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IELTS Preparation – all you need to know

Are you planning to take your IELTS test soon? Do you need a specific IELTS score to apply for university, college or immigration to Canada?  It is important that you prepare as much as possible in the run up to test day.  There are no “tricks” or “shortcuts” to getting a good score in IELTS, the key is hard work. The good news is that you can get the IELTS test result that you need with British Council’s IELTS preparation resources.

What are some things I can do to prepare?

  1. Have a plan and stick to it
  2. Take practice tests to understand the format
  3. Download our preparation Apps so you can learn on the go!
  4. Get expert advice with our free webinars
  5. Get personalized help with our IELTS tutors
  6. Don’t worry about IELTS test misconceptions and myths
  7. Immerse yourself in English
  8. Be confident in yourself
  9. Take care of your mental and physical wellbeing

Let’s find out more about each of these points.

  1. Have a plan and stick to it

Don’t leave your IELTS preparation until the last minute! Make sure you are making regular progress in your preparation.  Find a specific time for this and make sure you stick to it!  This way you will feel more confident in the run up to test day.

  1. Take practice tests to understand the format

We have free practice tests which you can access online for both IELTS on paper & computer. These will help you understand the structure of the IELTS test so that you will be familiar with it before test day.  As a result, you will save time on test day as you will already have seen example questions and you will understand how to approach these questions.

A tip is to give yourself less time in your practice test than in the real test.  If you are doing a practice reading test, try to finish it in 50 or 55 minutes (instead of 60 minutes).  You can always use the extra 5 or 10 minutes to check your answers.

  1. Download our preparation Apps so you can learn on the go!

Why not practice for IELTS while you are out and about? Perhaps you take public transport daily and have some free time during your commute.  This would be an excellent time to use our free preparation app to practice for your test. You can improve your IELTS vocabulary, answer practice questions and discover common IELTS topics – all conveniently through your phone!

  1. Get expert advice with our free webinars

Our free webinars, which are delivered by our IELTS experts, will help you develop your skills in all areas of the test. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions so that you can get the answers you need to feel comfortable on test day.

  1. Get personalized help with our IELTS tutors

If there is a specific skill which you need help in and you would like to speak to an IELTS tutor you can take a personalised class with a tutor who can identify your mistakes and correct them for you. This will help you to be better prepared and score better on test day.

  1. Don’t worry about IELTS test misconceptions and myths

What are some of these misconceptions or myths about IELTS? It is important that you know what they are so you don’t need to waste time worrying about them and instead you can use your time to prepare effectively. Read our blog to find out more about the things that are not true about IELTS.

  1. Immerse yourself in English

While it is important to use IELTS preparation material and to practise in preparation for test day, it is also crucial that you improve your general level of English. In order to do this, try to immerse yourself in English. Perhaps you can take an English course? Maybe you can get a job where you have to speak in English? You could also join conversation courses in English so that you are practising often. The more you practise the better you will be and the more confident you will feel on test day. This can only have a positive effect on your IELTS score.

  1. Be confident in yourself

If you have practised a lot for your IELTS test and you have immersed yourself in English you should feel confident that you will do well on test day. Take this confidence with you into the test and use it to your advantage.

  1. Take care of your mental and physical wellbeing

It is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally in the run up to test day. Try to make sure you eating well and exercising regularly so that you feel fresh for your test. Perhaps it is not the best idea to stay up all night the day before your test trying to learn complex vocabulary in the hope that you will use it on test day! It is better to get an early night so that you are well rested.

How much preparation do I need to do?

How long do you need to get a band 7? How many hours will it take you to get a band 6? These are really common questions that many IELTS test takers ask. It is very difficult to answer this question because everybody learns at a different speed. By doing regular practise and understanding what level you are at as well as the level you need to achieve, you will have a better idea in how long it will take you to get your desired level.

Best of luck in your IELTS preparation and remember to use the British Council IELTS preparation material to help you succeed on test day!