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IELTS Preparation 2021:Tips, Books, Online Preparation, Preparation App and Sample Papers

Sayantani Barman logo

Sayantani Barman

Study Abroad Expert | Updated On - Jun 10, 2021

IELTS Preparation starts with taking diagnostic tests to determine the strength and weaknesses of the candidate. It should include practice papers, online courses, official study materials, books, and sample answers to thoroughly understand the IELTS exam pattern. IELTS preparation time is dependent on the candidate’s proficiency level, on average of 2 –  3 month’s time is considered enough for preparing. IELTS preparation can also be planned at home with proper study materials and materials. For preparation purposes, experts suggest taking an online IELTS test for time management and real-time experience. 

How long does it take to prepare for IELTS?

Take a diagnostic online IELTS test and see at what level you are. This will help you to understand how much time you will need. 6-8 weeks should be enough time for IELTS preparation for an English-speaking candidate. If you need to work on your skills and target a high score, you will need more time, 3-4 months. Consider the factors whether you can study at home or you will need IELTS coaching classes, and how long can you study in a day.

Is 1 month enough to prepare for IELTS?

Yes, 1 month is enough time to prepare for IELTS. All you have to do is plan well.

  1. Watch videos explaining how to approach IELTS questions.
  2. Solve at least one IELTS practice test every day.
  3. If you already have good reading skills, focus on developing your IELTS listening skills because it may get tricky.
  4. Practice your vocabulary every day.

How can I prepare for IELTS at home?

IELTS preparation can be completed with a proper study plan, IELTS materials, and IELTS practice tests. Aspirants can access free materials and free IELTS online coaching classes for preparation at home. With proper time management skills, one can score well in the IELTS band score. IELTS preparation at home can be a self-paced preparation course where an aspirant can focus on weaknesses as per the score of the mock test. Amidst this pandemic, online IELTS coaching helps a lot in creating a routine plan. 

IELTS Preparation Tips to Study Effectively

  • Find strength out of four sections present in IELTS
  • Get a complete overview of the exam pattern of IELTS
  • Try to be realistic in setting goals
  • Always focus on improving vocabulary
  • Indulge in regular mock tests
  • Ask someone to assess the answer sheet of your mock test
  • Try to look out for mistakes
  • Always practice in front of a mirror to understand
  • Try to give insights to make every section valuable
  • Practice writing different essays following strict time
  • With writing, one learns new words and grammatical usage

IELTS Preparation for Writing

  1. Read your questions thoroughly and form an outline of your answer mentally.
  2. Avoid redundancy. Practice paraphrasing newspaper and magazine articles.
  3. Practice writing the IELTS writing task 1 in 20 minutes and IELTS writing task 2 in 40 minutes. Keep track of your time.
  4. Practice writing within the word limit of IELTS writing task 1 (150 words) and IELTS writing task 2 (250 words).
  5. Write to the point and relevant answers.
  6. Write short sentences using active voice.
  7. For writing IELTS practice test module can be helpful.

IELTS Writing Samples

IELTS Preparation for Reading

  1. If you follow online IELTS classes, you will find the IELTS Reading section contains 14 types of questions. Practice how to handle each type of question.
  2. You will get 2 minutes to read one IELTS reading passage. Practice reading at home regularly. Scan for important information while you are reading and that will speed up the process of answering questions.
  3. Simply locate the answers without trying to understand the entire passage.
  4. While IELTS preparation at-home practice spotting keywords in the IELTS reading passage.
  5. Learn new words and phrases. Practice paraphrasing.
  6. Materials for IELTS reading are available online on many websites for practice. 

IELTS Reading Samples

IELTS Preparation for Listening

  1. The IELTS Listening test is of 30 minutes duration. It needs an immense amount of practice to concentrate on audios for 30 minutes at a stretch.
  2. The recording will be played only once and you need practice to remember all the necessary information to answer the questions.
  3. Listening IELTS test practices are available online.
  4. You need to practice listening, reading questions, and pointing out answers all at the same time.

IELTS Preparation Books

Few preparation books are considered to be the best for IELTS. List includes

  1. Barron’s IELTS Super pack – Check PDF
  2. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS – Check PDF
  3. Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module: how to Maximize Your Score – Check PDF
  4. Ace the IELTS: IELTS General Module - How to Maximize Your Score – Check PDF
  5. Grammar For IELTS – Check PDF
  6. IELTS Practice Tests Plus 2 with Key and CD Pack
  7. Cambridge IELTS 15 Academic Student’s Book with Answers
  8. Mometrix IELTS Book for General Training and Academic 2021 - 2022

IELTS Online Coaching

Taking online IELTS classes is best in this pandemic situation. You can search for IELTS preparation materials online and practice them as per your need. If you are not consistent in your performance, IELTS online coaching classes are best for you. There are quite a few options as following 

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


From which books should I prepare for Writing section?
abdul nazir

There are many reference books available that focus on 4 sections of the exam namely reading, writing, listening and speaking. These books are available at e-commerce site as well as at physical stores. Also you can prepare using mock test papers, previous year question papers and practise papers as well. 

uma goenka
If any question must be answered on the basis of color, is there any help for color-blind students?

In case if any of the questions have colors and they are significant, then you must inform the authorities beforehand since it will be considered as a disability. Some solution or another way can be provided to you so that you get the fair chance to solve that question.

koyena biswas
Which section of the exam carries highest weightage?
abdul nazir

There are 4 sections in IELTS exams namely reading, writing, speaking and listening and each one carries equal weightage of 25% and hence contributes equally towards overall IELTS score. Except speaking section rest 3 sections are conducted on same day.

shiya devi
Do I need to undergo any sort of counselling aafter clearing the exam?
abdul nazir

Once the results are declared, Universities require from students to send their original copy of IELTS Test Report form via British Council. The name of the University must be clearly mentioned. You can send the test result to maximum 5 Universities and for additional Universities you need to pay additional fees.

Where can I get the handwritten notes?
abdul nazir

There are several online and offline resources that helps students in preparation by means of solved practise papers and mock test series. There are coaching centers across India that offers short term preparation strategy as per the syllabus. 

sunny pandey
How many questions are usually asked in exams on synonyms and antonyms?
abdul nazir

There will be 4 sections in the IELTS exam and number of questions are as follows:

  • Listening – 40 
  • Academic Reading – 40
  • General Training Reading – 40
  • Speaking – 3
  • General training Writing – 2 tasks
  • Academic Writing – 2 tasks
gouri kumari
Do I need to enrol myself in the mock test papers?
abdul nazir

Hi Gouri, No there is no need to enrol but the mock test series are available in pdf format which can be downloaded easily that too free of cost. it is advisable to go through previous year question papers as well for preparation. You can get practise papers at IELTS Practise papers.

neha thasale
How shall I prepare myself for IELTS reading section?
abdul nazir

Some of the valuable tips include:

  • Practise your reading skills
  • Read every instructions carefully
  • Stay confident
  • Keep a count on time

Reading section carries a weightage of 25% in the exam.

Can I prepare for the exam from online coaching?
abdul nazir

There are coaching centers across India where experienced tutors will provide knowledge in every section. Apart from this practising by means of solved practise papers and mock test are also advisable. There are numerous online and offline resources that are available for preparation.

sandesh kumar
Where shall I get the list of complete syllabus of all the subjects?
abdul nazir

Hi Sandesh, The syllabus is divided section wise. There are different sections in the exam and syllabus is as given below:

To get more details visit IELTS exam 2021.

lakshay kakkar
Do I need to submit my degree during counselling?
abdul nazir

Hi Lakshay, There is no such thing as counselling for IELTS. After the declaration of results, you need to send the test scores to maximum 5 Universities free of cost, while for sending the same to more universities, you need to pay additional fees. Apart the test score no documents are required before final seat allotment. Find other details at IELTS result 2021.

avinash sahu
At what score can I get admission in MA sculptures in US Universities?
abdul nazir

If the score in IELTS exam is below 5.5, consider retaking the exam as for average Universities at US, IELTS score of 6.5 and more is acceptable. For the exam there is no minimum or passing marks as such but chances of admissions enhances with more score.

saksham mahajan
Where can I get ebooks for practice?
abdul nazir

There are several websites that allows to access different books for IELTS exam preparation. Apart from that there are apps and coaching available that helps to understand the syllabus and pattern of the exam. Ebooks can be accessed for every section.

ankit kumar
Which section should be practised more to get good rank?
abdul nazir

There are 4 sections in the IELTS exam i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking and every section carries equal weightage of 25%. Therefore, every section must be given equal importance so as to score good in overall exam.

shaik kabeer
To take admission in PG program, is it compulsory to give IELTS?
abdul nazir

IELTS is not the only exam that is considered for PG admissions, but there are other equivalent tests like SAT, GRE, TOEFL, GMAT etc that are considered for study abroad in english speaking nations. It depends on the University guidelines about which test to be considered.

shreya sarkar
Can I give IELTS in March if I apply in February?
abdul nazir

You can apply for the exam only if test slots are available. IELTS is undertaken for those candidates who wish to study abroad or work in english speaking countries, hence the exam is attempted by many. It is recommended to book test slots in advance. Also exams are conducted 4 times in a month. Find details at IELTS exam dates 2021.

mizna harmain
How many exam centers are there in Haryana??
abdul nazir

There are 2 exam centers i Haryana, one at Karnal and one at Ambala. Both these centers are under IDP. In India there are 78 locations from where exam can be taken, majority of which are under British Council and rest under IDP. Find more details at IELTS exam centers in India.

vikram dewan
What is the fees for OBC candidates?
abdul nazir

IELTS exam fee is INR 14000 for all category students. Fees are different for different countries. For both IELTS by British Council and IELTS by IDP, fees is INR 14000 in India. The fee payment can be done via online mode or via ICICI bank branch. Find relevant details at IELTS exam fee 2021.

Where can I get the list of the colleges to get admission in BS nursing course?
abdul nazir

Hi Riyaz, There are numerous colleges and Universities offering B.Sc nursing course in different regions of India. Eligibility requirement for the course is 12th class, however the selection process may vary from college to college. it is advisable to visit the specific college or official website for more details. Click here for list of colleges.

How shall I download my admit card?
abdul nazir

Hi Pradeepraje, There is no admit card issued for IELTS but you will be notified via mail about the exam date and other details probably a week before. You just need to carry the printout of that mail along with valid passport to the exam center. Find more details at IELTS exam.