for the actual paper you should practice full-length tests and analyze it immediately after the paper. This will tell you the zones where you need to improve and will prevent from committing the same mistakes in the paper again.

You can also opt for assistances from IELTS coaching institute in your city to guide you throughout your preparation process.

“Practice makes a man perfect. Practice more and more to succeed because there is no shortcut to success”

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