IELTS Top Tips
We Love IELTS is full of top tips to help you prepare for your IELTS test!
These tips are taken from our range of Top Tips for IELTS books, as well as our We Love IELTS experts who have an extensive range of experience in teaching, examining and mentoring IELTS test takers. We’ve also collected tips from students like you who’ve taken the test and achieved their goal.
Below you’ll find some of our top tips for each of the four IELTS skills, as well as blogs, videos, activities, books and other resources.
1. Read the instructions carefully, and make sure you follow them, especially regarding the maximum number of words.
2. Make sure you give the text a quick read through so you’re familiar with the topic and how it’s developed in the text, but don’t worry if you don’t understand every word.
3. You can write on the question paper, but you must copy your answers onto the answer sheet within the 60 minutes, so allow time to do that. You could save time by writing your answers directly onto the answer sheet.
4. Where you have to write words, check the spelling carefully (the word or words will always be in the text) and make sure you don’t write more than the maximum word limit.
1. Before you start writing, plan what you’re going to say. Make sure you’re going to answer the question, rather than writing something irrelevant or too general – there isn’t time for this in the test.
2. Make sure you use a range of vocabulary that demonstrates your knowledge of English.
3. Check that you have written enough words. When you practise writing, count the number of words you’ve written so you have a good idea of what 150 or 250 words look like in your handwriting.
4. Check your work for any mistakes you tend to make, e.g. leaving out articles. Know your own typical mistakes and check your work carefully for them.
1. You only hear the recordings once – so write the answers as you listen.
2. Listen carefully to the introduction for each section and try to imagine what the speakers will talk about. This will give you useful information about the situation and the speakers.
3. The questions will always follow the order of the recording. Don’t panic if you miss one question – look ahead and think about the next one.
4. It’s useful to underline key words in the question to help you focus on the words (or similar words) to listen for.
1. Spend time before the test speaking and listening or reading in English rather than in your own language so you’re ‘thinking in English’ when you go into the examination room.
2. Smile and relax – the more you smile the more relaxed you will feel.
3. Don’t speak too fast because it can be difficult to follow. Don’t speak too slowly as you won’t have the chance to say very much.
4. Try to use a wide range of grammar and vocabulary during the test. The examiner can only award you marks for the language you produce.
If you’re wondering what to do in the run up to your test, follow Emma’s advice to ensure you make the most of your time in the precious few days leading up to exam day.