How to crack the IELTS exam? Tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Are you young and vibrant, getting ready to go abroad for your higher studies? Are you the one who loves new places and is likely to embrace new lifestyles and cultures by getting accustomed to them? Well! There is a process for that which you are familiar with, I suppose. This process is cracking the IELTS exam. If you want to gain the proper knowledge of clearing your IELTS exam, you have come up to the right place. In this article, I wish to discuss extensively about the IELTS exam and offer you a roadmap of how you should go about the exam. So, without wasting time, let’s dive into it.

What is IELTS?

IELTS is International English Language Testing SystemIt is a test conducted jointly by British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English. In simple terms, it is a test conducted to check that you are well versed in the English language. If you go to some English speaking country, whether for higher education or job-related, it becomes essential for you to speak correct English. So this is a test designed to check your English speaking, writing, listening and reading skills. This assessment is divided into four sections which are: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. It would be best if you prepared for each section of the exam separately. We will be mentioning some tips on how to prepare for these sections as the article progresses.

Types of IELTS exams?

IELTS exam is of two types. Academic, and the other is General. They are both the same, but there is little difference in the purpose of taking the tests and a slight change of syllabus. The Academic IELTS is a test taken by students who wish to finish their higher studies in some good universities abroad. Whereas General IELTS exams is taken by people who want to complete their secondary education abroad, get work experience, or migrate temporarily.

Section-wise preparation guide for IELTS

Listening

1. In the first recording, you have to listen to the conversation between two persons and answer the questions accordingly. These recordings can be of any accent; it can be American, British, Australian or even Asian. To get well familiar with these accents, you have to work on it; how do you work on it? Well, you have to watch videos, lots and lots of them. I suggest you watch Ted talks and other conversational debates on CNN or BBC.

2. The second recording is a monologue on social context, and one is a university speech. To understand these recordings, you have to focus on the central and core idea conveyed in the speech. You also have to pay attention and understand the other issues highlighted in the recording and how the speaker puts his ideas forth.

3. The third recording is usually a group discussion between around four people. Here you have to pay attention to the core topic of discussion, which is of utmost importance. You also try to remember the names of the people involved in the discussion.

4. When you are preparing for the exam, try to watch videos with subtitles to help you understand them better and improve your vocabulary.

5. Lastly, when you listen to the recordings, try only to retain the essential parts and leave the rest. Don’t clutter your brain with unnecessary information. This, you can do only with a lot of practice.

Speaking

1. Now, this is the most dreaded section of the exam. But don’t worry, with some tips you can easily overcome them. In this section’s first task, you will be asked simple questions about yourself, such as your family, hobbies, aspirations, etc. So the tip is here to give prompt elaborate answers while not getting too gossipy as this may put a wrong impression on the examiner.

2. The second task of this section is that you will need to speak on a topic for 2 minutes. Here try to express what you understand on that particular topic. Add facts to support your answer, but only when you are sure about the fact. Please don’t say any misleading facts as they may land you in trouble. Be clear and confident about what you try to speak.

3. The third task is that the examiner will question you based on the topic you had spoken about earlier. Try to be confident and clear about what you say and have a firm take on that. Be sure of what you spoke on the last task, as the examiner may ask you tricky questions and make you contradict yourself. 

4. Try not to sound over-enthusiastic and nervous while answering the questions. Answer them smartly and calmly. If you don’t know the answer, try not to babble any incomplete response without facts; instead, say you don’t know it. It will put the examiner into the impression that you genuinely don’t know the answer.

Reading

1. In this section, you have to answer the questions of 3 long passages; each passage has 300 words. To answer the questions, you have to speed read. The only way to score in this section is by developing the habit of reading and reading lots and lots before the exam. Try to understand the topic or passage in the first read because you won’t get much time to read it twice.

2. Try to summarize the central idea of the passage in your head. This will help you to answer the questions more accurately and correctly. Try to know what the author wants to say in the passages and build his argument.

3. Learn the art of skimming through the passage; this will help you answer every question correctly.

4. Develop a habit of reading lots of books before the exams. That is the only way to score more in this section. Work on your vocabulary. You don’t want to get stuck, finding the word meanings of the passage. The best way in doing this is to go through old sample papers and good IELTS books.

Writing

1. In this section, you have to finish two tasks. The first is to write the description of the given figure or graph in 150 words, and the other is to write an essay in 200 words, both in 60 minutes. The smarter way is to complete the essay first, as it will consume more time and then get back to task 1.

2. When writing the essay, try to convey the core idea of the essay very precisely and in an intelligible manner. When building the argument, try to do it smoothly so that every paragraph you write is linked to the previous one. Your essay should not be a random compilation of facts but should be a strong write up explaining everything about the topic.

3. For the first task, you should understand the given figure or diagram thoroughly to write the description. Your description should be exact and to the point. A neat and uncluttered description is what you want to put forth for the examiner.

4. Develop a good vocabulary and increase your writing speed. Finishing the two tasks in 60 minutes is a challenge, so you need to have a good habit of writing. Avoid making silly punctuation mistakes, as this can affect your score. Use a formal tone of writing for the essays.

So here, we have discussed the preparation guide for each section of the exam. But merely preparing for each section is not enough to crack the exam; there are also some general pointers you must keep in mind when preparing for the IELTS exam. So without further delay, let’s get into it.

Tips to prepare for the IELTS exam

1. Be prepared: The most important and obvious suggestion to you will be to get prepared. Start studying as much as before the examination. This will help you to plan out things before getting to it. Practice as much as possible; it will make you more confident on the examination day. And use the best resources for IELTS preparation; a counsellor can help you a lot regarding this.

2. Take some help: You might consider yourself to be very smart when it comes to preparing for the IELTS exam. But it is not always easy; the IELTS exam is a hard nut to crack. You should get some help from professionals who have done terrific work in making students crack the exam. You can also enrol for some online classes and get a professional outlook on the exam, scoring more.

3. Do multiple dry runs: Practice is only the key to score more in the IELTS exam. So get on to watching discussions and reading the right books today. You also need to solve a lot of sample papers of IELTS. This will make you better at improving your command of the language and help you to be more confident.

4. Work on your language: To succeed in your IELTS exam, you need to have good language skills; we don’t just mean to be good at vocabulary but a combination of good vocabulary and correct grammar. Also, keep in mind you are good with punctuations which are very important in the writing section.

5. Be quick: For the IELTS exam you need to be quick in reading and answering the questions because time is limited. So whenever you practice, practice timed tests to help you complete the exam before time. This can also help you to improve your writing speed that will help you in the writing section.

6. Spare no questions: The most important pointer is this one; no matter what, do not skip any questions in your exam. Try answering every question even if you don’t know some of them. You need to know that there is no negative marking in this exam. Try giving it a shot and answer every question; this will help you to score more.

7. Don’t freak out: The last and most important point is not to freak out when you are set to give the exam. It’s natural for somebody to panic and get nervous during the exam. But it is not worth it. Because it will ultimately affect your score, it is good to stay calm and give your best without worrying about the result.

IELTS exam can seem hard at first and may feel like it is impossible to crack, but having a proper schedule of study and through expert guidance, one can easily crack it. Follow the above IELTS preparation guide if you want to crack the exam. It shall give you an insight into how you should go about the exam. We wish you the best in your IELTS preparation.

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