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IELTS Preparation: A Complete Study Guide, Tips, Study Plan & More

Taking IELTS is among the most challenging exams one can attempt. In order to communicate effectively in English, you'll have to develop several strategic test-taking strategies. These actionable tips will help you prepare for IELTS.

In addition to TOEFL, PTE, and many other English tests, IELTS is the most popular and widely accepted. It evaluates non-native English speaker's proficiency in English. A total of 9000 organisations worldwide accept the test to assess language proficiency. The IELTS test is taken by over 3 million people each year from 140 countries.

This article aims to help you prepare for studying at an international university or working in the English language. Unless you have studied in a language program before relocation, you may have to take the Academic IELTS.

How to Prepare for IELTS with Study Plan?

No matter how brilliant a student you are, unless you are Elon Musk, the IELTS preparation requires self-study plans. The following study plan will help you prepare for IELTS if you are taking IELTS courses or preparing independently.

The best way to prepare for IELTS is with a well-organized study plan. It can help you clarify goals, track improvements, and identify weaknesses.

Step 1:
First-time test takers should get professional help. It will be easier for them to identify weak areas when they receive suggestions from someone familiar with the test. Whether you've taken the IELTS test or not, you should still talk to a counsellor.

Step 2:
Understand thoroughly:
– What is the purpose of IELTS?
– What is IELTS, and how does it work?
– What is the assessment process?
– Tips for IELTS success
– How are IELTS scores calculated?

The IELTS test is covered in several online portals that provide details, tips, and information about it. Analyse topics from the past and present. By doing this, you'll be able to determine what type of questions you can expect.

Step 3:

Your next step should be setting up a realistic study timeframe. Studying 20 hours a day is impossible, so avoid setting unrealistic goals. Determine your level of competitiveness with IELTS by proficiency detailed assessment.

Step 4:
Consistent practice is essential for the IELTS. Take part in a few English-related activities daily, such as reading books or blogs, listening to music, and joining an English club on social media, such as Clubhouse, Instagram, Facebook group, etc.

Creating an IELTS self-study plan should consider these factors.

Note:
You can customise this plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, you are skilled at writing but must improve your speaking. Thus, you can decrease writing time and increase the speaking time.

Creating a comprehensive IELTS self-study plan to score higher is not enough. Making a plan and not following through is valuable. You can achieve success by practising.

Tips on IELTS Preparation

To help you get started, we have compiled a series of practical steps to help you prepare for your test and feel less overwhelmed.

1. Try out a practice test.
As you prepare, take a practice test to identify what the test looks like and what topics you lack. You can identify your flaws and strengths in this part of your initial preparation. To create a solid foundation for the exam, it is equally crucial to improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

However, you will need the assistance of an expert if you struggle to avoid these mistakes or can’t identify them clearly. One of the easiest ways to prepare for the IELTS test is to take an IELTS preparation course, which focuses exclusively on preparing you for the exam.

2. Become familiar with the test format.
A thorough understanding of the test format is extremely helpful before you begin practising. Review the test content and the section types and questions for each section to familiarise yourself.

Any examination, not only IELTS, benefits greatly from becoming familiar with its format and test pattern.

3. Consider the time constraints of the exam.
A clear understanding of the test structure will help you complete the test within the allocated time frame. Prepare under timed conditions to get used to the pace of the test.

Each module of the IELTS test has a limited amount of time. Module completion may require more time due to the timing pressure. Preparation courses simulate the pace of the exam under similar timed conditions.

4. Reading skills should be developed across a variety of genres.
The reading module aims to assess a variety of reading skills. Understanding logical arguments, identifying writers’ opinions, attitudes, and beliefs, as well as reading for gist and main ideas.

There are several test questions, including short answers, matching information, complete sentences, matching headings, and correctly labelling diagrams. To become accustomed to each type of question, make sure you practice a range of questions.

You will only have time to review the texts several times in the reading module because time is of the essence. You can avoid this situation by following certain strategies and identifying what information to focus on and how to skim the text.

5. Learn English as a second language.
During your test preparation, expose yourself as much as possible to language. A wise place to start is to read English-language things that interest you. Online magazines or blogs are great places to start.

Take the time to write some English daily by keeping a diary, blogging or communicating with a group of people who share your interests online.

Take part in native-speaker conversations. Join an online team or ask for help around. The purpose of this is to repeat what someone have said in English. By doing this, you will be able to improve your pronunciation, intonation, and stress.

It is possible to learn by yourself if you are dedicated and find someone who can provide feedback for you. You can seek guidance and input from an institution if you are unable to commit or need help finding a partner who is a suitable fit.

Do’s and Don’ts During IELTS Preparation

To get a good Band Score, candidates must follow the dos and don’ts of the IELTS Test. Because IELTS is a strategy-based exam, its set parameters are expected to be known and followed by test takers during the IELTS test.

Do’s

  • Take advantage of every opportunity to practice, whether listening, reading,
    writing, or speaking.
  • Pay attention to the question being asked, and think a min before answering.
  • Before you attempt the question, develop a strategy for finishing it on time.
  • Take standardized IELTS tests to practice your skills.
  • Ensure that what you write, say or speak is clear.
  • Maintain a decent speed and good handwriting.
  • Express yourself clearly with precise vocabulary and include only a few heavy
    words.
  • Make sure your sentences are connected with connectives, and avoid sentence
    fragments.
  • Provide examples and thoughts that are mature.
  • Don’ts

    • Think it would be a cakewalk and go unprepared.
    • Using correction pens while writing or making a lot of mistakes.
    • Keep repeating words or sentences more.
    • Using basic words.
    • Writing the paper in poor handwriting.
    • Fumbling while speaking.
    • Answering the questions without listening completely.
    • Use many lazy words such as — many more, etc.,
    • Copying or speaking each sentence again instead of directly answering the
      question.
    • Waiting till the last moment to transfer the answers to the answer sheet.
    • Taking more time to solve one question and not keeping an eye on the other
      questions.
How difficult is IELTS?

In less than three hours, you will be assessed on your listening, writing, and speaking skills during the IELTS test. Your ability to retain what you learn, your learning style, and how much practice you do ahead of time will all influence how hard you find the IELTS exam. Starting your preparation for the exam with a self-assessment is the most effective way to get a thorough understanding of the different areas of the exam.

How long does it take to prepare for IELTS?

In order to prepare for the IELTS exam, students should spend at least six to eight weeks practising basic grammar, reading speed, test strategies, and writing abilities. There are several parts to the IELTS exam, so be sure to thoroughly understand what each one requires.

What is the ideal IELTS score to get into Top Universities abroad?

If you are applying to a university abroad, the university will consider a score between
6.0 and 7.5 as a good one, depending upon the country and the course requirements of the
university.

How to achieve 6.5 overall bands?

For a candidate appearing for the first time, an IELTS 6.5 band score is considered proficient despite educational institutions’ IELTS score requirements for a candidate appearing for the first time. Moreover, some reputable educational institutions and immigration services accept the 6.5 bands as well. If a student scores 6.5 in IELTS, they are considered ‘equipped’, meaning they can adapt to various situations.

1. Identify your own weaknesses and prepare smartly
Prepare for IELTS by understanding your own weaknesses. It is critical because you will need to enhance any particular section in order to prepare. Listening and speaking are the most challenging portions of an exam for candidates from non-English speaking countries. It is, therefore, crucial that the study blueprint is also carefully prepared.

2. One cannot underestimate the power of confident communication
Effective communication can always enhance a thorough grasp and understanding of the English language. By communicating effectively and clearly, you will be able to improve your overall English proficiency. Keeping this in mind should be your goal.

3. Examining test samples and sample papers
You can always check IELTS writing samples if you want to learn key points and apply them properly. IELTS band scores can be greatly enhanced by dedicated work and an understanding the necessary skills.

How can you improve your Speaking?

What if I told you that humans have been speaking for thousands of years longer than they have been writing?

You may find the speaking section of your IELTS test intimidating. It is also your chance to show off your progression in English language skills if you trust in the diligent work you have put in.

It takes skill to build confidence. IELTS speaking tests are more difficult if you do not have a solid grasp of the English language.

One of the most effective tips is to learn new words and phrases and to improve your grammar and vocabulary. The examiner will also be able to see that you have a variety of vocabulary available to you as a result of using the right vocabulary.

In order to improve your IELTS speaking score, here are the three most valuable pieces of advice:

1. Make English a part of your daily life
Are you interested in reading a book? Check it out in English! How about a movie? Choose from English subtitles or subtitles in English! As a result, you will hear more spoken English sounds.

You will be more fluent when you start thinking in the target language. Passive acquisition of new words and phrases is possible if you surround yourself with an English-speaking environment.

2. Practice speaking for IELTS
Self-consciousness can hinder your ability to perform well on your speaking exam, but this is one of the most effective ways to do so. Make an effort to speak English with your friends and family, and use it as much as possible in your daily life. Whenever possible, use English instead of your native language.

In order to prepare for the English language test, you should prepare yourself for all kinds of situations in which English is spoken. Practising your language skills as much and as often as possible will help you achieve the score, you are looking for. Feel free to practice speaking English in a restaurant or at your bank.

3. Record yourself
The IELTS exam requires you to improve your speaking skills. A recording is an effective way to practice speaking, even if it’s awkward for some people. Record your answers to a speaking test you conduct on your own.

Be sure to listen for grammatical range, lexical resources, fluency and coherence, accuracy, and pronunciation. Make sure you are aware of mistakes but do not overreact to them. Think about the ways in which you can improve your speaking skills every time you’re presented with a marking criterion.

Frequently Asked Questions about IELTS Preparation

1. What is the most effective preparation material for IELTS?
IELTS preparation books that are highly recommended include:

1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
2. IELTS Practise Tests Plus 2 with Key
3. Focus on IELTS Foundation Coursebook
4. IELTS Trainer Six Practice Test with Answers
5. Check your English Vocabulary for IELTS
6. Cambridge IELTS 17 Academic Student’s Book with Answers with Audio
7. Official IELTS Practice Materials
8. Barron’s IELTS Superpack

2. What is the best trick to a successful IELTS score?
There is no shortcut for anything; however, with an overwhelming number of materials available for students online, it is always a good idea to remember these three things while preparing for IELTS:

– Don’t memorise answers
Examiners expect you to answer questions naturally in Speaking and Writing tests. An examiner can determine whether your answers are memorised, which can negatively impact your score.

– Consistency is the ultimate key
Become familiar with the test by using free practice materials. Although you may be confident enough, consulting with an IELTS expert is highly recommended since it broadens your perspective.

– Grammatical structures should be used in a variety of ways
When an examiner evaluates you in the IELTS Speaking, and Writing tests, your fluency and coherence, lexical resources, grammar range, and accuracy play a significant role. Your speech should be expressed using a variety of grammatical structures.

3. What is the most challenging part of IELTS?
Writing is the most challenging part of IELTS. In order to get the necessary word count in the allotted time, students must write quickly in the IELTS writing exam. This is a challenge, and it can cause you to make mistakes.

4. Does computer IELTS make it easier or paper IELTS?
The General Training and Academic tests can be taken on a computer or paper. Both IELTS on computer and IELTS on paper have the same format, questions, and time allocated to each test part respectively. Only the experience you have on test day makes a difference.

5. How important is handwriting in IELTS?
Bad handwriting will make the IELTS examiners unable to understand what you are writing. Therefore, it is critical for students to maintain good handwriting.

6. Can the student retake one module of IELTS?
There is no way to take the IELTS sections separately. It is necessary to retake the entire test. In addition, combining two tests will not result in a higher score.

Final Thoughts

You learn best when teachers provide you with personalized feedback and interactive lessons. The most effective way to prepare for the IELTS test is with expert guidance and high-quality practice to reach your target score.

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