IDP IELTS Blog

What Successful IELTS Candidates Want You to Know

8 Apr 2019
What Successful IELTS Candidates Want You to Know

Numerous people write the IELTS test each and every month. Some believe achieving a high score on the test is very difficult, while others say there are key points to follow to get the score you need. Let’s focus on the positive and look at the most beneficial strategies to maximize your band score.

Be Realistic

Being realistic is one of the best strategies to follow. The IELTS test can be difficult because English is a difficult language to master. You will not improve your IELTS score overnight. It can take months or possibly years to improve your English to get the score you need or want, depending on what level you are. Improving your English takes practice, and lots of it. Not only do you need to do practice IELTS tests, you also need to do fun things that require you to use English, such as watching English movies, participating in extracurricular activities, and reading English novels. Combining these two practices will help you improve your English, and in turn, hopefully improve your IELTS score.

Be Confident

Being confident is another great strategy to follow. Be confident in your listening and reading answers, and your writing and speaking abilities. Confidence may help boost your score. If you are going to change an answer on the listening or reading section, make sure you are confident your first answer is wrong. When you are doing the speaking test, be confident in not only your answers, but also your tone and intonation. To be confident, again, you need to practice. Also, put yourself in real test-like conditions. Time yourself precisely, have someone conduct a mock speaking test, and have someone check your writing tasks. This can allow you to feel the pressure of the real day. Once you can tackle those nerves, you may become more confident in your abilities to take the test.

Portrait of male student holding book in library

Be Careful

Being careful is a very important strategy to follow on the day of the test. Again, when you are nervous, you can make mistakes that you don’t normally make. Going through your work multiple times may feel redundant but it will be beneficial in the long run and for your IELTS score. Always double-check your spelling. Spelling is counted on the listening, reading, and writing sections of the IELTS test. In some centres, there are computer-based tests and some tests are written by hand. Because of this, always double-check you handwriting. All of your letters should be clearly written so there is no confusion between letters. If you erase something, make sure you have erased it completely. Writing over other letters or previous words can be confusing.

Be Observant

Being careful and being observant are very similar strategies but are both very important. Reading questions multiple times can again seem redundant but you want to make sure you understand the question and the test fully. Always double-check your answers when you have the time. Make sure the word or words fit into the question. Good questions to ask yourself are how many words are you allowed to put in the answer and what kind of word or words do you need such as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, adjective/noun combinations, verb+preposition+noun, etc. You can also ask yourself if the word is countable/uncountable. All of these questions may help direct you towards the correct answer.

Portrait confident female chef in restaurant kitchen

Be Natural

Being natural is another great strategy but can be the most difficult to achieve. The best way to help with this is to watch English television, movies, as well as read English newspapers, blogs, and so on. This will keep you up-to-date on the most commonly used language today. When doing the writing and speaking section, you want to use language that is as natural sounding as possible. When doing the writing tasks, use words and phrases that are commonly used in English. When doing the speaking test, use language such as slang, colloquialisms, and hot words and phrases to sound as natural as you can. Try not to sound memorized in either the writing or the speaking as this may

Confident man

Being a successful IELTS candidate means getting the score you need or want. This goal is definitely achievable as long as you follow the major strategies that help get the best overall band score.

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