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    IELTS Preparation Tips, Exam Pattern, Sample Papers, Strategies

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    For all those students, who plan to work or study abroad, especially in an English native country, giving the IELTS exam is much more important as through the exam their fluency in the language will be judged. So, in case you are planning to give the IELTS test then this blog will be of much use as you will get to know about the IELTS exam pattern and some of the preparation tips and strategies which you can follow to score high in the exam. IELTS preparation systemically can help you in saving a lot of your time and effort along with ensuring that you get the best score in the first attempt only. By following the preparation guide, you will prepare yourself accordingly that can help you to get the score you need.

    Highlights of IELTS

    Exam nameIELTS
    IELTS full formInternational English Language Testing System
    Most popular forStudy, work, and migration to English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK
    Other regions accepting IELTS byCanada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand
    Conducted byBritish Council and IDP Education Ltd
    Mode of ExamComputer and Paper – delivered test
    Score RangeOn a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest)
    IELTS EligibilityIELTS can be given by anyone irrespective of age, gender, race, nationality or religion. However, the test is not suggested for the individuals who are under 16 years of age.
    IELTS ContactBritish Council
    Email: ExamsCustomerCare@britishcouncil.org

    Why is IELTS Preparation considered Difficult?

    Though IELTS exam is not that difficult and it is mostly like any other exam, you need to invest time and effort in preparing for this exam in a right way. Scoring high in IELTS exam can take months (sometimes years) as well of your hard work and thousands of dollars in tuition and test fees, so you must pay detailed attention towards its preparation so that you can get it right the first time.

    Main things you need to pay attention to include:

    • General level of English
    • Test skills
    • Ways in which you can score high in the test

    General level of English

    Since IELTS is an English language test, therefore you need to demonstrate your efficiency in this language, the higher your level of English is, the higher your score would be. Just by studying IELTS skills and doing IELTS practice papers, you won’t be able to do well in exams. Especially if your level of English is not up to the mark, you need to put in more effort. Most of the colleges and universities located in the English native countries recommend at least 6 months of preparation time to improve the English by the equivalent of a 0.5- 1 band score.

    Test Skills

    There are four parts in which the IELTS including- Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening. Different questions are asked in each of these sections and you need to apply your skills differently to score high in all these sections. Candidates need to spend the majority of their time learning these skills and when these are combined with a high level of English, it would definitely result in a high score.

    How the candidates can score well in the IELTS exams

    One of the fastest and most effective ways to increase the score in the IELTS exam is by knowing exactly what the examiners want and trying to meet up with the expectations. Proper IELTS Preparation is required to enhance performance skills in exams. 

    Some useful IELTS Preparation tips that can help you to score well in the exams

    • First of all, you need to decide which kind of test you are planning to give which include IELTS General Training or Academic. IELTS Academic test is given by the candidates who want to study higher or for job purposes as well while IELTS General Training test is for those people who want to migrate to English speaking country.
    • The candidates giving IELTS exam must be familiar with the latest IELTS exam pattern and must know what kind of questions can come in the exam.

    IELTS Exam pattern

    TypeMinutes
    Listening testAlmost 30 minutes
    40 questions will be asked
    Reading testAlmost 60 minutes
    40 questions will be asked
    Speaking testAlmost 11-15 minutes
    Taking to the examiner
    Writing test for IELTS AcademicAlmost 60 minutes
    Task 1: The candidates need to report after getting data from graph, chart, map or process
    Task 2: Essay writing
    Writing test for General TrainingAlmost 60 minutes
    Task 1: Letter writing
    Task 2: Essay writing
    • The candidates giving IELTS must prepare a strong strategy and should start studying according to it, the candidates need to lower the gap between the score they want and the score they are realistically going to get. By getting involved in IELTS preparation, the candidates can focus on their weaker sections along with enhancing their stronger areas as well. Also, the candidates must know their marking criteria as well and must know an average band score and what brand score is accepted at the college or university in which they are applying.
    • By solving the IELTS practice papers, the candidates will be able to know the details of the exam and what all questions can come in the exam. There are more than 10 different types of questions in each of the Reading and Listening sections that come in the exam and almost the similar number of questions is asked in the Writing test as well. The candidates by adopting a unique and different approach can easily score high in all the sections.

    Focus on your Vocabulary

    Planning detailed attention towards improving the vocabulary makes a huge difference in the overall score of the IELTS test. Almost 25% of the total mark in Speaking and Writing is based upon vocabulary skills, and it is also tested in the Reading and Listening tests. One of the best ways to improve your vocabulary is by writing all the new words along with their meanings in a notebook, you can pen down the new words in a notebook and try to use these words daily to enhance your vocabulary skills. There is no better substitute to improve your English speaking skills by practicing a little every day. More you get familiar with new English words, the better your skills and chances of scoring high in the exam will also multiply.

    Practice Tests

    By doing more IELTS practice tests you can get a clear picture which all skills you are lacking that can help you to score high in the test. You need to understand difference between real and mock tests. Through mock tests, candidates can get an overview of what are the areas of improvement in preparation. Test takers can register for mock tests present on the official website of IELTS for preparation. Experienced test takers always suggest appearing for mock tests to overcome fear of exam along with this one can get an idea of exam pattern of IELTS. Due to its complex exam format, many test takers do not know about time duration and format. It is advised to do 1 or 2 practice tests in a week and stay focused on improving your level of English as well in your test.

    Keep on practicing your Speaking and Writing skills

    Whether you are taking IELTS preparation at home or at coaching center, it’s entirely your choice. If you are fluent in English, then you can self-study for the test as well. No matter whichever you are considering for IELTS preparation, you need to improve speaking and writing skills so that you can analyze your shortcomings and start preparing accordingly. You can get the help of a qualified teacher at your institute or can ask your friend who has already appeared for IELTS in the past to assess speaking and writing abilities. They will be able to judge better about shortcoming and can help in giving solutions to prepare in better ways. In case you don’t know about your weaknesses, you will not be able to overcome them which in turn will restrict you from improving your scores in the IELTS exam. Understanding your weaknesses is much important which only others can make you familiar with, work hard to overcome your flaws by taking help from others who are experienced and know the ways to score high in the exam.

    Some last-minute advice 

    • Get up early on the day of your IELTS exam. After having a healthy breakfast, do a quick revision of the course.
    • While going to the test center, don’t forget to carry your ID and other important documents which are needed for further procedure at the test center.
    • If possible, visit the test center in advance so that you can get familiar with the exact location.
    • Leave early for the test center so that you don’t get late due to the traffic.
    • Once you have reached the center, look for your test room as well.
    • Carry your water and some sugary food or drinks.
    • Don’t feel stressed as you might lose important points in your exam due to your nervousness.
    • Do not shy in asking the staff for help, in case you need anything.

    The entire above-mentioned information will help aspirants of IELTS to prepare well for the exam. Having complete and accurate information regarding the IELTS exam pattern is very important as it will help in strategizing which sections are difficult and which are not. As per such strategies, test takers can plan the entire exam. Before giving the IELTS test, check the eligibility criteria for the IELTS so that you can start your preparations accordingly.

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