Getting Ready to Take an IELTS Test

Nov 23, 2013 by

If you are about to take your first IELTS test, you may be feeling overwhelmed. After all, there is a lot riding on this internationally recognised exam. Everything from further study to job placements will depend on the final score so you’ll want to ensure that it is as high as possible. By following these four simple steps, you can then get ready for this crucial exam and gain a higher chance of getting the right results.

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1) Enrol in an English Course

Since IELTS depends on your English skills, you’ll want to improve them as much as you can before you even enrol to take the test. This means that you should join up with a basic conversational course. This will give you the foundations from which to develop your skills before you actually focus on taking the IELTS exam later on. Also remember to combine a few success secrets for learning English with the courses that you’ve enrolled in. After this, you’ll then get confident enough to speak, listen, read and write so that you are ready to tackle the IELTS exam head on.

2) Understand the Test

You’ll now have to sit down and figure out exactly what the exam format will contain. Becoming familiar with the test will ensure you don’t come upon any surprises while you’re taking it. In particular, remember the following:

  • There are two versions of the reading & writing sections
  • The speaking & listening parts are the same in all tests
  • Listening takes 30 minutes to complete
  • Reading and writing take 60 minutes each
  • Speaking takes between 11 and 14 minutes

Read over all the guidelines and familiarise yourself with the setup of the exam. Once you know precisely what to expect out of the test, you can then move onto the next preparatory step.

3) Take Time to Practice

Now that your English is of a reasonable level and you know the IELTS layout backwards, you are ready to take a practice test. These can be found online or you could enrol in a corsi inglese that covers IELTS knowledge and practise. In each case, you can sit down and write a few exams, gaining a feel for what is expected of you. While taking these practise tests, take note of the following aspects:

  • The types of tasks required of you
  • The optimal timing and pacing
  • Areas of strengths and weaknesses

If you are working with a personal instructor, they will be able to give you advice on how to improve your test taking techniques and bolster your weaknesses. This is one case in which practise can really make perfect!

4) Get Ready for Test Day

The final step will be to mentally and physically prepare to actually take your IELTS exam. After all, you’ll want to be relaxed and organised for the big day so you don’t turn up to the test venue flustered or late. First, you should get some advice from those who have taken the test before. There is plenty of info to be found online, all of which should help you organise your plans for the test day in a suitable manner. Whether you are taking this English test to start a university degree or using it for a future job placement, you should also think about the following basic yet essential exam day requirements. They will help relax and prepare you for taking your test:

  • Double check all exam details
  • Memorise the official test rules
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Memorise the IELTS location
  • Plan your route to the venue

After this, you will be all set to take your test without any added pressure occurring along the way. You’ll get to the venue on time and refreshed, ready to prove your worth in the English arena.

These four tips are all that you need to gain some excellent IELTS results in the future. As you can see, you’ll require a combination of high motivation, quality instructors and lots of hard work to achieve your goals. The end results will be well worth it though! We wish you all the best in your English endeavours and hope that you successfully reach your work or study targets.

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