IELTS last Minute Tips & Advice for the Exam DayUpdated on 18 August, 2022
Study Abroad Expert
Study Abroad Expert
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, you must prepare thoroughly for all four sections of the language test. Here are some IELTS last-minute tips for you that you must keep in mind before taking the test:
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 IELTS exam last-minute tips. These tips will guide you both before and during the test:
Stay focused: Make sure you attempt the examination after carefully understanding the format and syllabus. Stay focused and calm throughout the examination.
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If there is just a week left for your IELTS exam and you have a lot to prepare, don’t panic. You can still score a band 6 or 7 if you use your time wisely and efficiently. Here are some last-minute preparations for IELTS that you need to follow if you have just a week’s time in hand.
Before appearing for IELTS, it is imperative to get yourself acquainted with all about the examination. Since there is a time crunch, you need to superficially get oriented with the exam format and its sections. While it will fetch you a clear picture of IELTS, it will also give you an idea of all things you need to study about in the next six days. Here are a few things you need to understand to get an overview of IELTS.
While preparing for the reading section of IELTS, you will come across a lot of reading passages and you will be asked questions based on that. If you read every word of a passage, you won’t be able to complete the test within time. The trick is not to take too much time and significantly utilize key reading strategies. That’s when the art of skimming and scanning comes into play. If you gather this art while practicing your reading tests, make sure to use this method as it would help you to boost your score by saving some time for other questions.
For the Listening section of IELTS, it is of paramount importance to orient yourself to English audios. You will easily be able to access English radio programs, news programs, or podcasts from BBC and that would prepare you with the accents and tone. Learning the accent and tone would help you to grasp lines that are played during the test and quickly identify them. Most importantly, you won’t feel lost. You can also take up specific Listening sample tests for practice and try to keep up with the recording. Even if you miss one question, don’t get stuck on it, rather move on or you’ll lose the other questions as well.
The Writing Section of IELTS includes two sections – description of a diagram/chart and writing an essay in response to a point of view or problem presented to you. In order to ace this section, the best last-minute tip for IELTS writing is to take on as many practice papers as you can. Try to simulate the actual test conditions as much as you can while writing. You can also choose a quiet spot while taking the test so that you can concentrate, keep aside 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours and work on the writing tasks uninterrupted, write your responses instead of typing them to increase your speed, and set strict deadlines for the writing questions. Evaluate yourself once you are done writing the two tasks and ask yourself if you are able to complete the tasks in the set time or if you fell short of or exceed the minimum word count.
Just like the writing section, simulating the IELTS speaking condition will improve your performance on the day of the test. You can also get someone who is fluent in English to listen to you when you will be speaking. This would prepare for the day of the examination when you will have to speak in front of the examiner. Here are a few steps you can follow to make the preparation as realistic as possible:
Having spent one day each on every section, it is now time to test yourself with a full-length mock test. Take an IELTS mock test for free and evaluate how you fare in it. This would be a great chance for you to assess your weaknesses and strengths and improve accordingly. Set aside around 3 hours of uninterrupted time while taking a mock test and be strict about it. The IELTS time duration for each of the sections is as follows:
After having finished the mock test, don’t evaluate it right away.
Do not keep the last day cramming in anything new. Take out your mock test from the last day and evaluate it. Analyze ways to fix your mistakes and see where you went wrong. That’s about it for the day.
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As the IELTS test day gets closer, you may struggle to understand what things to do and what to avoid. As we have already understood about the doable, listed below are a few recommendations that you should avoid on the day of the test.
It is better for you to take a second or two to think about what you want to say before speaking. This would help you in quickly organizing your thoughts and giving a more thorough answer. If you rush to answer, you may come up with an answer that is disorganized and hard to follow. However, don’t take too much time to prepare an answer that you think is just right. For Part 2 of the speaking test, it is better to prepare a few notes on the paper you're given. For the listening test, before the recording starts, quickly read the questions and focus on listening for answers to those questions.
During the IELTS examination, there might be a few questions you do not understand. If that happens during the IELTS Speaking test, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question or explain it to you. Though it is fine to ask for some explanation or clarification, you should avoid asking it over and over again during the exam.
Don’t be afraid to correct yourself in the IELTS Speaking test if you realize that you made a mistake. This would make the examiner understand that you know you made an error and that you're able to correct it.
It is not at all recommended to memorize answers because having a scripted answer prepared ahead of time is not helpful as the examiner will be able to tell that your answer is scripted, and this will affect your score.
Some candidates think that using “big” words during the writing and reading test is a good strategy. It is important that the words should be used properly and sound natural. You may use some words incorrectly if you don’t completely understand them and this could have an effect on your speaking and writing scores.
Do not use grammar that you’re not completely comfortable with. Make sure that you use different elements of grammar properly such as verb tenses, transitions, connectors, etc. It is better to be safe than sorry so don’t use anything you're unsure about.
Make sure you speak during the speaking test and write during the writing test. Your examiner expects you to talk and write in order to evaluate your language skills. Being silent during the speaking test or leaving blank spaces instead of writing will leave a negative impression on the examiner. This is also applicable for the reading and listening tests and answers left blank will be marked as incorrect.
When answering questions for your writing and speaking exam, do not forget to get to the main point. It is better to avoid repeating or rephrasing the question. Don’t talk around the question or add unnecessary details, and then get to the point. This is a waste of valuable time and could affect your score.
While appearing for your IELTS test, it is important to not let your nerves get the better of you. Though it is natural to feel nervous, to keep your nerves under control during the test day, try some breathing exercises, give yourself some quiet time, eat well before your test, and have a good night’s sleep.
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It is not possible to crack the IELTS exam by studying for only one day. However, if you have already done some preparations beforehand and want to do some revisions, you can take a sample test and ask someone else to assess your skills so as to get unbiased feedback.
The day before the exam, you should focus on ensuring that you check the date and time of the examination venue, know about the transport route and read the terms and conditions carefully. Besides, if you feel like it, you can take a sample test to get a last-minute revision before the test.
The last-minute preparation for IELTS requires you to relax and not think much about the examination and take a deep breath before entering the exam hall. To improve your speaking skills, you can talk to people of different nationalities in English before the exam.
As per the several surveys on IELTS modules, students report that the writing section is the most difficult amongst the four. However, a realistic plan and consistent practice can help you gain a good score in the IELTS writing section.
To score seven (7) bands or higher, you should read the structure of the test, finalize your learning strategy, aim higher but do not forget to set your goals, practice every day, read and talk in English every day, listen to podcasts and watch TV shows, play video games in which you need to talk to team members in English, answer exactly what is required and filter out irrelevant noise.
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