ELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. In a nutshell, it is a testing system that grades your English language skills based on four key aspects of a language: speaking, writing, reading and listening. In most instances, preparation means many hours of sitting and reading. But, you could do more than studying lengthy IELTS study guides and review books.

Following these 5 tips can help you prepare and ace the IELTS Exam:

1. Study vocabulary

English learners are taught to put words into the proper context as much as possible. You can learn to do this by reading frequently. The more words you are exposed to, the better your vocabulary will be. As you read, pay close attention to words you do not know and underline or highlight them with a marker.   You should try to figure out their meanings from the supporting context. After this, look the words up in the dictionary. Read and listen to challenging materials like the English language news so that you will be exposed to many new words. Once you have learned the new word, practice using it.

Using new words frequently will help you to learn to speak English fluently. Research shows that it takes from 10 to 20 repetitions to make a word part of your daily speech.

✓ Record expressions that can be used in a variety of academic contexts.
✓ Record phrases (rather than individual words)
✓ Use a good monolingual dictionary to check proper word arrangement
✓ Avoid spending too much learning highly specialized words
✓ Record useful expressions related to these topics
✓ Practice talking and writing about them in English
✓ Use newspapers, magazines and news websites to learn more

2. Read, read and read

You need to have a credible English-English dictionary and work out the meanings of new words, making sure that you do not translate back to your language.

✓ Skim and scan to form a general picture of a text quickly
✓ Make sure you know exactly what’s required for each task
✓ Check all instructions carefully
✓ Use the work for further clues about the content and organization of the text
✓ Remember the key vocabulary may be explained for you in the text
✓ Don’t use a dictionary until you’ve done the task and checked your answers. You can read an English newspaper every morning and listen to the news in English

3. Enhance your writing skills

Record words as a consistent part of your English lessons. Compose both the definition and a sentence utilizing the word on a file card that you can check later for reference. You ought to say the word resoundingly to initiate your sound-related memory and relate the word to words you definitely know. For instance, “immense,” which implies tremendous, has a comparable intending to the words colossal, enormous and expansive.

✓ Practice timed writing to improve your speed
✓ Never write answers BELOW the minimum length
✓ Remember that Task 2 is longer and has more marks, so leave enough time for it

(Task 1)
✓ Describe the information, not the diagram itself (e.g. you don’t need to say exactly what’s shown on the vertical and horizontal axes of a graph)
✓ Select the important features and choose figures to support these
✓ To practice, look for diagrams, graphs, and charts in the newspaper or on the Internet and analyze them. Notice how diagrams are used on TV programs

(Task 2)
✓ Analyze the question carefully
✓ Make a paragraph plan before you write
✓ Check that all parts of the question are addressed
✓ Always leave time to edit your writing
✓ Know your common mistakes and check for them

4. Exercise fluency and pronunciation

The speaking component is divided into three parts. The areas include a structured interview, a short talk, and free interview. You will be asked about 2 to 3 brief concerns on familiar topics that will last 4 to 5 minutes.

Be ready to give a talk for 2 minutes in the brief talk section. You will be provided 1 minute to get ready for your discussion. The whole section will take 3 to 4 minutes. The following are tips on what is examined in IELTS speaking and how to prepare for it.

Consistent practice is all that it takes. By using a new word or a correct pronunciation, the student is reinforced to practice what he has learned, imprinting it in the mind. Also, it signals to whoever taught him the new skill, whether that be a teacher, a friend or a fellow-worker, and that he has made a conscious effort to memorize something that has been taught. It encourages his mentors to be more determined than ever to help him succeed.

For Fluency:
✓ Practice talking for a considerable long time
✓ Talk aloud in English to hear yourself pronounce the words
✓ Record yourself speaking on different topics as often as you can

For Pronunciation:
✓ Listen to spoken English (e.g. on radio/TV/ films) as much as possible
✓ Repeat phrases after the speaker in recordings to help you speak in word groups and use stress and intonation appropriately
✓ Record and listen to yourself speaking as much as you can

5. Practice your listening skills

One can listen to the news in English every morning and try to write them down and analyze later. The following are tips on how to prepare for listening skills.

✓ Use the preparation time to think about the task content and focus
✓ Make sure you know exactly what’s required for each task and check the instructions
✓ After checking your answers, listen again, and try to work out the cause of any problem

How to improve:
✓ Remember that you only hear the recording once. Don’t pause the CD when you’re practicing
✓ Finally, listen once more to the tapescript and highlight useful expressions

These helpful tips will equip you to be ready for the exam. However, your success rate depends on your commitment and practice. A combination of the two will give you a great chance of getting the desired grade for IELTS.

To find out more about our upcoming IELTS preparation courses and test dates, click here.