IELTS Preparation Tips

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IELTS Listening Tips

  1. Keep all your concentration on listening carefully for the half hour or so that the test lasts. Slip of concentration can make you lose the sequence of answers and panic sets in fast.
  2. The test has four sections. Sections 1 and 3 are dialogues and sections 2 and 4 are monologues. There are 40 questions to be answered and the test lasts for 30 minutes. Ten minutes will be given at the end of the test to jot down your answers on answer sheet.
  3. Pay particular attention to the dialogues sections (Sections 1 and 3).
  4. At the beginning of each section of the recording, time is provided to read the questions. Use this time to read the questions concerning to that section (the voice on the tape tells you how many questions to read). Time is also provided at the end of each section to check your answers. Use this time to read the questions for the next section.
  5. Read the questions carefully. If the query says mark the answer as A, B, C or D on the answer sheet, make sure you don’t write the phrase that A, B, C or D correspond to. Just write A, B, C or D. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer, writing 4 words will get you no marks for that question.
  6. The answers usually appear in the conversation in the same order as the questions.
  7. The speakers often correct themselves. They will say something in the beginning and then change the statement. For example, “we will go to Lahore” is said first and then “No, let’s make it Karachi”. The correct answer is the final statement i.e. Karachi and not Lahore. Be careful about like these tricks.
  8. If you miss an answer, don’t panic. Keep listening for the next answer.
  9. Write your answer instantly on the question sheet instantly. Don’t try to remember the answers to write on the answer sheet. The ten minutes provided at the end of the test are quite sufficient to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

IELTS Reading Tips

  1. The reading test is considered is the most difficult part of IELTS. You have to read 3 long sections, each with multiple paragraphs, and answer 40 questions (13 to 14 per section). Unlike the listening test, no extra time is given at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Time can be a major constraint since you only have an hour to finish the test.
  2. The key to doing well in this part is practice. Read newspapers, magazines and books.
  3. Try to improve your reading skills and speed.
  4. The most important thing to understand is the test does NOT assess your comprehension of the paragraphs. It does NOT test how well you have understood the passage. It tests specific skills called Scanning and Skimming.
  5. Scanning is what one does, for example, when looking for a phone number in a directory. You know the specific information you are looking for and you go down the page quickly to find it. This technique is used when answering questions such as multiple-choice and matching. You scan the passage to quickly find the information mentioned in the question. Once you find it, you get the answer from the passage and write it against the question.
  6. Skimming refers to evaluate a paragraph rapidly to get an idea about it without trying to understand its details.
  7. Time factor is very crucial in this module so be careful about the time.
  8. First read all the questions quickly to get an idea of what type of information is essential.
  9. Underline the important information such as dates, places and names while reading.
  10. Once you go through all the questions, skim over the text and underline important parts. If you see any information concerning to the questions answer the question while reading.
  11. Respond the questions one by one with the help of the underlined parts of the passage.
  12. The answers typically appear in the content in the same order as the queries; the answer to query 4 will be prior in the content than the answer to question 5. But it is not necessary.
  13. Read the directions for each question very vigilantly. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer then you are bond to in three words three words.
  14. Be careful about the True / False / Not given and Yes / No / Not given questions these are the toughest ones.
  15. If you don’t know the answer of a question move on next question don’t waste your time on a question.

IELTS Writing Tips

  1. You have to do lot of practice of writing to pass this module.
  2. Task 2 have more marks so spend more time on it. Twenty minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 would be a good equilibrium.
  3. For both writing tasks, it is a good idea to put down your thoughts on the question sheet. It will provide you an outline for your writing. It may take 2 or 3 minutes but the time spent is worth it.
  4. Don’t go beyond your relevant points and avoid writing any irrelevant data. Describe the relevant and most important data.
  5. Write concluding sentence which sums up all the information.
  6. In task 2 candidates have to present an argument so they should have something on the topic to write. Regularly read newspapers, editorials and magazine articles on current issues. It will help you to widen your ideas.
  7. Introduce the topic and shape your stance whether you agree or disagree.
  8. Give opinions of scholars in support of your viewpoint and write relevant examples.
  9. State the opposing viewpoint and give explanation why you differ with it.
  10. Wind up with a short concluding paragraph.
  11. If there is time left at the end, improve your answers by checking spelling or grammatical mistakes.

IELTS Speaking Tips

  1. The test consists of three parts. In the first part the examiner will ask you to introduce yourself. He can ask some relevant questions.
  2. In the second part you will be given a sheet of paper with a topic written on it. You have to speak for 2 minutes on this topic. You will be given 1 minute to write down your ideas.
  3. Ensure you read all the questions concerning to the topic, written on the paper. It generally has two or three parts which you will have to talk about. Don’t miss out any query.
  4. Write down your ideas about the topic in given one minute. Two minutes can be a long time to talk alone and the notes you make will help you keep talking for the full two minutes.
  5. Whatever examiner asks you answer the question and don’t worry about its facts because assessment will be on your language fluency and grammatical accuracy not your knowledge.
  6. The most important thing which will help you in the speaking test is to use English in your everyday conversations. Avoid communicating in your native language for a few weeks before the test and speak only in English. This will make you self-assured and you will talk confidently and smoothly in the test. Watch English movies and English programs on television to improve your accent and to develop your vocabulary.