How to Prepare for IELTS


If you’re thinking about going to study abroad or getting a job in an English-speaking country, you’re probably considering taking the IELTS test. You’re not wrong for wanting to take it, as it has many benefits.

IELTS is more useful compared to other Cambridge English exams, and it’s used for university acceptance, employment, and many others.

If you want to do well, here are some IELTS tips and tricks to help you.

What does IELTS stand for?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and is the world’s most popular English language test. It tests your writing, speaking, reading and listening and shows how you will use the language at work, study and others.

So, IELTS tests will try to discover your English skills by giving you certain tasks and asking you several questions. Some tasks require you to talk to near-native English speakers or write letters or essays.

IELTS speaking tips

The speaking test breaks down into three sections:

  • Part one: You are asked questions that encourage you to talk about your life.
  • Part two: During this part, you must speak on a topic called “The Long Turn”. You will receive it in written form, then you can take notes for a short amount of time to properly organize your thoughts.
  • Part three: The test examiner will ask you several questions that will make you explore the same topic even deeper.

This test lasts for about 11-15 minutes.

Some tip strategies to do well would be:

  • Asking a friend or someone who speaks English to have conversations with you
  • Practice answering sample questions
  • Speak fluently and spontaneously
  • Speak emotionally, like you would in your native language

IELTS reading tips

The reading exam has you to demonstrate your reading comprehension. You will also have to answer 40 questions. There are two versions of the test, but the possible formats include:

  • Short-answer questions
  • Matching
  • Multiple choices
  • Note/summary/flow-chart/table completion
  • Sentence completion
  • Diagram label completion

Here are some IELTS reading tips to help with this section:

  • General reading helps a lot. Make sure you read English texts in your free time
  • Read the instructions carefully
  • Don’t spend too much on a question
  • Leave no blanks

IELTS listening tips

The listening IELTS section takes 40 minutes and you have to prove your ability to understand native English speakers. Recordings will represent monologues, everyday conversations, formal monologues, classroom conversations and others.

The recordings have a total of 40 questions that may be:

  • Matching
  • Multiple choices
  • Diagram/plan/map labelling
  • Sentence completion
  • Summary/form/note/table/flow-chart completion

Some general tips for your listening test are:

  • Don’t lose focus
  • Improve your listening skills by listening to TV shows, radio reports, interviews and others
  • Don’t answer too quickly
  • Don’t leave blank answers

IELTS writing tips

The writing portion of the text depends on the version you’re taking. You will have 60 minutes to complete the two writing tasks.

The Academic version of the test requires you to show that you are able to provide written descriptions of visual information. You also have to show you can write an essay based on your ideas on a specified topic.

The General training version has its first task involving something like letter writing. The second task requires you to write an essay with the given instructions.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your writing test:

  • Make sure you practice essay writing at home. Maybe you receive essays as homework at college, so use them as practice.
  • Manage your time wisely
  • Plan each answer
  • Do not repeat ideas by using different wording
  • Don’t copy content from the questions
  • Don’t write about unrelated subjects
  • Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Proofread your answers and correct every mistake

How to study for essay exams in college?

Some students are really afraid when it comes to exams, especially since they dislike writing so many words. However, essay study is beneficial for IELTS preparation, especially for the reading and writing test. They help you develop answers based on your knowledge and understanding.

When it comes to essay exams, you have to first know how an essay works and how to properly write one.

You should take good lecture notes when going to classes. They will help you study better when the essay exams approach. Additionally, make sure all the notes are in the same place. You need to study, not waste your time looking for them.

Find your way of learning. Some people are visual learners, while others are not. Finding out what’s the easiest way for you to learn will help you study quicker and more efficiently.

Taking breaks is also essential, so you can refresh your mind and get back to writing with new powers. Do something that you enjoy doing, to take your mind from a study for a short amount of time.

Rewarding yourself for the amount of work done and its quality will motivate you to work even harder. Buy yourself something nice or go out with your friends.

It’s important to properly prepare for an exam, so you don’t end up spending your money on essay writing services.


All students are trying their best to find out how to do well on a test. The IELTS test requires a lot from you, but with some preparation, you’ll get there. Remember that this test has a lot of benefits and could help you a lot in the long term. Studying for it may be a real nuisance now, but you’ll be thankful later.

In hopes that this article has shown you how to prepare for an examination, your IELTS test preparation will go smoothly and you will be successful.

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