We often become nervous when thinking about exams, but they can be an important way of showing how much our skills have improved. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam measures a student’s ability to write, speak, listen, and read in the English language, and the results are recognised in over 135 countries. This means that it can be very valuable for your future travel, study or career plans.
Learning English in Ireland or the United Kingdom is a great choice, because you can experience the language every day, giving you a better chance of succeeding on the test. Here are some other tips which will help improve your IELTS results.
The IELTS exam contains four sections – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The listening, reading and writing tests are completed on the same day. However, the speaking test usually takes place in the days before or after the other tests.
Each part of the exam follows a common format, but students in IELTS classes know that the content is always new. You cannot prepare full answers before the exam, because it’s impossible to know what topics will come up, but you can be aware of the type of questions you are going to be asked.
The reading section is 60 minutes long, and you will be asked 40 questions about specific texts from magazines, newspapers and other sources. With that in mind, it is a good idea to read English language articles regularly during exam preparation. This will improve your grammar and vocabulary.
Read some English magazines to improve your language skills
The writing section of the exam is also 60 minutes long. You will be asked to write one piece of 150 words explaining a graph, chart, or diagram, or describe a process, and an essay of 250 words. To prepare, try and write practice pieces as you study. Learn to match those word counts while writing, and try and make your writing is clear and focused as possible.
A fun way to improve your skills for the listening section is by watching some English language TV or listening to podcasts and the radio. This section of the exam is 30 minutes long, and it is a lot easier if you know what certain words sound like when spoken. That is another reason why it is a good idea to take IELTS exam preparation in an English speaking city!
The speaking test takes 10-15 minutes. Relax when communicating in English, and try to practice the language with other people as much as possible. You can also find common exam topics online, and practice giving answers to the examiner about them.
Before the exam, make a study plan for the weeks leading up to the IELTS test. Think about your weaknesses with the English language, and dedicate more time to improving them. Be realistic about your study plan. If you don’t have much time on some evenings or weekends, don’t make plans to study at those times. There are also lots of examples of IELTS exams online, and it’s a good idea to take practice tests while staying within the time limits of the real exam.
Create a study schedule ahead of the exam
When the morning of the exam arrives, the hard work should be done. Make sure you have lots of energy and go to bed early the night before, and eat a good breakfast so you don’t become hungry during the test.
If possible, arrive at the exam centre early, and make sure you have the IDs and documents needed. You should also bring a bottle of water with you during the exam, and know where the toilets are in the building if you need a break.
Get the best IELTS preparation while living in Dublin, London or our other great locations.
Find out more about the top class courses at the Centre of English Studies.
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