Strategies for IELTS Preparation and Test-Taking
General Approaches to Studying for the IELTS
The most effective practice for the IELTS is to spend as much time as possible engaged with the English language. This engagement should take many forms and can easily cover the four areas evaluated on the IELTS. The popular culture of English-speaking countries, including films, music, newspapers, and literature, offers a number of opportunities to improve language skills. Furthermore, consumption of popular culture promotes synthesis of language abilities by requiring test-takers to draw on visual, auditory, and text-based learning strategies. The best approach to learning any large body of knowledge is to make small amounts of progress on a daily basis. IELTS test-takers can greatly enhance their skills by devoting minimal but consistent amounts of time to watching films, reading newspapers or magazines, and practicing everyday communications in both written and spoken forms.
Important General Test-Taking Skills
Test scores are greatly affected by how well a student manages his or her time while taking the test. Content knowledge alone isn't enough for optimal performance; students must train themselves to reproduce this knowledge quickly and within the time constraints of the IELTS. The process of taking the test should proceed at an orderly and efficient pace, which can easily be calculated from the number of questions and the allotted amount of time for each IELTS section. Spending too much time on a single question will do more damage than getting that question wrong. Test-takers must also ensure that they are feeling their absolute best on test day and are not distracted by physical ailments. Sufficient rest, proper exercise, and adequate nutrition have been shown to improve mental performance of many different types.
IELTS Reading Strategies
The core skills for the IELTS reading module are reading comprehension, use of vocabulary and conventions of the English language, and understanding the structure of written texts. The best preparation is to read a number of different literary and informational texts in a wide variety of academic and general subjects. Test-takers must be able to quickly find information in written texts and understand the difference between fact and opinion. The IELTS asks students to choose paragraphs in test exercises that include certain facts, and this skill can be developed on all outside readings. For each of your study readings, number the paragraphs, choose some facts, and write them down. You can later go back to these readings and try to locate the facts you have notated. With practice, your speed at finding the information will improve. With daily reading, your intuitive understanding of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary will become gradually stronger.
IELTS Writing Strategies
The IELTS writing module will include two of three writing tasks, depending on whether you take the academic or general training tests. Both versions include a discursive essay. The academic test also features a descriptive essay, while the general training test's second writing exercise is a letter. Discursive essays are responses to given issues or problems. For this exercise, practice articulating your opinions about politics, culture, or society in written form. Pay special attention to structure. Coherent discursive essays begin by articulating main points, proceed to provide supporting evidence, and summarize all of the evidence in a conclusion. For the descriptive essay, practice writing about your physical surroundings or favorite places. This will help you prepare for describing maps, graphs, or charts, which is what you will be asked to do on the IELTS. Online book repositories are great resources for these types of visual representations of information. Try writing about a graph, and then compare the result to what is written in the book from which the graph is taken. Sufficient practice with discursive essays will be eminently helpful to the general training test's letter-writing exercise, but the latter skill should nonetheless be practiced separately. Professional situations are the best topics for this practice.
IELTS Listening Strategies
A great deal of academic lectures are available in video format online. Viewing these lectures will help you prepare for the monologue exercise on the IELTS listening module. Listen for cues such as word emphasis, speaker intonation, and tone of voice, which will help you understand the relative importance of the various statements. For the conversation exercise, listening to everyday exchanges between people, either in person or on video, will help you understand the interaction and exchange of information. Focusing on body language, in addition to the other cues noted above, can help you infer a great deal about conversations.
IELTS Speaking Strategies
Pronunciation is often one of the greatest challenges for IELTS students. Test-takers can improve their pronunciation of the English language simply by speaking along with or repeating lines from a film or radio program. Also, practice your skills with fluent English speakers. You'll be able to tell from their reactions how well they understood what you said. Strong practice on the IELTS listening module will help you better understand the spoken questions you'll be asked on the IELTS.