How to Study for IELTS

How to study for IELTS

How to Study for IELTSAre you planning to write IELTS? Have you heard so many negative things about IELTS and you are scared, you are not sure if you will make it. Fear not! You can, yes you can pass it. Just follow the tips below on how to study for IELTS and get high band scores. Success is guaranteed!

12 Tips on How To Study for IELTS

#1   You must know and understand the format of the test

This is the very first step and also one of the most important in studying for IELTS effectively. You can’t study effectively, if you don’t know and understand the scope of the test. You should also read and understand the rules and regulations guiding IELTS, which can be found on the application form.

This step also applies to any other exam you are preparing for. You must know the format of the exam questions, what the examiner expects of you, duration of exam, etc.

#2   Practice, practice, practice

You must practice a lot of English before you take the IELTS test. There are a lot of sites that you can practice tests from. Structure your time table in such a way that you have time to study and also time to practice.

#3   Practice enough IELTS sample questions

When you practice IELTS sample questions, it helps you get familiarized with the test format. It also helps to build your confidence in readiness for the exam.

Also when you practice, your strengths and weaknesses are revealed to you. You then get to work on the weaknesses and build on those strengths.

#4   Take IELTS Official Test- IELTS Progress Check

IELTS progress check is the official online practice test for IELTS. This practice test is usually grades by IELTS trained and qualified markers. The practice test is categorized into timed and untimed; the choice is yours. At the end of the practice test, you will receive a feedback that includes your overall band score and individual band score for each section, i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

#5    You can take up a preparation course

Even though this is not compulsory, but it can really boost your overall band score. There are so many IELTS preparatory centers around (both online and on-ground). You will always find one that fits into your schedule and suits your pocket.

#6   Be aware of the time constraints

You must familiarize yourself with the time limit of the test. Each of the four aspect; Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking has its own time limits. Know each of those time limits and start doing your practice within those time limits.

#7   Improve on your use of English

In preparing for IELTS, you must bear in mind that what you are preparing for is test of English and English is simply a practical subject.

So as you study for the test, you have to put into daily practice what you are learning. Both in conversations, writing and general communication, apply what you are learning. This will help boost your confidence and increase your performance in the test.

#8   Give enough time for preparation

If you are really determined to pass your IELTS once, then you must give it all it takes. One of such requirement is adequate preparation time. Don’t make the mistake of wanting to write the exam suddenly and quickly.

Plan and prepare for it. About 3-6 months is the average time period needed to prepare adequately for it. If you need to take off some time off work, business, family, etc. Please do! It is better to sit and pass the exam once than doing it severally.

#9   Join a study group

You can join a team of like-minded individuals who are also interested in having high band scores in IELTS. Team up with such people to start a study group. No man is an island, you will have to learn some things through others.

There are so many free study groups you can join on social media where you will meet thousands of young minds like you that are preparing for IELTS. You will also get to meet people that have already sat for and passed IELTS on those study groups. You will get a lot of free tips, resource materials, etc. to help you prepare for the big day.

#10   Practice Multitasking when listening in English

The listening module is actually very tasking and technical too. So you must practice a lot before the big-day of the test, you must practice a whole lot of listening in English.  In the test, you will be required to provide correct answers to 40 questions based on 4 recordings you will be listening to. Some of the questions you will be asked is centered around; sentence completion, summary completion, form completion and multiple-choice question.

You must also learn how to follow a conversation and ensure you don’t get lost.

#11   Expand your reading skill and capacity

The reading module of IELTS will test your reading skills, how fast you can read through a text, draw out salient points and also comprehend the text by answering questions relating to the text.  Timing is very essential in the reading module. You can help strengthen yourself in this area by practice a lot of reading exercise in a very short time. You must also master how to skim through a text and still be able to draw out salient points from the text.

You will be required to provide short answers to questions asked at the end of the passage, complete sentences, match headings, complete diagram labels or match information.

#12   Consolidate your writing skills by using appropriate and assertive English terms

The writing module can be a bit challenging but if you understand the principles behind it, you will sail through. There are usually two tasks required of you in the writing module.

The first task would require that you describe and explain data. You must familiarize yourself with different types of charts (bar graphs, pictogram, tables, line graphs, etc.) and how to interpret them.

The second task would require you to write an essay. So you will need to know different kinds of essay e.g Advantages and Disadvantages, Problems and Solution, Agree or Disagree, Cause and Effects, etc.  You will need to know how to write an essay with a good structure. Practice writing a lot of topics most especially from past IELTS questions.

Final Note

To some people, the fear of IELTS is the beginning of wisdom. It is an exam dreaded by many but the truth is, no matter how dreadful it may look, it is surmountable.

Just like in high jump, if you must pass over the obstacle, you must have paced yourself well (i.e. started running from a good distance). It is also applicable to IELTS, you must give yourself enough time to prepare, gather enough updated study materials and of course give yourself to intensive study.

What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. Give it your best shot and pass at the very first attempt. It may even require you taking some leave from work or some family obligations, just do it!

Success is yours!

I hope you got value from this article on how to study for IELTS?

Frequently Asked Questions

If you really want to pass your IELTS effortlessly, you should get these five books:

  1. Barron’s IELTS Superpack
  2. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
  3. Cambridge IELTS 14 Academic Student’s Book
  4. Road to IELTS
  5. Official IELTS Practice Materials

IELTS is not hard in itself. Once you can take out enough time to prepare using the right materials, success is assured.

If you fail, you can always re-sit for the exams until you attain the required score. The only constraint is that you will have to pay each time you write the exam.

There is really no time limit on re-sitting for the test. However, it is advisable you take some time to do some extra study before writing another test so you can be better prepared and score higher.

Rules and guidelines guiding IELTS are always included on the application form. So be sure to check your form very well for the guidelines.

You will be needing a recognized I.D card, exactly the one you used on the IELTS application form. You will also be needing pens, pencils and erasers. Phones are not allowed.

IELTS employs a 9-band scoring system to report test scores in a regular and consistent manner. Each of listening, reading, writing and speaking test have individual band score. An overall band is derived at the end on a band scale from one to nine.

There is no pass mark for IELTS. Test scores are graded on a 9-band system. it is left to each educational institution or organization to set a minimum IELTS scores for its applicants.

Test report form will be sent to you 13 calendar days after you wrote the test.

Yes, you can pass at first attempt if you prepare adequately.


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