Tips for IELTS Exam Preparation

IELTS or International English Language Testing System is a standardized English test for non-native English language speakers to evaluate their English proficiency. Established in 1989, IELTS is one of the major language testing’s exams provided to students aspiring to study abroad. IELTS is a widely accepted English assessment exam. Therefore, before applying for the exam, here are the things you should know.


  • It is a good indicator to understand the reading, writing, speaking and listening ability of the candidate. These are the abilities which a university or college looks for in their students
  • IELTS is accepted by over 10,000 organizations in more than 140 countries, which include Canada, UK, New Zealand, USA
  • More than 5 million people take this IELTS exam each year
  • Immigration offices, Government agencies, Universities, etc all require IELTS scores to test the candidate's English language proficiency
  • IELTS exam scores are also necessary for scholarship and visa fulfilment

Hence, it is very crucial to have an IELTS score in order to get into a university or college of your choice. Once you decide on taking the exam, you need to have a target score that you want to achieve. This has to be decided according to the band score that is required by the University of your Choice. Each university has a specific score that they want from their potential students. Check the website of the University of your Choice and aspire to get a higher band score than the requirement. Getting a low score can limit the number of potential universities you can apply for. In such a case, you can always retake the exam. Although, you can prepare better and brush up your reading, writing, speaking, listening skills and score well. For this, you need to have a clear picture and map in your head about what needs to be a priority and requires more attention.

Section Wise Tips for IELTS preparation


  1. Practice your listening skills by listening to conversations, in different accents. There are many videos online to guide you for that, specifically for IELTS listening.
  2. Make sure that the headphones you are using during the exam are working properly.
  3. Read the passages properly, as the recording of the conversation slowly speeds up with each question. Write keywords with a pencil and transfer your answers in the 10 minutes allotted after the listening of recordings to transfer the answers.
  4. Make sure to check how many words you can use to answer each question.

  5. 5. Focus on listening to the recording when it is on, rather than reading the question as it divides the attention and you might lose information. For this, you should read the questions beforehand, in the time allotted to read.


  1. Read the directions carefully, and make notes on the word limit for each question.
  2. Do not waste your time scanning for answers, keep reading and answering the ones you find first. DO NOT WASTE TIME, as you have limited time to finish each section.
  3. Read the questions first and then start reading the passages, in order to find answers specifically.
  4. Read newspapers and mock test papers to practice this section as it would give you an idea of how you would like to approach this section.
  5. Look out on paraphrasing and not plagiarising your answers. You are supposed to find direct answers and not explain them.


  1. Try not to spend more than 20-25 minutes on the task. To keep a track of time, keep looking at the clock.
  2. Find IELTS writing sections topics online and keep practicing. This would help, speed up your writing and thinking. Practice previous year question papers with answers in order to understand the way of writing that they require.
  3. Write over 150 words in task 1 and over 250 for task 2.
  4. Keep your focus on the topic and do not get stranded. Have a proper beginning and conclusion for each of your tasks.
  5. Try not to make any spelling errors. Both American and British English are accepted.


  1. Practice your pronunciation and language flow. You can do this by have conversations with a friend on different topics.
  2. Check out the kind of topics that the IELTS exam invigilator asks. Be confident when answering the questions by the invigilator.
  3. Listen to the questions carefully and do not take unnecessary pauses between the conversations. The invigilator would provide you with a pen and paper for the lengthy question, you can make your plan of action to answer. Do not write and read from it. Just make dot points.
  4. Use a range of tenses. Do not focus a lot on the vocabulary but on your thought process and it's flow.
  5. American or British English can be used, you can also mix your accent. But make sure that what you say is clear and easy for the invigilator to understand.
Here you have things to keep in mind when going for an IELTS exam. I hope they help you in the long run and prepare better for your test. Do let us know if you have any more tips for the IELTS exam preparation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in their private capacity. Exambazaar does not bear responsibility for any opinions expressed herewith.