The Importance of Confidence

February 27, 2017 by Ashlee Fisher

What Does It Mean to Be Confident?

In the dictionary, confidence is defined as ‘a belief in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities’. This can relate to different aspects of your life, including taking the IELTS exam. Being confident about the test means believing in yourself and knowing that you have the power and ability to achieve your desired score on the IELTS exam.

How Do You Become Confident?

  1. Be Prepared for the Test

The biggest confidence booster is being prepared for the exam. Going in blindly can lead to an undesired score and leave you feeling pessimistic about future exams. Prepare for the big day by reading test tips and techniques, common question types, and so on. Also, listen to and read sample answers for different sections to get a feel for what the exam is looking for. is a great place to practice.

  1. Ask Reliable Sources

This is closely related to being prepared for the IELTS exam. If you have any questions about what you’ve read, seen, or heard, ask your teacher, tutor, or your local IELTS office. Going to a reliable source will make you feel more confident about the answer.

  1. Think Positively

Try to focus on the positive like how well prepared you are for the exam and how quickly you’re able to write both tasks in the writing section. Don’t focus on the negative like your grammar mistakes in the speaking section or how many answers you left blank in the reading section. Focusing only on the positive will give you a better outlook on the overall exam. Every time you think about something negative in regards to the test, try to replace it with something positive that you’ve have accomplished.

  1. Imagine Yourself Being Successful

This relates to thinking positively, just with more focus. Imagine yourself writing the IELTS exam, confidently knowing the answers, and receiving the score you need. Positive thoughts can translate to a positive attitude, and most likely, a positive result.

  1. Realize That No One Is Perfect

Although a band score of 9 is the highest score you can receive on the IELTS exam, most institutions do not require this. This is beneficial to you as it allows you to make mistakes.

  1. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

Thinking positively about your strengths but also, acknowledging your weaknesses allows you to prepare for the exam in the most effective way. Do practice tests to show yourself what you’re good at and not so good at in terms of listening, reading, writing, and speaking as well as specific skills within these sections. You may be efficient when answering multiple choice questions but take too much time answering heading match questions. Exposing your weaknesses can help you prepare a study schedule that is tailored to your needs.

  1. Be Yourself

When doing the speaking or writing sections of the IELTS exam, use language and vocabulary that you know well and are comfortable using. This will create more fluidity in your speaking and writing as well as make you more confident about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

Why Is It Important to Be confident?

First of all, being confident will free you from self-doubt. Thinking negatively about your abilities can cripple your performance on the IELTS exam. If you are concentrating on how terrible you are at answering true/false/not given questions, you are not focusing on how good you are at filling out summary completions. Only thinking positively allows you to trust your answers and not second-guess yourself.

Confidence can also rid you of test anxiety and fears. Some candidates are so scared about their final score, that they can’t focus on how to best prepare for the exam. The fear of not getting the score they need can also create a high level of anxiety during the test. Being confident in your abilities will help you study in the most effective way as well as help you relax during the exam.

Less self-doubt and anxiety equals less stress before the big exam. Being a little nervous can be a good thing but being stressed too much can hinder the way you answer questions and ultimately the outcome of the test. Trusting yourself and your abilities will create a better testing experience.

Finally, confidence can result in greater success and the more success you achieve the more confidence you gain. People who are self-confident are more successful because they trust in their abilities and know that with proper preparation, they can and will succeed in life, and on the IELTS exam.

Ashlee has been involved in the ESL world for over ten years and has now planted her roots in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nothing gives her more pleasure than watching students and candidates reach their language and IELTS goals.

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