IELTS Preparation Tips & Strategies

IELTS preparation tips and strategies to help you score band 7 and above in your ielts test, from top IELTS experts. Use resources provided below. Leave a comment on what you think.

Do you really want to pass your IELTS at one go, achieving a score of band 7 and above? Irrespective of you level of English language proficiency, you would need to spend 30 minutes to 2 hours every day studying this for about three months before your test day.

Get the practice materials. The IELTS test preparation material provided by the Cambridge ESOL's is the only preparation material endorsed by IELTS.

There are quite a few IELTS preparation courses been organized by most universities and colleges where this test is been conducted.

It is not absolute necessary to attend an IELTS preparation course.

IELTS test preparation guide is provided here for candidates. Please follow the link here to learn how one could mount a very good and thorough IELTS preparation.

IELTS Preparation Tips : The Listening Component

The listening component is the first part of the test, and lasts for about 30 minutes.

It is the same levels of difficulty in both the academic and general modules, testing the same range of skill, proficiency and language acumen.

The key to success here is to do exactly as it is described: Listen. Listen carefully, and aim to find out:

  • Who is speaking and to whom?
  • What is the topic of conversation of discussion?
  • Where is the conversation taking place
  • When?
  • How will the conversation benefit the other part - this could be you
  • Is this a two or more person conversation, what are the names of the various parties if more than one speaker

Anticipating what will be said, looking for descriptive terms, time and seasons, emotions displayed, comparisons, meanings of certain phrases and clauses, as well as explanations of concepts is also very important.

The best way to master the ielts listening test is to play several audio / video practice materials, as many times as possible. There are also some very good practice books out there, if prefer.

IELTS Preparation Tips : The Reading Component

The reading component of the ielts is different for the academic and general modules of this test. While both lasts for 60 minutes, the academic module presents reading materials written to the standard of academic journals and literature and books written to the level of the general public.

Your comprehension of the material presented is then asked, using various question formats like short answer questions, multiple choice questions, best of fives, or even the labeling of diagrams or completion of missing blocks / words. You may also be asked to draw graphs and charts and interpret basic to middle level statistical material.

The secret to passing this test lies in preparing as much as possible, from as soon as you realize you will be writing the ielts test. Particularly:

  1. Read as much journals written in English as possible - you can do this online. Look for journals in the area of your subject of interest you intend studying or working in

  2. Practice graph and chart interpretation

  3. Keep a daily vocabulary of new words you meet and practice these. You could assess most English newspapers and magazines online like the Daily mail, Financial Times, The New Scientist, and a host of other online journals, newspapers and magazines.

  4. Use the so called SQR3 technique to improve your reading and assimilation both during practice sessions and on the test. This process is believed to help retain information more than 80 times normal. It involves a quick SURVEY of the material presented to you, noting the topic, subheadings, charts, diagrams and illustrations, where present. The next step during the reading will be to look at the QUESTIONS, if any asked in the material, or you could generate likely questions by asking yourself- why this topic, what are the likely questions that might be asked here, e.t.c. It is now time to READ the material thoroughly, and then, try to RECITE or repeat to yourself what you have read -at least the main gist, and finally, REVIEW the material read, seeing if you can spot answers to the questions as well as testing yourself if you have retained what you read.

With practice, this process becomes very quick and second nature. It is an excellent way of scoring very high with the IELTS reading test.

IELTS Preparation Tips : The Writing Component

The academic module of the IELTS has two writing tasks lasting a total of 60 minutes.

  • Task one requires the candidate to interpret data from a graph or chart and be able to explain the significance of the variables presented, a a clear and concise way

  • Task two involves essay writing. Topics or themes to be written on are those of general interest types, like the development of cities and urban areas, write about very prominent individuals, pollution, jobs and family dynamics, e.t.c.

  • You must be prepared to write narratives, argumentative and descriptive essays.

  • Tips to success in the ielts writing is to plan what to write before you start. Draw up an outline, present each point in a paragraph, and write in short clear sentences, with clarity of though process

  • Aim to start with an introduction, which may include definitions, then body of the write up, and finally clear conclusion, which may include a summary of the points discussed.

  • Paper one is usually restricted to 150 word limit, and paper two is limited to 250 word limit. Count your word density by counting the number of words in an average line, and multiply this by number of line of sentences. Aim not to write more than is required or less.

IELTS Preparation Tips : The Speaking Component

The speaking component of the ielts tests your speaking proficiency for 10 to 15 minutes.

It is broken down into three parts. The first section lasts about 5 minutes. It involves introducing your self to the examiner. They will ask about your name, and possibly family situation and educational achievements.

The second part involves you discussing a topic for about two minutes. After this, you will be asked some questions on what you've just discussed, and this usually last another 4-5 minutes.

The final part lasts another 4 to 5 minutes, and may be a continuation of the previous discussion.

You can view the complete online IELTS preparation course as a video stream presented by High Impact IELTS. The IELTS is often more recognized in many countries than the TOEFL. There are over 300 centers worldwide with over 500,000 candidates taking the exams yearly.Some centres conduct the test very week.

The three months ban on candidates who fail the test has been lifted. Anyone can now re-take the test as often has he or she wants, without needing to wait for a period of three months.

Useful Links

IELTS Listening Module

Reading Module


Speaking Module

Overseas Doctors Information Resource

Overseas Nurses Information Resource


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