The IELTS Test - the keys to success


Dear IELTS Students,

There are lots of material available to you about the IELTS test. There are many books and articles giving you the basic hints and tips for achieving your desired outcome. How many do you read? What should you do to get the results you want? Here are a few simple ways and ideas to help you on the road to success.

1. Choose a Realistic and Achievable Goal

Remember, it takes at least three months of regular intensive practice to improve by one overall Band score.

2. Follow a Regular Study Plan

Once you have decided to take an IELTS test you need to make a study plan. The best way to do this is to plan the maximum number of hours you can spend each day practicing your English.

It is important to practice all 4 tasks equally. Don't just concentrate on your weakest areas.

While you are practicing regularly set yourself little goals.

It is also important to take a break or rest between tasks.

REMEMBER: the secret to success is to work towards your goal: slowly, steadily and regularly. 'Cramming' or just studying at the last minute before the test won't enable you to achieve your desired result.

3. Practice your English

Whenever and wherever possible take the opportunity to listen to English. For example, watch TV programs and films, listen to the radio and English language CD's.

Try to have as many conversations as possible with native English speakers. Practice in English as often as you can even with your non-native English speaking friends.

Everyday try to read in English. It is a good idea to always have an English book that you are reading with you. Even if you are only reading one or two pages at night before you go to bed.

Reading everyday and authentic texts helps to improve your reading skills. Also read newspapers, magazines, articles and novels.

Remember to start at your reading level. If you have to look up a word in your dictionary too often the text is too hard for you. It is a good idea to always carry an English text with you so you can practice whenever you have spare time. Don't worry about always understanding every word.

Read sometimes for speed and read other material for detail.

4. Increase Your Personal Speed

The hardest part of the IELTS test is the time. Most candidates who don't perform as well as they hoped, complain that they ran out of time. Generally they didn't answer all the Listening questions because the tape was too fast or they ran out of time in the Reading test.

Try not to worry if you didn't answer all the questions. Remember that the test is designed to measure candidates over a range of scores. The IELTS test is measuring many aspects of your English ability including the speed at which you can listen, read, write, speak and think in English. To increase your personal speed takes consistent practice over a long period of time. it is not going to change dramatically from day to day.

We will continue to offer practical advice and help for all students planning to take the IELTS test. Remember to practice your English a little everyday.