I often receive emails or Facebook messages from IELTS test takers saying ‘How can I improve my reading?’ or ‘I am poor at reading.’ The problem is not that these candidates need to improve their reading, but that that they need to do it quickly. You may be one of them.
'We have to listen and read and write all at the same time — that’s impossible!'
This is a common comment from students preparing for the IELTS Listening test. It is not easy to do all of these things at the same time — especially as you only hear the listening once — but it is not impossible.
Have you ever thought that the IELTS Speaking test is about more than just speaking? In this post we will look at the psychological aspects of the test, and think about how you can exploit them to improve your score.
To do well in IELTS, you need to understand how the test works. This is difficult to do quickly because there are so many task types, and so many sections to the test (Speaking Parts 1, 2 and 3; Writing Parts 1 and 2; and so on). Each part tests different things in different ways. So, there’s a lot to learn.
For some candidates, it’s very tempting to write as much as they can in the one hour given in the Writing section — they want to really showcase their range of vocabulary and their ability to write long sentences. But do long essays really get you a better band score?
‘I don’t understand how some candidates could complete the paper within just one hour — there is just so much to read!’ We often hear candidates complaining about the lack of time in the Reading test: the articles are long and difficult, and it seems impossible to complete all the questions in an hour. In this blog post, we will look at a smart way to manage your time in the Reading test.
Most people find the Listening test more stressful than the Reading test. That’s because when you are reading, you have the texts in front of you and you can refer to them more than once. When you are listening, if you miss an answer, it’s gone — and because you only hear the recording once, you can never get it back. So you need to work out some strategies in advance.
In IELTS Speaking Part II, you have to talk for two minutes on a topic given to you by the examiner. Do you understand how you will be graded?
The IELTS test is critically important for most people. It can make the difference between studying overseas and staying at home; between having your immigration status confirmed or denied — perhaps for ever.
So, with your IELTS test coming up, you should study non-stop to get the result you need, right? The evidence suggests that this is not the case. You need to study, yes, but you need to study strategically.
It’s difficult to go seriously wrong with the Reading and Listening tests in IELTS. Even if you have trouble understanding the text or the audio, the question paper gives you a pretty clear idea of what you need to write. And if you’re not sure, you can always guess. With the Speaking test, you’ll answer a series of questions, so even if you make a mistake with one of them, you’ll get another chance with the next question. Writing Task 2 is different — If you fail to understand the question, and go off on the wrong track, you could score no marks at all. And that could mean missing the band score you need.
Let’s start by looking at a sample Writing Task 2 question.