The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. You should ensure you start your IELTS preparation well ahead so that you will be adequately prepared for the IELTS exam. IELTS prepares you for reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Below are some points to help you score well in your IELTS exam:

1.    Understand the test format

Make yourself familiar with the IELTS test format. There are two modules of IELTS:

  • IELTS Academic – If you are planning to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level or join a professional organisation in an English speaking country.
  • IELTS General Training – If you wish to migrate or train opt for this module.
  • For both the IELTS tests, speaking and listening sections remain the same but reading and writing sections are different.

2.    Practice IELTS sample questions

  • Use the IELTS preparation books provided at the time of test registration. You can download the books online.
  • Analyse each question well, take notes, underline keywords and plan your answers accordingly. Follow this simple activity throughout your practice sessions to score well.
  • Ask your mentors for feedback and improve upon areas you lack.
  • Take sample mock tests to time yourself.

3.    Enhance your English language skills

  • Improving on a language takes time, and so it is important that you start working on your skills ahead in time. Make use of these handy tips:
  • Read, write and speak in English as much as possible. Make it a part of your daily life.
  • Create a group of friends and practice speaking in English.
  • Read English newspapers and listen to English news channels or radio.
  • Try listening to a variety of English accents – British, Australian, American, British, New Zealand and Canadian.
  • Watch English movies with subtitles.
  • Read extensively to develop your reading speed.
  • Learn to understand context to be able to scan the available content for answers.
  • Start paying attention to your grammar, spelling and vocabulary.
  • Learn to be precise, relevant and within the required word count.

4.    Stay calm before the test day

Refresh all test rules and IELTS format to ensure you haven’t missed anything out. Have proper meals and sleep well before the test to keep fresh and active during the exam. Also, leave a little early to avoid any traffic on the way to your test centre.

5.    On the day of your IELTS exam

Keep in mind these little points to stay calm during the test and give it your best shot:

  • Ensure that you carry your relevant ID proofs. Carry the same identification document as used at the time of test application.
  • Be attentive when the supervisor is giving instructions, ask again if you have any doubts.
  • Try to attempt all questions as there is no negative marking.
  • Do not try to cheat or copy any other student’s work.
  • Leave your belongings outside the examination hall, as directed by the supervisor.
  • Do not take back the question paper or answer sheet with you.
  • Seek your supervisor’s permission before leaving the room.