The IELTS test evaluates your English language proficiency. It contains multiple sections testing your speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities. Whether you are preparing for IELTS academic or general, there are specific strategies you can follow to excel in the exam. To help you prepare, below are 5 easy tips that could help you boost your IELTS scores.
Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the IELTS test
By taking practice tests, you can improve your speed and identify your areas of weakness. For example, take note of the section and specific question type that takes you longer to complete. Accordingly, practice that section and question type.
Another reason why you should take practice tests is to enhance your ability to concentrate. The IELTS exam generally lasts two hours and forty-five minutes without any breaks or intervals. Due to this, you must train yourself you maintain focus for the entire exam duration.
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Tip 2: Understand the IELTS Evaluation Criteria
Your examiner will assign you a band based on particular evaluation standards. Take some time to comprehend these standards. It will help you target the skills you need to demonstrate in the exam.
For instance, the examiner looks for varied sentence structures, vocabulary and grammar accuracy in the writing and speaking section. Once you identify what the examiner is looking for, you can focus on mastering those skills.
Tip 3: Improve your vocabulary
Identifying synonyms and familiar words within their context is a crucial part of the exam, especially in the IELTS reading section. However, vocabulary is not something you can grasp by memorizing the dictionary.
The key is to read and learn vocabulary. You could read newspapers, books, academic journals or anything that interests you. With the current technology, you can also read along with audiobooks.
Then, build your vocabulary through various techniques, including memorization, association, visualization, and reinforcement. Improving vocabulary can significantly increase your band score as it’ll help you in all exam sections.
Tip 4: Refine your speaking and listening skills
Speaking and listening are two sections that you can ace with regular practice. For listening, you can use online test resources to practice (most are free). However, for speaking, you may need to converse with someone who can correct your errors and help you feel confident.
Even with little practice, these are the two sections that you can improve easily and quickly.
Tip 5: Develop the ability to scan and skim
You can efficiently manage your time and understand the context by reading the first paragraph before looking at the questions.
Then scan the text to look for potential keywords. These can be statistics, a place name, a person or a topic that was rephrased several times.
After, go to the question and find the key phrase in the text. Again, you don’t need to understand every word or phrase but the content. Often, the answers are in the order of the question.
The IELTS exam is more about strategy; if you identify and focus on your weaknesses, you will overcome them in no time. The other remedy is practice! The more you practice, the more proficient, confident and comfortable you’ll become.