How To Pass IELTS

Learn About The IELTS Exam Format

The official IELTS web page is written by the organization that administers the IELTS exam. This should be your first place to visit and find out all about the IELTS test.

- It is full of really useful information for candidates.

- You should read it before planning when to take the IELTS exam.

- It provides explanations of the four different sections of the IELTS exam.

- There are examples of some typical IELTS exam questions and IELTS exam tasks.

When you have read the official IELTS web page and learned about the format of the IELTS exam – do an IELTS practice test.
  • This will give you an idea of how easy or difficult it is for you.
  • It will help to highlight your strong skills and weak skills.
  • This will make the process of preparation for the real IELTS exam easier.
  • You can now make intelligent decisions knowing what is involved.

IELTS Time Management - Allow Enough Time For Preparation and Study

Many candidates take the IELTS test ‘at the last minute’. This is NOT a strategy for success, unless your general level of English in all four skills is already excellent.
  • Most candidates need more time to prepare than they initially think.
  • Make sure your level of general English is sufficient before thinking about IELTS.
  • Allowing sufficient time reduces the stress and pressure of preparation.
  • Organize your IELTS preparation time in your weekly schedule.

IELTS Preparation - Get Advice from IELTS Experts

Some candidates take the IELTS exam without knowing anything about it. This is NOT a strategy for success. Preparation before the IELTS exam is essential and will improve your performance.
  • Investigate the IELTS preparation options available in your area and online (internet).
  • Speak to the instructors/coaches about the course materials, duration and focus of the course.
  • Does it prepare you for Academic IELTS and/or General IELTS?
  • Ask someone who has done IELTS preparation previously if they have any recommendations.
  • Get a copy of the Official IELTS Practice Materials for lots of useful information.

IELTS Practice Materials

There are many IELTS strategy books and IELTS preparation books available and online (internet) IELTS practice materials too. Before choosing the most suitable book for yourself you need to know the answers to the following questions.
  • What band did you score in the IELTS practice test?
  • What band score do you need in the real exam?
  • Do you need to prepare for Academic IELTS or General IELTS?
  • How much time do you have to prepare?

IELTS Progress - Plan Your IELTS Preparation

If you plan your preparation for IELTS in the same way as planning a project at work, you will get better results.
  • Set clear and exact objectives for Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking, Grammar, Vocabulary etc.
  • Set time limits for these objectives.
  • Test / measure your progress frequently.
  • Make adjustments in your preparation based on the test results.

IELTS Weak Skills - Concentrate On Improving IELTS skills

Very few candidates have equal ability in all four skills of Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Most candidates have at least one skill which is stronger or weaker than the others.
  • You should aim to improve your weakest skill as fast as possible.
  • Improve your weakest skill and you will improve your overall performance in the IELTS exam.
  • First identify why you are weak in that particular skill.
  • Plan the extra time required to improve that skill.

IELTS Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect – it applies to everything in life, and preparing for the IELTS exam is no exception. The more practice you do the more confident you will become about the IELTS exam.
  • Plan focused practice sessions in all four skills regularly.
  • Find a study /practice partner – it’s much more fun!
  • Listen to different types of English, and different accents.
  • Read something in English everyday – a magazine article, a chapter of a novel or a journal article.

IELTS Objectives - Be Clear About What You Need To Do

Most people agree that Academic IELTS is more demanding than General IELTS. You may need to allow more preparation time if you need to take the Academic IELTS exam.
  • Be clear from the start which one you need to do.
  • Understand the band score you need to obtain.
  • Is the score you need an overall score or skill specific?
  • Make sure the initial practice test you do is the same type (Academic/General) as you will do in the real IELTS exam.

How to be successful in IELTS

There is no trick, or magic formula for success in the IELTS exam. People say that money can’t buy you love, or happiness, or health. Well, it can’t buy you a score of 6.5 or 7 in IELTS either!

Preparing for the IELTS exam is not easy for most candidates. It requires commitment, discipline, determination and a lot of effort.

There is an expression in English, “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”. Basically, to be successful requires a lot of hard work. To be successful in the IELTS exam just remember;
  • Allow sufficient time and plan your IELTS preparation time well.
  • Be disciplined in your IELTS preparation and IELTS practice activities.
  • Get support from other people who are preparing for IELTS or who have already done it.
  • Practice lots of different types of Listening and Reading.
  • Try to practice Writing and Speaking as often as possible.
  • Find a study/practice partner – it’s easier to keep each other motivated.
  • Stay focused, concentrated and determined and you WILL succeed!
Good luck with your IELTS preparation!

If you are doing IELTS this year you should learn about IELTS Band Descriptors.