In this post, I will show you the top IELTS prepration tips and tricks you need to score a high IELTS grade.
Just before that:
What is IELTS?
The full meaning of IELTS is International English Language Testing System. Basically, the exam is aimed at testing the language proficiency of people planning to study or work in English countries.
Consequently, with over 11,000 organisations using IELTS as proof of migrants proficiency in English, thousands of people sit the exam every year to gain entry to English countries.
As non-natives or second language users, their knowledge of English is tested in four core areas. They are: Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading skills.
Now, this is not to scare you, many people fail the IELTS exam every year. Why? Because they do not have the right tips and tricks to achieve a high IELTS score.
May I tell you, however, that if you can practise the following preparation tips regularly, you will not only ace the English proficiency test but also build enough confidence to use the language in any English community.
IELTS Test Format and All you Need to Know
Are you wondering what the IELTS exam looks like? You just a click and scroll away from knowing exactly what you should expect during the exam. Below are what the IELTS Test looks like.
- Listening Section
The Listening section is divided into 4 parts with 10 questions each. In other words, 40 questions will be asked under this section.
Questions asked in the Listening section of the IELTS exam are called from everyday conversation and social-cultural context that test takers are familiar with.
As an IELTS candidate, you are expected to write your answers on the question paper as you listen to recordings simultaneously before transferring them to the answer sheet.
You have just about 30 minutes to listen to the recordings and extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers in the answer sheet given. Note that grammaticality, legibilty and neatness are highly encouraged by the exam body.
- Speaking Section
In this section, you will be asked to perform certain 3 tasks; just test your proficiency in spoken English. Unlike Listening section, this part of the IELTS test lasts for about 10-14 minutes.
The first task comes in form of an Interview. The examiner expects you to be able to express yourself and share your thoughts on random topics such as family, pets, interests etc.
The second task in the speaking section deals with your knowledge about a particular topic. Basically, you will be given a task card that contain a body of topics from which you will be asked to to talk about. To pass this test successfully, you should be able to use the correct collocations or words that associate with the topic you are to speak about.
The third task under this section is more of conversation. You are to dwell more deeply on the issues raised in part 2. Here, you have to be able to analyse your opinions and justify your thoughts logically. Also, be confident about what you say.
The Speaking section is scored based on your fluency, coherence, logic, grammaticality and correctness in pronunciation.
- Reading Section
The reading section duration is perhaps the longest in the IELTS exam. Its timing is 60 minutes.
Although you will be asked 40 questions as in the listening section, the tasks to be done under this section covers Reading excerpts, texts, essays and short paragraphs.
The reason, this section is carved out in the IELTS Test, however is to test for your patience, attention to detail, thinking ability, understanding and logical capabilities.
The tasks to be done under this section could be multiple choice, yes/no. sentence completion, table completion and other similar tasks that are drawn from the reading lists provided.
- Writing Section
In this section of the IELTS exam, just two tasks are to be completed within the time frame. That is, you have just writing tasks to perform within 60 minutes!
The first task in the writing section demand that write out some details as portrayed in graphs, charts, pictures and other graphics in 150 words. The recommended time to spend under this section is 20 minutes because the second section is longer and more difficult.
In the second task, you will be asked to write 250 word essay, presenting your arguments about a particular topic or opinion. This task is supposed to be completed within 40 minutes.
Now in these two tasks, originality is highly recommended because plagiarism is penalised in this section of the test. Also, while writing above the word-threshold in each tasks is not disallowed, writing in bullets is highly disapproved. Just write simple short sentences and paragraphs.
How to Get High Score in IELTS
Without much stress, you can get high score in your IELTS test if you can perform some of the tasks that I will show you later in this article.
What is incredible about these tasks is that they are simple and time-saving, yet producing fantastic results. I interacted with some of my friends who have attempted IELTS test in the past and I got few tricks and tips to help you get high score in the four areas you will tested on.
Here are some preparation tips to help you score high grade in your IELTS exam:
IELTS Preparation Tips for Listening
- Listen to BBC programmes.
- Watch English movies
- Interact with people
- Try jotting while listening
- Intimate yourself with English sounds
- Look up the correct pronunciation of words in the dictionary
IELTS Preparation Tips for Speaking
- Improve on your clarity and fluency
- Read aloud to build your pronunciation
- Speak naturally
- Avoid mimicking
- Avoid long pauses while speaking
- Be confident with your answers
- Respond to questions with short, precise answers
- Expatiate where necessary
IELTS Preparation Tips for Reading
- Read Literature books and newspapers
- Pay attention to salient points
- Look up difficult words in the dictionary
- Check out for synonyms
- Improve on your reading speed
- practise self-timed tests
- Learn new vocabularies everyday
You may like to read:Success Tips: How to Read and Pass an Exam? Try SQ3R Now!
IELTS Preparation tips for Writing
- Perform a 100-250 word essay writing task everyday
- Use simple sentences and short paragraphs
- Use active voice when writing
- Avoid big vocabularies or embellishments
- Develop good introductory and closing paragraphs
- Avoid cliches, write freely
- Avoid repetition
- Pay attention to punctuation
- Proofread your works and weed out ungrammatical sentences
If you can practise the listed IELTS preparation tasks provided above religiously, I can guarantee you an 8/9 to secure entry to your dream country.
Now let’s talk about where to practice and access IELTS past questions.
IELTS Practice Test Questions & Answers
Two types of Practice test questions have been designed for IELTS candidates. These Practice questions will help you pass your IELTS exams in one sitting. They are:
- IELTS Academic Practice Test
For test takers who want to go and study abroad, the IELTS Academic Practice Test is highly recommended. This IELTS will give you an insight to the exam format and likely questions to face in the main exam.
- IELTS General Training Practice Test
This test is recommended for IELTS candidates who just want to migrate for greener pasture’s sake or work in English countries. Here you will test yourself with sample questions under timed conditions. You will also be able to know how prepared you are for the IELTS exam.
Where to Practice IELTS Past/Sample Questions For Free
Good news is that you can practice IELTS sample questions for free here. However to save you the stress, we have provided download links to the Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking Sample Questions.
We have also provided the download link to the IELTS Practice Questions answers so that you score yourself and know whether you are good to go or not.
To Practice IELTS Questions for free:
- Download IELTS Listening Sample Questions Here
- Download IELTS Writing Sample Questions (Academic) Here
- Download IELTS Writing Sample Questions (General Training) Here
- Download IELTS Speaking Sample Questions Here
- Download IELTS Reading Sample Questions (Academic) Here
- Download IELTS Reading Sample Questions (General Training) Here
Links to the answers of the practice questions are provided below:
- Download Answers to IELTS Listening Sample Questions Here
- Download Answers to IELTS Writing Sample (Academic) Questions Here
- Download Answers to IELTS Writing Sample (General Training) Questions Here
- Download Answers to IELTS Reading Sample (Academic) Questions Here
- Download Answers to IELTS Reading Sample (General Training) Questions Here
How to Register for IELTS
Complete the following steps for your IELTS registration.
- Locate a local IELTS local centre close to you
- Download IELTS application form online
- Fill correctly and submit at your local centre
- Also attach a copy of Valid Identification means
- Save a copy for presentation on exam day
- Time and Date will be sent to you after confirmation by exam centre
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