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IELTS Tips and Tricks: Learn How to Crack IELTS

Updated on 26 June, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Securing a high score on the IELTS exam requires the right strategy, including adopting the best  IELTS tips and tricks. Based on my research and discussion with several IELTS trainers, there are certain tactics that can help you secure your desired band score. 

To study or immigrate, you must score the required IELTS band as required by English-speaking countries and study abroad programs. So, if you are wondering how to crack the IELTS exam, I have compiled the top IELTS tips and tricks in this article. 

Structure of IELTS Modules

The IELTS examination evaluates the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of the applicants appearing for the test. There are two types of IELTS examinations: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

IELTS Academic is meant for applicants willing to pursue higher education at reputed overseas educational institutions. IELTS General Training is taken by applicants applying to study below degree level, to immigrate, work, and settle down overseas.

The Speaking and Listening sections are the same in the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests, but the Reading and Writing sections differ.

Tips to Crack IELTS Exam in First Attempt

IELTS is an expensive examination, and it is recommended that the applicants prepare well by learning the right IELTS tips and tricks and crack the examination with the desired band on the first attempt.

Though it is conducted throughout the year with unlimited attempts, you should try to get your band score on the first attempt itself to pursue higher studies or settle down in your dream country. 

IELTS is a standardized examination, and the level of examination is set as per the proficiency level of graduates and postgraduate degree holders. 

The importance of both spoken and written English language skills and the right IELTS tips can help a test taker crack IELTS in the first attempt. 

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How to Improve Reading Skills in IELTS

How to Crack IELTS Exam in First Attempt

The IELTS examination has four sections to evaluate English language proficiency among non-native English-speaking applicants. To crack IELTS in the first attempt with a band score of more than 7, applicants need to pay attention and focus individually on all four test sections: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

Tips for Writing Section

  • Work on vocabulary. Using bombastic English is not essential, though you should avoid using the most commonly used terms.Good vocabulary knowledge is extremely beneficial. as it demonstrates the strength of your English language vocabulary. 
  • There will be two tasks in the writing section. The first task will be a letter of 150-word length, and the second task will be 250 words. Stick to the word length and do not write extra. 
  • Grammatical errors should be completely avoided. Focus on using the right range of tenses in the tasks.
  • Practice writing letters and essays every day by timing yourself. Generating ideas and examples specific to the question within 60 minutes for 2 tasks will be difficult. Take time, practice, and slowly try to complete the tasks within the given time frame. The more you practice, the better you will be. 
  • Ask your teacher or friend to analyze your answers. Rewrite the same work to get a better understanding of the mistakes you committed. Use the topics that are used in everyday life, such as those related to general and socio-cultural affairs. 
  • For task 1, always focus on writing a letter as per the format. If you are asked to write a formal letter, the tone and flow of words should be formal and not informal or semi-formal. Make the right use of words in the letter. The purpose of the letter should be well justified. 
  • Writing a good introduction and conclusion for both the writing tasks is very important. For the letter as well as the descriptive essay, one needs to prepare a good, catchy, and interesting introduction and conclusion. If you have the last 2 minutes in the examination, make sure you write a good conclusion, as it adds to a good band in the writing section.

Tips for Reading Section

  • Read English language materials  every day. It can be anything like a magazine, a newspaper, a journal, or an article where you can to read long passages. This will enhance English language reading skills. 
  • Practice complicated and difficult passages before taking the examination so that you are ready to answer all types of questions in the test. Don’t limit yourself to basic and simple questions. 
  • Skim the passages that are given in the examination. There is no need to understand and read each word in the passage. Focus on the relevant information and important details to answer the questions. The key is to quickly find the relevant details without wasting time reading the entire passage. 
  • Applicants should time themselves to read a passage within a particular time limit. The time factor is very strict, and applicants need to manage their time or else they cannot complete the examination. 
  • Work on vocabulary. Try to learn new words that are not used in everyday conversation. Writing good answers will help the applicants get a good band in the reading section. 
  • While taking the test, read the questions and then the passage. This way, you can answer 50% of the answers in just one reading. Scan the details and correct answers to the questions in the reading task. Scanning of information should be practiced. 
  • Write answers and get them checked. Feedback is very important before taking the test. Improve yourself before taking the test to crack the examination on the very first attempt.

Tips for Listening Section

  • Read all the questions at the beginning cautiously before the audio clips start. This will help applicants to follow the recording & identify the appropriate answer. 
  • Practice listening to recordings and audio clips before taking the test. Listen to both American and British accent clips. It is recommended to listen to mixed accents as well. It prepares you well for the test.
  • Focus on the introduction of the audio clips. The introduction carries all the small and minor but the most important details and information about the situation and characters. 
  • Don’t use practice tests to improve your score; they will not be enough. Listen to general listening materials like radio reports, TV shows, and documentary programs. This will increase your listening skills, vocabulary, and ability to scan questions and  answers.
  • Polish and learn all the vocabulary related to the topic. Learn all the vocabulary you will find relevant to the topic of study. 
  • Practice meditation to build effective concentration skills. It is important to be focused while listening to the audio. The audio clip will only be played once. 
  • Keywords and word indicators are very important. Word indicators are signs of understanding the relevant and important details and information about the characters or situations in the audio clips. 
  • After listening to the clips, applicants get 10 minutes to write their accurate answers. Directly write down the answers on the answer sheet without wasting time transferring from the rough to the final answer sheet.

Tips for Speaking Section

  • It is an excellent idea for you to speak to someone fluent in English, rather than just practicing. Applicants must speak English regularly with friends and family to build fluency and confidence. 
  • Make sure to get involved in the conversation and concentrate on the questions.
  • While listening to the questions, applicants must formulate the answers to answer them immediately. It is okay to pause and think while answering. Make sure you don’t stammer and speak fluently. 
  • Pronunciation is the key to cracking the speaking section. Do not use too long or complicated words about which you are not very confident. Use simple and small words that you can fluently pronounce without making any mistakes. 
  • The answers to the questions should have information, details, ideas, and valuable opinions. It is important to prepare answers that are relevant to the questions. 
  • Work on vocabulary and grammar. Use the right tenses and grammatical range while speaking. The examiners will not judge your answers based on right or wrong but on how good they are. 
  • Practice speaking on various general and educational topics to build confidence, gain information, and improve fluency in the English language.

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Preparing for IELTS Exam: Things to Remember 

Here are some IELTS tips and tricks candidates should keep in mind when preparing for the IELTS exam:

  • Understanding the test format: It is very important to have a clear and complete understanding of the IELTS test format to crack it. IELTS assesses a candidate based on four skills reading, writing, speaking and listening. Therefore, candidates appearing for the assessment should have a detailed understanding of the format. 
  • Practice: This is vital to success in any examination. To crack the IELTS examination, it is important for candidates to practice regularly. It is necessary to develop skills in all four sections of the IELTS, which can be attained with constant practice. 
  • Develop skills: It is mandatory for candidates to develop English skills for all sections of the IELTS examination. To improve in the listening section, it is recommended that the candidate be patient and clearly understand the spoken words. For improvement in the reading section, candidates can read loud to improve their pronunciation. For the writing section, candidates should practice writing essays. To improve speaking skills, candidates must practice speaking in front of the mirror and improve their fluency. 
  • Time management: It is crucial for a candidate to manage time effectively while appearing for the IELTS test. For instance, it is advisable that writing an essay of 300 words is better than a higher word count that is redundant with repetitive ideas and words. 
  • Proper guidance: Guidance from experienced and trained tutors can help candidates recognize their potential and boost their confidence. Developing skills for all four sections is mandatory to appear for the IELTS test.
  • Don’t leave questions unanswered: IELTS assesses a candidate’s English language proficiency. Thus, it is advisable that candidates must not remain silent while speaking with the examiner or leave blank spaces for the reading, writing, and listening sections. 
  • Don’t take stress: It is natural to feel stressed while appearing for the IELTS exam. However, candidates should remember that no one can perform well under too much pressure. Candidates must try to remain stress-free during the exam with the right planning and preparation for the test.

Study Plan to Crack IELTS 2024

Here are some plans for students on how to crack IELTS:

  • Dedicate time for self-study: Candidates should regularly devote at least two to three hours to self-study, which does not include coaching. 
  • Give time to each section: Candidates must clearly understand each section and prepare accordingly.  
  • Read English newspapers, watch TV shows: It is advisable for candidates to practice in a way that will give them a good hold over the English language. Candidates appearing for IELTS should read English content, watch shows in English and listen to English audio. These will help them enhance their vocabulary and understanding of the language.
  • Spend more time on sections that need improvement: Students must dedicate more time and effort to the section they are weak. 
  • Self-evaluation: Candidates should take mock tests to assess themselves and work on their weak points.

IELTS Tips and Tricks Before Test Day

Here are the IELTS tips and tricks before the test day:

  • Understand the Test Format: Familiarize yourself with the IELTS test format, including the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking sections. Practice sample questions to get an understanding of the types of tasks you'll encounter.
  • Improve Time Management: Practice time management during your preparation. Allocate specific time slots for each section of the test to ensure you complete all tasks within the allotted time during the actual test.
  • Take Mock Tests: Take full-length mock tests to simulate the test-day experience. Analyze your performance, identify areas of improvement, and adjust your study plan accordingly.
  • Work on Weak Areas: Identify your weak areas and focus on improving them. Whether it's grammar, pronunciation, or comprehension, targeted practice can significantly boost your confidence.
  • Read Widely: Read a variety of materials such as newspapers, magazines, academic articles, and fiction. It will improve your reading speed, comprehension, and ability to infer information.

IELTS Tips and Tricks on Day of Test

Here are the IELTS tips and tricks on the day of the test:

Be prepared:

  • Double-check the time and date of your test.
  • Set an alarm and allocate sufficient time to reach the test center without feeling rushed.
  • Ensure you bring the same identification document you used during your test booking. This is crucial, as you won’t be permitted to take the test if you bring the wrong ID or forget it.

For those taking the IELTS Academic test online:

  • Before your test day, you will receive an email detailing the software you need to download. Ensure you download everything ahead of time.
  • Verify that the computer you intend to use meets system requirements.
  • Allow yourself extra time to log in for your test. Being late may result in not being allowed to take the test.

Stay Calm:

  • Maintain a calm demeanor and concentrate on each question.
  • If you start feeling anxious, take deep breaths to help calm yourself.
  • Carefully read the questions and avoid rushing through your answers.

Follow Instructions:

  • Review the IELTS rules and regulations before the test to have a clear understanding.
  • You must store all personal belongings in a designated area outside the test room. Switch off your mobile phone and other electronic devices to avoid disrupting others.
  • The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are completed in one session lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes, with no breaks. Use the restroom before entering the test room.
  • Eat and drink something before the test. Food is prohibited in the test room, but clear (transparent) water bottles are permitted.
  • Listen attentively to the test supervisor and adhere to their instructions.
  • Read the instructions thoroughly before writing your answers.
  • Carefully review questions to avoid simple errors.

Monitor the Time:

  • Wristwatches are prohibited in the test room, but clocks are in every testing room in our centers. If taking a test online, a clock is visible on the screen. Stay mindful of the time to attempt all questions.
  • The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests comprise multiple sections. Allocate sufficient time for each section.
  • Certain questions have suggested time limits based on available marks, with longer limits usually indicating higher mark values

Final Thoughts

IELTS is a vital examination for applicants willing to study, work or settle in English-speaking countries. It is a high-level standardized English proficiency examination that can be cracked in the first attempt with the right dedication, techniques, and hard work.

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Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to crack IELTS?

Focus, practice, and the right techniques can help test-takers crack IELTS.

Some tips to crack the IELTS exam are: 

  1. Understand the structure

  2. Identify reading techniques

  3. Listen to audio recordings

  4. Take mock tests

  5. Practice speaking

How to clear IELTS in the first attempt?

To crack the IELTS test on the first attempt, applicants need to focus and prepare well for all four sections. The command of spoken and written English language skills and the right techniques can help a test-taker crack IELTS in the first attempt.

Is IELTS easy to crack?

The answer to this question is subjective. However, it is safe to say that with practice, dedication, and proper technique, test-takers can pass IELTS with a good band score.

What are the various tips to crack the IELTS Reading test on the first attempt?

Here are IELTS tips and tricks to crack the IELTS Reading test on the first attempt:

  1. Understand the structure: It is necessary to have a total understanding of the structure of IELTS. 

  2. Practice: It is extremely important to practice regularly for the IELTS exam on the first attempt. 

Proper Guidance: This is an important tip to crack the IELTS reading test. Test-takers should develop proper skills for every module to crack the reading test on the first attempt. Guidance from an experienced tutor can help candidates to recognize their potential and boost confidence.

How to clear the IELTS exam for Canada in the first attempt?

Here are some tips to clear the IELTS exam for Canada in the first attempt: 

  1. Practice

  2. Work on your weakness

  3. Have everyday conversations in English

  4. Have a proper understanding of the exam structure

What to bring in an IELTS test?

On the day of the test, you need to bring the same valid ID you utilized for your test application, your confirmation email, 2 HB or # 2 pencils, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener with a container. You can also carry a transparent bottle of water with the label removed. No additional items will be allowed in the examination room.

Which is the easiest part of IELTS?

Based on your strengths, you may find one section of the IELTS easier than another. Usually, the listening part is perceived to be easier by students as you don't need as much prep as the other parts. Just listen to English podcasts, music, and audiobooks. Also, there are many practice tests online to help you practice and get used to the test.

How can I pass the IELTS successfully?

To pass the ITELS successfully, follow the given IELTS general tips and tricks:

  • Learn and use a wide range of vocabulary relevant to different topics.
  • Focus on improving grammar accuracy and complexity.
  • Practice speaking fluently without hesitations or pauses.
  • Work on organizing your ideas logically and coherently.
  • Pay attention to clear pronunciation and intonation.

What time are IELTS results released?

For those who've done the paper-based IELTS exam, you can check your results by 12:00 noon, 13 days from the test. If you've taken the computer-based IELTS, your results will be available 3 to 5 days after the test.

Can I retake the IELTS reading only?

You have the option to retake any single section of the IELTS test: Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking. 

Is the IELTS exam conducted every day?

Paper-based tests are conducted 48 times annually or as many as 4 times per month, commonly on Thursdays and Saturdays. Computer-based tests are conducted throughout the week for the candidates.

What can I expect on IELTS test day?

Your test day photograph and fingerprint scan will be taken during the registration. The finger scan will be matched every time you leave the examination room and return to the examination room after every break.

What are the most useful IELTS tips and tricks for scoring well?

Here are the most useful IELTS tips on how to clear the IELTS exam in the first attempt

  1. Understand the Test Format
  2. Practice Regularly
  3. Improve Language Skills and Time management
  4. Learn Specific Strategies
  5. Review and Check

How can I get 8.5 in IELTS?

To get 8.5 in ITELS, follow the given tips:
1. Write both tasks in the writing section daily and analyze your mistakes for regular revision.
2. Focus on grammar issues and practice specific activities to improve.
3. Compare your essays with band 9 examples to identify areas for improvement.
4. Learn content-specific collocations and utilize targeted vocabulary resources.
5. Complete past papers thoroughly, be mindful of common errors, and opt for computer-based reading tests.

Which resources are the most useful for studying IELTS?

Some of the useful resources for studying IELTS are:
IELTS® Test Pro
Practice Tests and Mock Exams
IELTS Official practice tests
Newspapers and magazines

Which IELTS exam is easy, computer-based, or paper-based?

Both the computer-based and paper-based IELTS exams have the same content, number of questions, duration, and scoring criteria, making them equally challenging. The decision on which one is easier depends on factors like typing speed for computer-based exams and legible handwriting for paper-based exams.

How do you practice IELTS at home?

You can practice IELTS at home by:

1. Understand the format for each section: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

2. Use official IELTS materials online or in books for practice.

3. Create a study plan with specific goals for each section.

4. Regularly listen to English podcasts, news, and videos, and read English texts like newspapers and articles.

5. Practice writing essays, letters, and reports and speak in English with friends or use language exchange platforms.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.