IELTS Practice Test Exam Preparation and Important Tips

IELTS Practice Test Exam Preparation and Important Tips/Commonly referred to as IELTS, the International English Language Testing System is an examination that measures the language proficiency of candidates who wish to pursue education or work in locations where English is used as a language of communication. To be able to excel in the IELTS examination, candidates are always advised to attempt as many IELTS Practice/ Sample papers as possible. Candidates who appear for the IELTS examination or attempt IELTS practice papers are graded on a nine-band scale to clearly identify their levels of proficiency of the English language, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Why attempt IELTS Sample Papers?

Preparing for the IELTS through reliable study material is only half the battle won. Candidates are always advised to solve as many IELTS Practice Tests as possible. Solving IELTS practice papers would provide candidates an extra edge to be able to perform well in their IELTS examination. Candidates are advised to use the IELTS practice material available on the official IELTS website to the fullest to familiarize themselves with the latest IELTS test format, experience the different types of tasks and finally self-evaluate answers and compare them with model solutions.

For more IELTS Question Papers

Are you interested in solving more IELTS Sample papers? Check out extensive IELTS Practice Papers from leading publications, here:

IELTS Key Points

  • IELTS Test dates are available throughout the year
  • There are 78 IELTS Test Centres spread across India
  • The IELTS test scores are declared within 13 days
  • The IELTS score is valid for two years from the date of the examination
  • IELTS examination is aimed to provide a valid and accurate assessment of the English language

Types of IELTS

IELTS is available to candidates in two formats, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The two different formats of the IELTS examination serve different purposes. The main focus of the IELTS examination is to provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills namely listening, reading, writing and speaking.

  • IELTS Academic: The IELTS Academic is for candidates who are looking to apply for higher education or professional registration whereas
  • IELTS General Training: The IELTS General Training is for candidates looking to migrate to Australia, Canada, and the UK or applying for secondary education, training programs and work experience in an English-speaking environment.

IELTS Test Pattern consists of four modules

  • IELTS Listening
  • IELTS Reading
  • IELTS Writing
  • IELTS Speaking

IELTS Test Pattern

For candidates to ace their IELTS Sample papers they should be well versed with the latest IELTS Syllabus. They should also be aware of the latest IELTS Test Format to be able to perform well in their English examination. Here is the latest IELTS exam syllabus/ format for the four basic language skills.

Skill IELTS Test Description No. of Questions / Total Duration (mins)
Reading Syllabus The reading module consists of three passages of general interest. Questions: 40

Duration: 30 mins

Writing Syllabus This module consists of providing information in your own words. Questions: 02

Duration: 60mins

Listening Syllabus This module consists of a conversation on different topics. Questions: 40

Duration: 30mins

Speaking Syllabus This module consists of testing your general speaking skills. Questions: 03

Duration: 11-14 mins

Candidates wanting to excel in their next IELTS Examination need to put in their best efforts and above all have a good command over the English language. The following IELTS preparations tips are only going to help candidates in achieving a better IELTS score in their IELTS Practice tests and the final examination.

IELTS Exam Prep Tips

  • Reading: The Reading section of the IELTS consists of three passages of increasing difficulty, and there is a total of 40 questions to answer. A variety of question types are used in order to test a wide range of reading skills.
  • Writing: The Writing section of the IELTS exam includes two tasks. Task 1 requires candidates to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Task 2 requires candidates to interpret a diagram in their own words.
  • Listening: In the Listening section of the IELTS, candidates would be required to listen to four recorded texts, monologues, and conversations by a range of native speakers, and answer a series of questions that follow.
  • Speaking: The Speaking section of the IELTS tests the candidates speaking ability and vocal clarity. This segment includes a one-to-one interaction between the student and an examiner.

How to prepare for IELTS? IELTS Preparation Tips

  • Any exam needs 80% of the preparation to pass, and 20% of that preparation to clear it. Once you have understood the format for the kind of test you would want to take, start skimming through IELTS Exam practice tests papers and IELTS sample tests.
  • You can take the IELTS practice test online by factoring in the time you will be given for taking the actual tests. You can find them on website where sample questions and answers are given. Separately, you can also buy IELTS preparation books and related IELTS study material and IELTS listening practice tests that are available at British Council IELTS tests centres and selected bookstores across the globe.
  • The British Council IELTS website has a list of IELTS Preparation books with brief description that you could refer to while preparing for your IELTS test.
  • Likewise, you can ask for some good book references from the people who have taken the exam before you. The Official Cambridge IELTS Guide is one top recommendation by many. It comes with a DVD and has questions for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Another is the Cambridge IELTS Practice Tests Series.
  • Many IELTS Preparation books are available, but you should first stick to the source material for the preparation, i.e. IELTS vocabulary books, the British Council IELTS books, Cambridge IELTS books and the like.

IELTS Preparation

These are some essential steps that you must follow while preparing for the IELTS test. Some also ask how to prepare for IELTS at Home. It may seem like a daunting task, but we are going to give you some helpful IELTS study tips to help you refine your study habits.

  • You must concentrate on building your Core English Skills
  • A major error some IELTS applicants make when preparing for the exam is concentrating only on IELTS mock tests. Many consider that the IELTS more mock tests they do, the better prepared they will be. This is a misconception.
  • The test is talent-based, not knowledge-based. This means that every IELTS mock test you do will comprise diverse content that you cannot study for. It is about the excellence of your abilities, and not the number of your IELTS mock tests.
  • Language is an ability. Therefore, you need to learn speaking skills, listening skills, writing skills and reading skills. You can’t approach building your language abilities the same way when you do IELTS mock tests. Though understanding with the exam format is half the battle, do not undervalue the necessity to develop your language skills.
  • So, find a good English teacher, take IELTS course and immerse yourself in the language through IELTS Preparation books and other novels, newspapers, music, and movies. Find some English-speaking friends and organize an English only conversation club. The more normal the language becomes to you, the more calm you are going to feel in the exam.

Learn from your weaknesses

To achieve success anywhere, you will have to learn from your mistakes, and be aware of the weaknesses and habits you repeat. Candidates often tend to repeat the same mistakes repeatedly even after they are given a thorough feedback.
Take your time to understand your errors thoroughly. Are they related to spelling? If so, follow IELTS writing tips, practice writing misspelled words correctly. Are your errors related to verb tense? Then focus on that, is it related to vocabulary? Then focus on that. Learn the rules and how to use them. The important thing is to not make those errors again.

Ielts Essay Writing Tips

Develop your writing skills by learning how to structure an essay paragraph by paragraph. Practice IELTS reading Practice test and understanding IELTS essay questions. It is easy to go off topic or not directly answer the question. Additionally read many different sample IELTS essay questions and write sample responses.
The more practice you get writing responses to different IELTS essay questions, the more comfortable you will feel with various topics. Be careful not to memorize sample IELTS essays. I have seen many candidates make this mistake. Even if you get a similar topic in the exam, the concentration of the question will be diverse and so the answer will have to exactly address the question.
IELTS examiners know how to spot learnt essays and they will give zero no matter how well written it is. It is also significant to practice writing 250 words in timed situations. Your writing should be neat and legible. Therefore, if you do not feel comfortable with writing by hand, then practice more writing, until you feel comfortable doing that.

Ielts Speaking Practice

  • The same goes with IELTS speaking Test. IELTS speaking Practice can be done with a friend. Become comfortable talking about yourself and your experiences. You can have some common answers pre-prepared related to your basic information related to the first part of the test, but this should come out as impulsive and natural.
  • Furthermore, remember to avoid memorizing presentations for part 2. The examiner will know if you are repeating memorized answers. Always keep in mind that you are talking about yourself. Therefore, develop a habit to do it on a daily basis. Even if it means speaking to yourself!

Read a diverse range of articles

  • Read up on general topics such as news, current affairs, science, climate change, animals, history, economics, sociology, etc. The more you read, the more you will develop the habit of understanding the context of the sentences and new vocabulary.
  • This will help you increase your knowledge of English and feel more comfortable with the reading paragraphs in the exam. If you are doing the IELTS academic, but have never read an academic paragraph until the day of the exam, you could be in trouble. So, use sites like National Geographic, the Economist, the New Internationalist and Science Daily to become an academic reader.

Learn native like fluency

You can listen to some podcasts and ted talks to understand different accents and pronunciations. Not only can this help you understand different accents, but is also a great way to expose yourself to new vocabulary and different interesting IELTS speaking topics. Remember, the broader your general language and general knowledge, the more comfortable you will be with the language and topics in the test.

Know the test tips and strategies

Finally, learn the exam tips and strategies and apply them to practice exams. This will help you learn how to manage your time and how to utilize it effectively to complete each section of the exam. Time management is one of the most important aspects when it comes down to tests. However, at the end of the day, it rests on your language skills the most.

Study Material for IELTS

There are various options available when it comes to buying a good IELTS preparatory guide. However, the final selection would depend on a candidate’s current English level. Candidates who plan to prepare on their own for their IELTS Practice Tests and IELTS Exam need to study from the best books and resources for IELTS which are easily available in the market. Candidates can also enroll with an authorized coaching center for preparing for IELTS. The British Council and IDP have their own official study guides and online preparation material that candidates can access for the examination. Candidates can also get in touch with the British Council for IELTS preparatory classes.

The IELTS examination is aimed at assessing the English language skills of candidates at all levels. Hence, students can never fail the IELTS. Candidates can expect their results to be declared online 13 calendar days, excluding the day of the examination. Candidates should keep in mind that the IELTS score is valid for two years from the date of the examination.

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