HOW TO PREPARE FOR IELTS?
The IELTS, which is the abbreviated form of the International English Language Testing System, is actually a standardized test that is usually taken by students and mid-career professionals for studying a degree or course in a university located in a majority English speaking country. The IELTS is also sometimes taken if an aspirant plans to work in such a country.
Some of the best features of the IELTS test are the fact that it is a fair test and does not differentiate between the test takes on any background. Also, the test accepts all native English speakers regardless of their English, American, Australian or New Zealand origin. Another important feature is the fact that the test is extremely widely available in over 1600 centers all across the world.
There are several online courses such as the Princeton Review, Kaplan and Manhattan Prep that provide online coaching and sample materials that you can practise from This is especially helpful for students who need to constantly be in a rigid structure. Also, if you are having difficulty in teaching yourself, you can consider these courses. However, they are expensive so make sure you have your budget planned out well.
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There are two types of IELTS tests based on the requirement. The IELTS academic is for studying abroad. If you are someone who wishes to pursue their masters abroad or a professional degree, you must take the IELTS academic. The other type is the IELTS general training test which is specifically designed for people who wish to migrate to Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom and must work every day in an entirely English speaking environment.
The IELTS has 4 sections in both types of tests. These sections are Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. While the Listening, Reading and Writing sections must be taken the same day without a break, the Speaking section can be attempted up to a week before or after your written test, the exact day depends upon the slot availability of your examiner.
Amongst the four sections of the IELTS exam is the speaking section. The candidates take this section after or before the IELTS exam. In this section, the student speaks to the examiner on specific topics. The IELTS speaking topics are essential and examine the student on the English language. The examiner tests the student on four main criteria: grammar, fluency and coherence, pronunciation, and vocabulary. The scores given by the examiner are on a range of 0-9. The accepted IELTS speaking score is between 6.5-7. The IELTS speaking section is further divided into three parts. The total duration of the speaking section is 11-14 minutes. The time division of the speaking section is:
- Part 1- 4-5 minutes
- Part 2 – 3-4 minutes
- Part 3 – 4-5 minutes
In part 1 of the IELTS speaking, the candidate gets a chance to tell general details about himself/herself. Examples of IELTS speaking topics for the first part are studies, hobbies, work, and family. This part of the exam is for 4-5 minutes. The second part of the exam requires the student to draw a cue card and speak on the topic given on the card. This section examines the ability of the student to speak on the spot. A minute is given to the student to write any points on the topic and speak for 2 minutes on the same. This section takes around 3-4 minutes. The last and the third part of this exam is for 4-5 minutes. The student and the examiner have a lengthy discussion on the topic of the cue card. This will give an insight into the communication skills of the student. IELTS speaking topics are very generic in nature and hence are easy to prepare for.
How to prepare for IELTS Speaking?
IELTS speaking section tests the students on their communication skills. This section does not require any special knowledge. IELTS speaking topics are generic and easy to speak on. The preparation of IELTS speaking is easy and won’t take much time. The top 10 preparation tips for IELTS Speaking 2021 include the following:
1. There is no harm in pauses
The candidates can pause in between speaking to think about some points. A pause should not be replaced with a big silence. The students can take a pause for few seconds just to recollect the points. To fill in any gaps of long pauses, the students can use phrases like “let me think about it for a moment”, “That is a good point”, “Let me see”, and similar ones. This step also shows that you have not memorized the answer. The answer automatically becomes honest and accurate.
2. Practice grammatical structures
During the exam, the student gets examined on various skills. One of those skills includes grammatical knowledge. To hone this skill, the students should practice all kinds of grammatical structures. Students should try to include a new range of grammatical structures in their day-to-day conversation. This will help them in getting into practice.
3. Give full and proper answers
This step is to remind the students about giving complete answers to the examiner. If the student leaves an answer or gives short answers, it indicates that the students cannot give details on the topic. The candidate should extend the answers. It would be helpful if you made sure that the examiner does not get an opportunity to ask another question on the topic.
4. Do not make your answers complex
Complex words can make or break your answer. Students should be on the safer side and avoid using complex or challenging words in their answer. The use of technical terms or jargons should also be avoided. The answers should contain words that are known to you. Complex words can be mispronounced, which further hampers the final score.
5. Do not mug up answers
IELTS speaking topics are generally present on the web. This is given to the students to give them an idea about what things are asked of them. The students should not memorize the answers. The examiner of this section is very trained and professional. He/she will figure out if the candidate has mugged up the answer or not.
6. All accents are accepted
When it comes to accents, many students gets worried that their accent act as a barrier and will not pass on the message that they want to speak. The examiner understands all sorts of accents. The students should, in any case, practice speaking with friends and family and see if their accent is understandable or not. If the accent is not clear, the student should stress those specific words and practice more.
7. Do not use filler words
Filler words are words like “umm”, “ehh”, “you know”, “yeah”. The students should avoid filler words as they portray under-confidence in the student. Instead of filler words, students can use phrases like “let me think about that for a moment”, “That is a good point”, “Let me see”, etc. The use of filler words can indicate that the student does not know about the topic or has no confidence in what he/she is speaking.
8. Practice voice modulation
The students should speak attractively. To make voice attractive, the students should do voice modulation. The answers should include an emphasis on certain words so that the examiner gets the idea of what is essential in the answers. Taking a pause in some sections also makes the answer engaging. The students must focus on avoiding monotone.
9. Do smile while answering
Smiling helps in voice modulation. When you smile and talk, your voice sounds very friendly and confident. The students should be calm while answering. Do not be nervous. Relax and take deep breathes before answering and do it with a smile.
10. Practice IELTS speaking topics
IELTS speaking topics are given on the web. The students should practice the particular years IELTS speaking topic with answers. The questions are usually given with sample answers. This will help you in getting a heads up before the exam. Do not memorize the answers. IELTS speaking topics with answers 2021 are given below part wise.
Part 1 of IELTS speaking section – questions
Where do you work?
What is your job?
What do you study?
Where do you study?
Where is your hometown?
Do you often visit your hometown?
Do you usually celebrate your birthday?
Can you remember a birthday that you enjoyed as a child?
State any of your first memory from your childhood?
In your childhood, what did you enjoy doing?
What is your preferred kind of clothes to wear?
What are the traditional clothes of your country and do you like to wear them?
- Daily routine
What is your daily routine?
Do you ever change your routine?
What do you do in the evening?
Do you ever prefer working or studying in the evening?
Do you spend time with your family?
Who do you consider the closest person in your family?
What’re your favourite flowers?
When was the last time you gave someone flowers?
Are you a happy person?
Does the weather ever affect how you feel?
Do you have a hobby?
Why do you think people have hobbies?
Do you often read?
Do you have any e-book?
Top answers to IELTS speaking sections topics – part 1
- Where is your hometown?
- My hometown is New Delhi. I belong from the urban side of Delhi. It is the capital of India. The capital is well known for its food and culture. India Gate is a famous tourist attraction in my hometown.
- What are some of your most favourite places to visit in your country?
- The place to visit in my country the most is the Taj Mahal in Agra and Udaipur. Taj Mahal is also one of the eight wonders of the world. King Shah Jahan built the monument in memory of his queen Mumtaz. Thus it is symbolized as an emblem of love all over the world.
- What time do you spend with your family members?
- As I am working, I get some free time with my family during the weekends. We plan for movies, a picnic, or have dinner outside. I absolutely love these moments, which gives us all the opportunity to re-strengthen our bond as a family.
- Who is your favourite neighbour?
- My favourite neighbour is Mrs. Chopra, who lives just below my floor in my apartment when I was a small child. She is a really friendly person to talk to. Mrs. Chopra is a very helpful person. I am friends with her daughter.
- In your spare time or leisure time, what do you do?
- I follow many things during my spare time, such as reading books, listening to music, and playing the guitar. But apart from this, I love to dance. I am not a professional dancer, but I enjoy dancing a lot. It helps as a mood uplifter.
Part 2 of IELTS speaking section – questions
Part 2 of IELTS speaking includes the student drawing out a cue card on which the students will speak. The topics on the cue card can be:
- Describe your favourite singer or actor
- Describe a place in any city or town you enjoy spending time in
- Describe a movie that you like
- Describe a kind of weather you like
- Describe a tradition in your country
- Describe an argument between your friends
- Describe a time you experienced many people smiling
- Describe a famous personality you look up to
- Describe a town or city that you see yourself living in
- Describe and share an exciting experience of social media you faced recently
- Describe a film that made you laugh
- Describe a talent you want to improve if you have discovered
- Describe an event you attended in which the music played was not of your choice, and you didn’t like the music.
Top answers to IELTS speaking sections topics – part 2
To get a good score, the student should give a complete answer on the topic assigned. The examiner should not get a chance to ask additional questions. Following are the main sample points to frame your answer. Following are the IELTS speaking topics with answers :
- Describe an argument between your friends
- This question should include when it happened, what it was about, how it was solved and explain how you felt about it.
- Describe your favourite singer or actor
- Here, explain how you know about this person, who he or she is, the personality of the person and explain why he or she is your favourite?
- Describe and share an exciting experience of social media you faced recently
- To give an on-point answer, you should tell what you saw, where you saw it, when it was and explain why you think it was interesting enough.
- Describe a kind of weather you like
- Explain this question by sharing what it is, where you go in this weather, explain why you like it and what you do in this weather.
- Describe a time you experienced many people smiling
- Include when it happened, who you were with, what happened and explain why many people were smiling in your answer.
- Describe a talent you want to improve if you have discovered
- To give a good answer, include these main points: what it was when you discovered it, explain why you want to improve it and how you want to improve it.
Part 3 of IELTS speaking section – questions
IELTS speaking topics for part 3 of the exam is usually the continuation of the cue card topic from part 2 or, at times, new questions are asked on topics like:
-What kinds of ambitions do people have?
-Why should parents encourage children to have ambitions?
-Do parents in your country make promises to their children?
-Do you think older people keep their promises more than younger people do?
- Working in foreign countries
-Is it good for young people to have the experience of living in other countries?
-What’s the difference between working in an international company and working in a domestic one?
- Remembering things
-What kinds of things do people forget easily?
-How can people improve their memory?
-What do young people think of traditional handcrafts?
-Do people in your country send handicrafts as gifts?
-Why do people get bored with daily routines?
-Are younger people more likely to feel bored than older adults?
- Encouraging others
-How can managers encourage their employees?
-When should parents encourage their children?
-What should people consider when choosing jobs?
-Do you think many people regret their career choices when they become older?
-How do young and older adults use mobile phones differently?
-Is it a waste of time to take pictures with mobile phones?
-What are the advantages and disadvantages of vacations to the seaside?
-Do children like the sea more than adults?
- Valuable items
-What things do families keep for a long time?
-What’s the difference between things valued by people in the past and today?
Top answers to IELTS speaking sections topics – part 3
As part 3 includes new questions, IELTS speaking topics of part 3 need extra attention. This part tests the candidate’s communication skills. So, remember to be natural and calm. Do not take incidences personally. Below are some of the sample IELTS speaking answers 2021:
- What is your opinion on English as the primary language of international exchange?
- Share your knowledge of the language
- State your point of view on the question
- Give suitable situations
- Give examples to support your answer
- Should an individual make important life decisions independently, or is it better to consult other people?
- State your point of view
- Support your answer with an example
- Keep the answers positive
- Reply calmly
- Can watching TV help you forget about your work or your study?
- Share the advantages of watching tv
- Share some disadvantages of watching tv
- Importance of working or studying
- State your personal experience
- State some facts
- Give examples suitable to the situation
- Keep your answer short and to the point
- What are the difficulties faced in creating a universal language?
- Share your knowledge on the topic
- Answer the questions using some facts
- Give suitable answers
- Share some experience of yours with any language
- Do you think anyone can teach good decision-making?
- Explain how you make a decision
- Who has helped you in making a decision?
- Who taught you to make those decisions?
- What are self-learning components in life?
- Keep the answer positive
- Share some real-life experiences
- Support answer with examples
- Share your personal opinion on the topic
There are 40 questions present in the Reading section. It includes several question types to assess your wide range of reading skills. It has reading for major ideas, details, skimming, understanding logical argument, identifying authors’ viewpoints, beliefs, and intent. Question type includes filling in the blanks, sentence completion, writing short answers, and answering multiple-choice questions.
The Reading section of the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests has different content. The subject of the reading passages is the crucial difference between the two. The academic reading segment has three academic texts, while the general training reading section contains five to six passages, most of which are shorter.
Basic Facts About IELTS Reading Test
The reading test is divided into three portions, requiring you to read three distinct texts. Each segment has multiple questions, and you have 60 minutes to read the texts and answer all of them. Moreover, it is safe to assume that you must have already seen a few reading tests and observed that several of the questions ask you to perform the same thing. The following are the most common sorts of reading test questions.
- True/false/not given questions
- Multiple-choice questions
- Matching tasks
- Gap filling tasks
- Sentence completion tasks
- Classification tasks
- Short-answer questions
- Chart, table or diagram completion tasks
IELTS Reading tips to give you a Head-start
Read the Task Carefully
The first and most crucial point among the best IELTS reading tips is to make sure that you read the directions and examples thoroughly. After performing a few practise exams, you’ll be able to recognise most activities at first glance. However, there are a few points to which you should pay great attention. In three of the most prevalent task categories, pay attention to the following:
- True, false, or not given: If you choose “true,” the entire phrase must be true. There are a couple of hard questions where not all of the answers are correct. Some of them could be true, while others could be untrue. The response will be “false” in these instances.
- Matching tasks: Cross out the alternatives you’ve already used when matching tasks. This may appear to be a quick way to do the assignment, yet it can lead to errors. Instead, think about all of your possibilities for each question. In this manner, you’ll be able to fix your own errors by determining whether each word alternative is better suited to a different subject.
- Filling the gaps: Make sure you don’t go over each gap’s word limit.
Learn skimming and scanning skills
The second part of our IELTS Reading tips emphasises two critical abilities that you must master in order to achieve a high grade. They’ll help you speed up your reading and find the solution more quickly if you use them together. Here are the definitions for these terms if you’re not sure what they mean:
- Skimming – To skim through a text rapidly to grasp its gist. You don’t read every word or study the text in depth because you’re only interested in getting a general idea of what it’s about.
- Scanning – to skim over a text fast in search of precise information such as important phrases, names, numbers, dates, or synonyms that will lead you to the solution
It is usually the opening sentence of a paragraph, but it can also be the last sentence. It’s the sentence that expresses the paragraph’s primary point. Topic sentences are easy to spot since they sound like they’re announcing something that’s about to happen. To get the most out of your time, seek it in the first sentence, then the second, and finally. While you’re reading, do this. Scanning can also assist you in quickly locating essential words and numbers. While numbers are typically easy to identify, keywords need you to utilise your memory to recall the approximate location where you read that before and then search for the word being addressed in greater detail. Look for essential phrases and numbers in figures, diagrams, and footnotes as well.
Use Time to Your Advantage
Though not exactly a part of the IELTS reading tips, nonetheless is the proper usage of time.
- Save the tough questions for last. You will waste crucial exam time if you spend a lot of time on questions that you find tough. You will lose points if you are unable to answer all of the easy questions. Leave questions if you don’t know the correct answers and go on. This allows you to concentrate on all of the questions for which you have answers.
- Do not begin reading the content without first reviewing the tasks. When you begin to read, you should have a few questions in mind. Otherwise, you’ll read the text first, then the questions, then return to the text. You’ll spend too much time reading the texts, and you don’t have time for that. So before you start reading, read the assignments and questions first, and while you’re reading, think about the facts you’ll need to answer those questions.
- Make a habit of taking a lot of reading tests. This is the most effective way to spend your time prior to the exam! Before taking the real test, you’ll learn how to take it. You’ll be able to identify your strengths and limitations. You’ll also understand what to do for each activity and how to respond to different types of questions. As a result, you’ll have a better idea of dividing your time and won’t be as stressed about working against the clock.
Check your spelling and grammar
First and foremost, you should not get anxious when you come across unfamiliar words. Even native speakers don’t grasp every word in every text they read, which is fine because such words are irrelevant most of the time. The key factor of these IELTS reading tips is to keep in mind that this isn’t a vocabulary test. The exam does not allow you to use dictionaries. However, this should not be a problem. You’d waste a lot of time on the exam if you looked up every term you didn’t understand. As a result, you should avoid using them while practising reading at home. Instead, use a dictionary just while you’re practising reading or taking an IELTS to practise exams. Make sure you finish all of your reading practice beforehand. Then, after you’ve finished the task, you can go back to the text and look things up.
You should practise reading faster and comprehending the main points of the literature. Even if you are not familiar with every single word, you can understand the meaning of a sentence or paragraph! If you wish to strengthen your vocabulary after completing the IELTS reading section, you can do so individually.
Some writings contain a glossary at the conclusion of the text that contains some highly essential words that are regarded as specific knowledge from a certain field. You should read a glossary whenever you see one to improve your knowledge of such texts. Moreover, you may also encounter questions that utilise rephrased ideas or synonyms for terms found in the literature. Besides, you could write a paragraph about the dangers of exposing children to too much television, for example. However, the question may not utilise the word “disadvantages” in the same way that the text does, but rather a synonym like “downsides” or “drawbacks.” So, while having a large vocabulary is advantageous, you must remain calm when encountering unfamiliar words.
Practice guessing meaning from context
You won’t comprehend every word in the book, so don’t be alarmed if you come across one you don’t recognise. Stress will just obstruct your ability to think. Accept that this will happen, and during your test preparation, practise making smart guesses about unfamiliar language.
Making an educated guess is reading the material immediately before and after the unfamiliar word or phrase and figuring out what the new term might be based on your understanding of it. Leave it and move on if you can’t figure it out soon. To earn a good score, you don’t need to understand every word, and running out of time to answer all of the questions is a bigger worry. The best IELTS reading tips would be to practise guessing meaning from context; rather than reaching for the dictionary to look up a new word, attempt to figure out what it means in the context of the sentence or paragraph
We cannot ignore that the IELTS listening section is also a vital part of the IELTS test. This section will assess whether you can make sense when someone else is speaking the same language. Native English speakers have a very different accent from those who are learning the language for professional purposes. Thus to better understand their language, you need to excel in the IELTS listening section as well.
The IELTS listening section consists of four sections, each with ten questions. The total time for the section is 30 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for students to fill out their response sheets. The recording for a listening passage is only played once. The recorded text includes native speakers’ conversations as well as monologues. This section will assess your ability to understand primary ideas and information and comprehend speakers’ perspectives and attitudes. Question types include chart completion, short-answer, sentence completion, labelling a diagram, and multiple-choice answers.
The IELTS Writing test evaluates various writing skills, such as writing a response, organising your thoughts, using correct grammar and vocabulary while writing your answers. IELTS writing test is also different for both the Academic Test and the General Training Test. Applicants must describe a graph, diagram, or chart in the academic test and respond to an argument. The General Training test includes writing a letter and a short essay. Both the test modules have a duration of one hour to complete the writing tasks.
IELTS advantages writing section
The IELTS advantage of the writing section is perfecting your written communication skills. Expressing your thoughts via speaking and words are two very separate things. You have to be very conscious and precise when writing your ideas on a piece of paper. The test challenges you to write essays, letters and even respond to an argument, all of that in a limited duration of time. Many times, communicating for any official businesses, writing is the only mode of communication. Therefore, learning and improving this skill set will help you effectively communicate your ideas to others.
Advantage of Joining IELTS Coaching centre
Network & Connections
The various IELTS coaching centres and IELTS experts have an immense network and countless connections all over the country. Even internationally, some coaching centres and experts are connected to various communities and professionals. It would be best if you exploited these networks and connections to make your path easier. Even knowing the examiner at the exam hall gives a great boost and confidence. The network also helps you connect with other experts and developers who can assist you in scoring the desired number. Plus some connection tends to be used even after graduation to assist you in your job placement or career.
Mentorship is Important
In terms of IELTS, it is not a school exam to crack or to be taken lightly. Mentorship in these kinds of aspects has proven effective from time to time. It can either be in the form of a coaching teacher, online or a personal tutor. A path is necessary for your course considering there are a lot of other preparations for you to arrange at the same time simultaneously, which an IELTS expert can guide.
If you are one of those who believe a learner will learn whether a mentor or course is available or not, then you might not be correct. A student learns from all the sources and finds the best possible opportunity. A mentor does not guide you or prepare you. A mentor teaches you what it is to learn and what is not. You can achieve success following a mentor even if they don’t teach you technical skills daily.
Learn From Experience
It is not like you will be learning from smart heads if you opt for coaching or a tutor. No! The domain of IELTS exam preparation and patterns is filled with experts and exponential ones who have gone through many IELTS exams. And even experts who have got into institutes like the Ivy League by preparing for IELTS and other exams.
You may also see the previous records displayed by these teaching experts, which they have achieved in their exams. Mostly in scoring more than impressive marks, getting good marks constantly or success of a wide number of their students” in IELTS. Eventually, it comes down to whether you want to learn or not, and the opportunity to learn from experts is a blessing which you should grab as soon as possible.
Ok, let’s get down to the very thought of what to learn to be fully prepared for an IELTS exam. Is it just the course and pattern? Questions and answers? Strategies to follow?
Apart from these directly related aspects, you should be aware of some hidden ideas and concepts. For example, what changes you can make before going for an exam, what happens after the exams, what is a good mark for different institutes, or what procedure to follow to secure your admission. Queries like these are important too and meant not to be neglected. An IELTS coaching centre or a mentor prepares you with the combined knowledge and need (Like degree over diploma, kind of)
Best IELTS Coaching Centre
You can find a good prestigious IELTS coaching centre almost anywhere throughout the country. However, it is important to know which one is best suitable for you. Every mentor has a different pattern and style to follow for exam preparation. Therefore, you need to point out your learning style before opting for an IELTS coaching centre.
Here are some quality IELTS coaching centres you can join:
- British Council (Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata)
- IELTS Academy (Bengaluru)
- Jamboree (Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai etc.)
- Megamind (Delhi)
- Manya – The Princeton Review (Chandigarh, Dehradun, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, and Noida)
- Career Makers (North India)
- Camford Academy (Trivandrum)
If you feel you need a constant push and help to stay on the path and time convenient, you can opt for online IELTS coaching centres. They avail you of many IELTS practice tests and mock tests. From lockdown onwards, many students have started using online courses as they are the latest craze.
Here are some online quality IELTS coaching centres you can choose:
- British Council
- Urban Pro
IELTS Coaching Fee
The coaching fee for IELTS is usually around INR 10,000 – INR 15,000 (just an average estimation). But, of course, depending upon the virtue and prestige of a particular institute, it varies. You can find an IELTS coaching centre offering around INR 8,000 too for an IELTS prep course. The course goes on for almost 6-8 weeks (around 40-50 hours). For online IELTS coaching centres, the average fee for a course can be estimated around INR 5,000 – INR 8,000, according to the length of the course. It is up to you which course you choose. Many institutes also offer fee structure hourly. For example, Urban Pro offers IELTS online courses at a range of INR 400 – INR 600 per hour (depending on location).
Some renowned experts from the fields of IELTS offer personal tutoring as well for a fee of around INR 5,000 – INR 10,000 monthly. Plus, if you are sure you are prepared for IELTS and do not need any mentoring, you should join a free online IELTS course (To nudge you a bit).
How to prepare for IELTS at home
On the other hand, the most feasible and cost-effective way to prepare for IELTS would be to self-study at home for IELTS preparation. Here is an in-depth analysis and information on how to prepare for IELTS at home. The careful assemblage of these tips will provide you with the most comprehensive set of data. Here is the list of all the vital information you would require to prepare for IELTS at home.
When addressing the question of how to prepare for IELTS at home?; the reading section plays an important role. Moreover, this section consists of three parts that contain 40 questions in total with a 60-minute limit. Since a time limit is in action, you need to ensure that you input correct answers within the allotted time.
Firstly, you must practice as many mock tests as possible as per a particular schedule while simultaneously keeping track of the time taken to complete each. First, you need to read as many diverse books as possible. This will allow you to get accustomed to various writing styles. As a result, you will build the skill of reading the passages in the IELTS test with much ease.
Secondly, you must practise as many mocks tests as possible since it is the closest representation of the actual IELTS test. Following this, you must upscale your vocabulary knowledge. In conclusion, you should fulfil these criteria if you want to achieve the desired result.
Thirdly, in your reading preparation is to teach the habit of reading the questions briefly before moving on to the passage. The reason behind this practice is to help you identify all the significant parts of the questions in the passage. Thus, allowing you to be ahead of other candidates that generally make the mistake of reading the passage first.
To ace this section properly, you need to strengthen your listening and concentration skills. Moreover, it is the easiest section among the other three, so you must take full advantage of it. That said, you need to keep specific vital points in mind when preparing for this section at home.
Firstly, you must take up a trial or mock test to get a definitive result on where you initially stand before starting the IELTS preparation. It will most certainly, set the tone and standard for the rest of your preparation. Therefore, it will help you evaluate how much effort and time you need to dedicate to achieve your score goals.
Secondly, you need to pay attention to every minuscule detail you encounter during your listening preparation for IELTS. Consequently, it will gradually develop your acute sharpness and concentration power when listening to information.
Thirdly, you should ensure that you familiarise yourself with different English accents to hinder your listening skills. For instance, there are many different English accents such as British, Irish, Australian, American, Scottish, European accent, and many more that you should Differentiate.
This module is considered the most crucial section in the entire IELTS test. This writing section carries the most definitive canvas to showcase your level of English proficiency. Moreover, it is the only section where you will be evaluated on various parameters. These are; usage of vocabulary, grammar, syntax and the overall presentation of the said topic. Furthermore, the writing section is divided into two parts. The first part contains a graph/chart which you need to analyse, and the second part is the essay writing.
Firstly, you need to read and focus on the main topic of the essay and then create a picture in your mind concerning the main content of the essay. In addition to this, you need to write keyword pointers to help you outline the basic framework of your essay.
Secondly, you need to incorporate transitional words and phrases in your written answer when it comes to important IELTS preparation tips. These transitional words act as cohesive binding elements in your essay.
Thirdly, you must get into the habit of using synonyms, idioms and adages in your written section to create a unique piece of written work. In other words, you will be able to showcase your English proficiency in a way that makes you stand out.
It is the last section of the IELTS test and generally takes place a few days after completing the other three modules. Regarded as one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the IELTS test, the speaking module will test your English-speaking skills. Most importantly, the test will be conducted via a two-way conversation between you and the examiner. Now, let’s look at the key pointers that will address your query on how to prepare for IELTS at home.
Firstly, you should focus on your beginning and ending remarks to leave a lasting impression on the examiner.
Secondly, you should be cautious not to repeat the exact words multiple times.
Thirdly, and most importantly, you must practice your pronunciation skills to keep the conversation clear and crisp.
Top Books for IELTS General Preparation
Top Books for IELTS General Preparation
1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
This book is suitable for both IELTS Academic and General Training and is designed to help you get high scores in IELTS. It also provides you with tips and hints from people who have taken the course themselves. The step-by-step guide will help you plan, prepare and pass your IELTS exam with the best grades.
2. Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 1
This is a comprehensive resource pack of IELTS partners to help teachers prepare students to take the IELTS test. The IELTS partners, Cambridge ESOL inspectors and mail writers have written this pack since they possess years of experience in this field. The test reveals the evaluation process and other valuable inputs related to IELTS. The book consists of Experimental tests for listening, speaking, reading and writing (both academic and general training). Apart from this, it also contains Listening, reading and writing answer sheets. Listening and Reading practise test answer keys and listening tapes scripts; The sample candidate writes the answers and the examiner’s comments. Sample Candidate Speaking Test and Examiner Comments.
3. Official IELTS Practice Materials Volume 2
This second volume is again a comprehensive teacher resource pack to help teachers prepare students for the IELTS test. The Cambridge ESOL inspectors and material authors with many years of experience have written this pack. This pack shows candidates how each test is evaluated, and valuable points are provided. This book includes practising tests for listening, speaking, reading and writing (both academic and general training). Listening, reading and writing answer sheets; Listening and Reading practise test answer keys and listening tapes scripts.
4. Top Tips for IELTS Academic
This is the Official book that provides you with important advice and suggestions for each part of the Academic module. The Cambridge ESOL examiners have specifically written this book. This makes it legitimate since they hold many years of experience in preparing and marking the IELTS exam. An essential part of this book is the availability of explanatory and relevant examples. These would help test takers get acquainted with varied types of questions and the approach to answering them. Moreover, this study material is also paired with a CD-ROM. This contains a complete and authentic IELTS exam paper to help prepare accordingly for the actual exam.
5. Top Tips for IELTS General Training
Similar to the Top Tips for IELTS Academic, the Top Tips for IELTS General Training is the official IELTS book. It is solely focused on preparing the candidates who are keen on studying the General Training module. Besides, the Cambridge ESOL examiners have written this book. The book contains relevant examples and explanations regarding each section of the IELTS. The main purpose is to show you exactly what each tip means. Additionally, it contains general tips for each paper and how to study and learn for the exam day. Additionally, this study material is also paired with a CD-ROM, which contains a complete and authentic IELTS exam paper to help prepare accordingly for the actual exam.
6. Barron’s IELTS Superpack
This is one of the best books for IELTS general training, suitable for both academics and professionals. The detailed IELTS training kit contains practically everything you’ll need to do well on your IELTS test. Many who have read the book agree that it creates trust as the level progresses from easy to difficult. It essentially incorporates two all the different helpful materials from Barron’s IELTS into one super pack.
7. Simone Braverman’s Target Band 7
Excellent for those who want to achieve a high IELTS ranking. An IELTS test-taker has written this book. Besides, it is easy to understand with simple tips and techniques that are easy to put into effect. It contains solutions to varied problems and tips, thus receiving high praises from students. They consider this as one of the best books for IELTS general preparation.
8. Road to IELTS
This study guide, provided by the British Council, includes mock exams, instructional videos, and interactive exercises. It’s an online course that comes in three flavours: test drive, last-minute, and complete edition. So, legally, it isn’t a novel. Road to IELTS is a web-based course that includes mock exams, tutorial videos, and other interactive activities. You can get free IELTS to practise papers, and if you’re registered for the test through the British Council, you can get some free videos and interactive activities.
9. IELTS Trainer
IELTS Trainer provides you with six complete practise tests to help you prepare for your IELTS exams. It is one of the best books for IELTS training since it walks you through the first two papers and gives you step-by-step instructions.
Bonus Tips for IELTS Preparation
1.Make a plan that works well for you:
The first and the most important step to taking any standardized test is to make a proper daily plan for yourself.
These tests are not tough but they definitely require organized practice so to help you score well within your desired range.
The first step is to find out the score band that your dream universities want from an eligible candidate. The next step is to take a practice test and see where you actually stand. The final step is to make a proper routine and focus on your weaker areas and mistakes during practice.
The key to cracking the IELTS is lots and lots of practise. To score well, you do not study for 24 hours a day but make sure that when you study, you give your 100% and concentrate completely.
2. Understand The Format Well:
The format of the IELTS can be tough to understand. In order to make sure that you use your time well and optimise it properly for the best results, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the pattern of the test. Understand the type of questions and the different tasks in each section.
Prepare accordingly and always keep a track of the time that you are spending on each question.
In order to achieve the best results, aim to finish the test early and revise each section at least twice because there is a high chance that you will find mistakes in the second revision that you may have missed in the first one.
3.Practise from sample tests and questions released by the official organisation:
The official IELTS agency releases test papers, DVDs and sample questions that you must solve in order to get an idea of the exact questions that may come in your test.
The pattern of these questions and tests are absolutely similar to the actual test. Also, these questions can give you an idea of where exactly you need to focus and which type of task should you practise more.
4.You can consider enrolling yourself in a preparation course:
There are several online courses such as the Princeton Review, Kaplan and Manhattan Prep that provide online coaching and sample materials that you can practise from This is especially helpful for students who need to constantly be in a rigid structure. Also, if you are having difficulty teaching yourself, you can consider these courses.
However, they are expensive so make sure you have your budget planned out well.
5. Try to surround yourself in as much English as possible:
In the weeks and days leading up to the final IELTS exam, make sure that you surround yourself in English so that you are in constant touch with the language.
It can be books, magazines, newspapers, online forums, but make sure that you are always using the language.
If your mother tongue is not English, try to organize your thoughts and think in English. This will help you gain a command over the language, be it in terms of writing or speaking. It will also help you during the reading section as your speed will increase exponentially.
6.Register for the tests as soon as possible:
It is important to register for the test as soon as possible, preferably as soon as you decide to actually take the test. The fee of the IELTS test depends largely on the test centre you are appearing from.
However, the range is usually between $185 and $250. To avoid a high late fee, make sure that you apply as soon as possible.
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