IELTS last Minute Tips & Advice for the Exam Day

Aspirants take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam for study, migration, or work purposes. The test is conducted and managed by IDP in India. The exam evaluates English language proficiency among non-native English speakers based on writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills. The IELTS band score is an important eligibility criterion set by top-ranked universities in English-speaking countries. To do well, the applicants must prepare thoroughly for all the four sections of the language test. Here are some IELTS last minute tips for candidates who are about to take the test: 

IELTS last minute tips:

IELTS is a standardized examination and holds a lot of importance for applicants applying for study abroad programs, immigration, or permanent residency in English-speaking countries. Below are some of the most essential last minute tips for the exam day. These tips will guide the applicants both before and during the test:

  1. Arrive early: Applicants should make sure that they know the exact distance and the time required to travel from their home to the test center. Don’t be late on the examination day or else you will not be allowed inside. Try to reach the center at least one hour before the examination time. 
  2. Stay hydrated: Applicants are allowed to carry water with them. Make sure the bottle is transparent. Don’t carry dark-colored bottles, as it will not be allowed by the examiners. It is important to stay hydrated during long hours of examination. 
  3. Sleep and eat well: It takes roughly 2 hours 40 minutes to attempt all the four sections: writing, speaking, reading, and listening. There will not be any breaks between the different test sections. Applicants should eat and rest well before the examination so that they can attempt the questions without falling sick or sleepy. 
  4. Wear comfortable clothes: Applicants will not be marked on their clothing. Try to keep it simple and comfortable. Wear something that is presentable and makes you feel confident. Carry an extra piece of cloth, depending on your requirement, as the examination center will be air-conditioned. 
  5. Don’t carry mobile phones: Phones or electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the examination hall. Under no circumstances, mobile phones will be allowed. Applicants need to leave their mobile phones, laptops, or any other electronic gadget out. 
  6. Carry ID proof: Identification proof is a must to have. Applicants need to carry identification proof or any other document that they had used while registering for the examination. 
  7. Carry pen, pencil, and eraser: Do not carry any paper inside the examination hall. Carry two pencils, a pen, and an eraser. Try to keep some extras for any emergency. While attempting the speaking test, one just needs to carry the ID proof and nothing else. No pencil box or pouch is allowed in the examination hall. 
  8. Do not carry a personal watch: There will be a clock in the examination hall as personal watches are not allowed inside.
  9. Use washroom before the test starts: Even though the applicants are allowed to use the washrooms during the reading and writing sections, it is better to save time and use the washroom before the test starts. 
  10. Stay focused: Make sure you attempt the examination after carefully understanding the format and syllabus. Stay focused and calm throughout the examination. 

Tips for IELTS examination sections:

Writing section tips:

  • The writing section will have two tasks. Do not spend more than 20 minutes on task 1. For task 2, you will need a minimum of 40 minutes. 
  • Wrap up task 1 in about 150 words and task 2 in 250 words. Do not waste time by writing more than required.  
  • Do not waste time by counting words. Keep track of the number of sentences. Find out the approximate number of words in a sentence and count the sentences to have an idea about the word count. 
  • Spend a decent amount of time writing an impactful introduction and conclusion. Conclusions are extremely important, so don’t miss on them under any circumstance.
  • Writing should be clear, coherent, and of high quality. 
  • Vocabulary and grammar need to be top-notch. Make sure the writing structure, style, and tone are in sync with the question. 
  • Use small and crisp sentences in the writing tasks.  Organize the write-up in small paragraphs to increase readability. 

Reading section tips:

  • Don’t get stuck on one question. Move to another one without wasting time. 
  • Time management is important when attempting the reading section. 
  • Don’t use any rough sheet for writing answers. Directly write it down on your answer sheet without wasting time. 
  • Read the questions carefully. The questions will have the answers within them. 
  • Go for paraphrasing. 
  • Applicants will not have time to read and understand the whole write-up. Skim through the entire paragraph and scan the relevant information and details. 
  • Use block letters for writing answers. 

Speaking section tips:

  • Practice speaking English very well before taking the test. Speak about general topics and previous experiences. 
  • It will be a formal interview. Be open, formal, and confident. Share your ideas and opinions and be expressive. 
  • While listening to the questions, draft your answers in mind and answer them immediately. Do not waste time. 
  • Pronunciation is the key. Use words that you are confident about. Don’t pronounce words wrong. Use small and simple words. 
  • Keep sharing and talking about all that you know until the examiner comes up with a new question for you. Share as many details and information as you can. This speaks about the depth of knowledge. 
  • Vocabulary is important. It carries 25% of the total marks in speaking. 
  • Wear clothes that make you presentable and confident. You need to dress well, even though it will not give you extra marks. 
  • Grammar is important while speaking. Use the right tense when you communicate. 
  • A mix of American and British accents is good. However, it is fine even if you use one of them.
  • The examiner will interrupt in between. Don’t worry, it is common during the examination. 
  • Applicants get a pen and paper to plan for task 2. It is okay to plan, write and refer to notes while speaking. The examiner will focus on the speaking skills and not the plan or notes. 

Listening section tips:

  • Make sure the headphones are working. If any issue comes up, raise your hands without wasting time. 
  • Read the questions before listening to the passages. This will help in finding the answers while listening to the audio clip. 
  • Focus on answering the questions quickly, without involving yourself in too many details.
  • Stick to the prescribed word limit.  
  • Use 10 minutes after listening to the audio clip to write down the answers. Take care of the grammar and spelling errors.
  • Block letters are recommended for writing down the answers
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