Certain tasks in IELTS are more predictable than the others. For example, we know that in the Listening module there is always at least one part related to education and academic knowledge. The Reading module in General Training also features topics that are fairly predictable, and there is no reason to not prepare well for them.
There is clear evidence that learning the various task types in IELTS is the quickest and most effective way of improving your band score. We recently conducted research on over 100,000 British Council candidates using Road to IELTS (our official IELTS preparation product) to do just this. We found that after using the program for just six hours, candidates’ scores in the Reading module activities improved by, on average, 64%.
Clearly, in six hours there can be no significant change in their level of English; their improvement came from learning how to answer the questions. This can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.
“In Academic Writing Task 1, it is very important to start by providing an overview of the data. If you don’t do this, you will lose points.” — Simon Cockell, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
In this post we will look at what this means, and how you can use your data overview to get your IELTS Writing test off to a flying start.
“I don’t have the time to sit down and work on mock papers. And I don’t find it useful to do them bit by bit. Life is too distracting!” wrote Jorge Gibellini, an Argentinian IELTS candidate who needed an IELTS 7.0 for his master degree. Many candidates, like Jorge, are too busy with their academic study, day job and family commitments. And when they are finally free to sit down to begin their preparation, they are already too tired to take it all in.
'I have no idea how people cope with nerves on the test day. The previous night I could not sleep and it was hard for my brain to function at 7AM in the morning. And of course the result is worse than I anticipated. How did you do it?' — from a troubled IELTS blog reader.
Exam anxiety is annoying but there are ways to help you feel prepared instead of nervous. Let's look at how we can get into our best possible form on the test day.
Like most IELTS candidates, you probably know which band score you are aiming for. Is it 5.5, 6.0 — perhaps even 7.5? But if you are going to plan your preparation properly, you also need to know how good you are now. How can you find that out?