Tips for Success in the IELTS Test

February 11, 2015 by IELTS IELTS

Test Preparation Strategy

If you want to do well on the IELTS test, there are several small steps you can take before test day to help you prepare and set you on the road to success.

Tip 1: Try sample IELTS tests before you take the real one.

If you are familiar with the type of questions to expect on test day, you will be better prepared to deliver answers that will score the highest marks.

We strongly recommend that you try out some of the practice and sample tests that are included here on our website so that you can become familiar with the format.

Tip 2: Learn to Pace Yourself

Be aware that the Reading, Writing and Listening tests are all given on the same day, one after the next, with no breaks in between. What can really help is to work through the practice IELTS tests in the same way so that you learn how to pace yourself and avoid burning out after just the first section.

Time yourself while you complete each section so that you get used to the amount of time available and don’t overspend on any one section to the detriment of the rest of the test.

Tip 3: Confirm your Responses with the Answer-Guide

An answer-guide is included along with the sample and practice IELTS test papers available on our website to give you an understanding of how scoring responses are expected to be structured.

Generally speaking, in essay test formats there are no perfect answers, but there is a recommended sequence and format of content that test-takers should be aware of in order to score the maximum number of points.

Examiner’s Tips

The following recommendations have been shared by examiners who are experienced in correcting the type of mistakes that are often made on the IELTS tests.

Listening Test Tips

1. Read the questions for each section BEFORE listening to the recording. You will then have a better understanding of what the text is about, and of the information that you need to be listening out for. Training yourself to read before listening will allow for more focused comprehension once the recording actually starts.

2. Become familiar with the spoken clues that are sprinkled through the recorded text – words and phrases such as firstly, to sum up, my next point, in conclusion, etc. These can give you a clear indication as to where you are in the text and as to the question you will need to answer.

Writing Test Tips – General

1. Do not copy any words from the question as these will not be included in your final word count. You will need to find your own way of expressing the meaning of the question, and use synonyms wherever possible.

2. Be sure to clearly express you own point of view. You can use phrases such as In my opinion, I think, I would suggest that, etc. This makes for a more personalized and readable essay.

Writing Test Tips – Academic

1. Always include a conclusion, the one paragraph at the end of the essay that sums up and reiterates what you have written in previous paragraphs. Conclusions offer a neat closure to your thoughts.

Reading Test Tips

1. The secret to success in this test is practice, practice, and more practice. The key lies in not only reading at speed, but also in absorbing the content at the same time.

2. Be aware that all the information you need to answer the questions is included in the text – you do not need to have any prior knowledge of the theme. If you are unsure of what is being asked for, re-read the text to see if you are able to discover the answer.

Speaking Test Tips

1. Again, the secret to success is to practice speaking at every opportunity – with colleagues, friends, on the bus, wherever you can! The more you practice speaking, the more confident you will become in using new words, and the greater the ease with which your language will flow.

2. Try recording yourself as you talk so that you can hear how you sound to other people. You may be surprised at how fast you speak, or how you pronounce certain words incorrectly, or always make the same mistakes that are easy to correct. Hearing yourself speaking out loud is a very useful tool to improving skills and confidence.

3. Be aware that there are no correct answers on the speaking test. The examiners are more interested in finding out if you can say what you think in a clear and expressive way, using proper English.

You may sit the IELTS test at any one of our 25 test locations across Canada. Current locations include:

    • Calgary
    • Burnaby
    • Fort St. John
    • Calgary
    • Burnaby
    • Edmonton
    • Fort St-John
    • Hamilton
    • Halifax
    • Kingston
    • Kelowna
    • Nanaimo
    • Mississauga
    • North York
    • Prince George
    • Ottawa
    • Scarborough
    • Saskatoon
    • Steinbach
    • Swift Current
    • Winnipeg
    • Toronto
    • Regina
    • Victoria
    • Vancouver
  • Red Deer

For more information, please contact your nearest Test Centre or check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions.