IELTS exam just needs a planned study schedule and some strategies which when followed can lead to good bands. So here are the top 10 tips to do well in your IELTS exam:
1. Enhance reading pace: Read section can be nailed only if you have fast-paced reading skills and the pace can be developed by reading a lot and using a speed read technique. A speed read technique is going over a reading material in large chunks in a short period of time. A normal reading pace is around 200 words per minutes whereas in speed read the reading pace goes up to 1000 words per minute. But this comes with practice, you don’t have to necessarily reach 1000 words per minute but anything above 200 words per minute should be good enough to start with. You can start the reading practice by reading potential pieces of writing such as articles, books, magazines, etc. from a good source.
- Follow skimming and scanning technique: To ace your reading test, practice to go through the entire passage in a glance by going through paragraph wise. This technique is called skimming. And when you go through the text in detail to look for a piece of particular information, it’s called scanning. These are the two methods which can help you get through the reading test smoothly.
- Identify the Keywords: Keywords play a very crucial role in the reading section and the listening section. You need to practice to identify which word is important and is a keyword to find the answer from the passage or the audio.
- Improve writing skills by reading: Read a lot of good narratives from books, articles, journals, etc. Besides that, reading a lot of sample essays and sample letters and practice writing each day will help you in scoring better.
2. Enrich your grammar and vocabulary: In the IELTS exam, very minutes things such as punctuation, spellings, sentence structures, tenses, paragraphing, etc. are noticed and on the basis of that you score or lose marks.
- Make use of better verbs which sound more powerful in writing and hence adds more value to the written content.
- Practice to speak and write without errors and curate your ideas in an organized manner.
- Learn at least 5 to 10 new words and phrases each day which are related to the different topics of IELTS. Eg. words related to Education, Finance, Environment, Science, History, etc.
3. Improve your pronunciation: Working on your pronunciation is another key feature which helps you enhance your speaking section score. Each word while speaking need to be clearly pronounced as it is, a wrong pronunciation will make the speech unclear and unable to understand. You can also imporve these by joining some online IELTS courses or IELTS live classes.
4. Focus on clarity and the rate of speech: Always speak as clearly as you can with correct pronunciation as that will help the examiner to understand what you are speaking. Also, do not talk too fast or too slow as it will affect the clarity of speech. Try to control your rate of speech to approximately 150 words per minute and that can be achieved by marking 150 words of an article or newspaper and speak the marked portion in one minute. Gradually, you will be able to speak at that pace naturally.
5. Manage your time efficiently: The IELTS exam is time-based and in order to complete the test you need to manage the time allotted efficiently so that each section gets enough time to complete the exam. The above-said points such as speed read, identifying keywords, rate of speech, etc can help you save enough time to answer accurately. If you get stuck on some questions for which you are unable to find the answer, just leave it as is and move on to the next question, in the end, if you have time left at hand, try to answer the question by making the best guess.
6. Hone up the writing skills: To attain good score, master the writing skills by improving your paraphrasing ability, grammatical accuracy, use of relevant vocabulary, cohesive writing and organized sentence structuring. Writing section is one of the important portions of the whole IELTS test.
- To crack the writing section, firstly, you need to understand the format in which each writing task has to be written. Like, for an essay, start with paraphrasing the question statement, followed by your opinion, proceed further by cohesively elaborating your ideas with examples in 2 to 3 body paragraphs and finally, a conclusion of your opinion.
- Make sure you avoid beginning your sentence with generic words like “There is”, “It is” rather uses better words like “The”, “To”, etc. Also, avoid using “You” or “Your” in the writing instead use the word “One can”. That is a better way of expressing ideas.
- Similarly, a letter-writing will have an introduction, followed by the purpose of writing by requesting the information, finally the suggestion you have to fix the issue and then the closing. The structure in all the writing tasks is crucial.
- Then comes the report writing, again it begins with rewording the chart/ graph/ diagram title followed by an overview and then further the body paragraphs carry the factual information presented in a formal and descriptive manner. There is no concluding paragraph in reports.
- The writing tasks have a word limit and make sure you write more than the minimum word limit because if you do not write the minimum words required, you will be penalized and lose marks.
- Avoid using contractions in the writing tasks especially task 2. Stick to passive voice in the writing.
7. Be in the right environment: Above all, being in the right environment can drastically, ascend your score in the IELTS exam. So, make sure you listen to English music, English radio channels, podcasts on BBC and watching English movies to pick up their pronunciation and the way they use the language fluently. Also, make sure if you are unable to understand the speech, go for a movie having subtitles so that you can read and connect to the spoken language. Once you are acclimatized with the language, it will help you understand the language better and hence, better scores.
8. Practice Active Listening: Whenever you practice listening make sure you listen actively which means to observe the accent, the grammar, the vocabulary, the connectors, etc.
- Also, an important thing in listening is “micro-listening”, where the sound of the last alphabet in the word may look silent and the sound of the first alphabet of the next word is more prominent and it looks like as if the two words have merged into each other eg. ‘Did you’ may sound like di-zeu Or ‘want some’ may sound like wan some.
- Always make sure you listen when your mind is fresh, you can listen to different things like a podcast or documentaries or tune in to radio channel or news whenever you are at leisure.
- Listen to varied accents to be able to understand each kind of accent.
- During the exam, make sure you go through as many questions as you can before the audio begins and keep writing the answers on the question paper as audio will not be replayed. This way you won’t skip any answer.
- You can also check for the websites providing free IELTS listening practice test in order to have a good command on your listening part.
9. Take mock tests: Taking the mock tests under the similar conditions as the real exam and taking the same amount of time to attempt them is the best way to get a good grip on the IELTS exam. As the IELTS is a time-based, the mock test prepares you to perform well even under the time constraints.
10. Find a speaking partner: To be able to get better at the English language, it is important to be able to converse fluently and that can be done with the help of a speaking partner. You can find a speaking partner to practice the language with on the internet or someone in your circle.