Preparing for the test – how to get the best score you can
If you are a student planning to sit the IELTS test, naturally, you want to get the best core you can. So, what is the most effective way to prepare for IELTS?
First, you need to be realistic. How good is your English now? A student who currently has a band score of 5 will need about 6 months full-time study to raise it to 6. Improving your level of English will take time and work. Here are a few basic some suggestions for useful activities.
One of the biggest problems that students have in the test is that they run out of time. The first thing you need to practise is speed, especially in the reading and writing sections. Whenever you read something in English, give yourself a time limit. While you are reading, stop at the end of every paragraph and summarise it to yourself. By forcingyourself to read with time limits you will find your reading speed increases, and reading under exam conditions will get easier.
In the same way, practise writing quickly. Every day, sit down and write as much as you can for 5-10 minutes on any subject. Don't worry about accuracy when doing this — the idea here is to increase your speed, not your accuracy.
Keep calm and carry on
While it is important that you study hard, you also need rest, exercise and relaxation. Without these things, you will grow tired, you may lose interest in your study. You will prepare best for the exam by living a balanced lifestyle.
Many people get very nervous when taking an exam. To do the very best you can in the IELTS exam, you could sit the test once just to find out what it is like, as a practice. You will learn the procedure (what section comes first, and so on) without having to worry about doing your very best. When you want to sit the test 'for real', you will be more relaxed because you will know what to expect, and will be able to concentrate on performing to the best of your ability.
On the day
There are no magic formulas for doing well in the IELTS test. However, these simple suggestions will help you do as well as possible.
Be calm even if you feel depressed or discouraged. As one part of the exam finishes, forget it and go on to the next one.
You can’t get a good mark if you do not answer the question. Read the question carefully and no not try to memorise answers. An examiner can tell if you've memorised an answer and besides there is no way to tell if you will get the question you were expecting. In that case, you will probably do worse than if you had never memorised anything, because you will have neglected your normal English practice.
If you finish early, check your answers. Use every second of the time you have. Don't waste time.
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Drink plenty of water
- Arrive at least half an hour before the test starts so you can remain calm.
- Make sure you know when and where your test is.
- Don't panic - panic makes you lose concentration.
- Make sure you know your candidate number.
- Listen carefully to all the instructions.
- If the room is too noisy, tell the teacher.
- If you can't hear the tape clearly in the listening test, tell the teacher immeadiately.