IELTS Success Tips

To ace the IELTS test, you need to employ the right strategy and technique.

Attempt mock tests

Don’t appear for the actual test without attempting some mock tests. This is imperative even if your level of English is quite good. If you are not familiar with the kind of questions and the instructions that come with them, you will waste a lot of time during the actual test. Remember that on a test like this, time is money. You can’t afford to waste even a second. So do your homework.

Be attentive

The recording for the Listening module is played only once. So don’t let your attention wander. Don’t lose heart if you can’t find the answer to a question. Keep listening to the tape and try to answer the questions that follow. Don’t get stuck on any particular question. If you find it difficult, move on to the next.

After each section in the listening module, you will get time to check your answers. If you manage to do this quickly, you can devote the remaining time to read questions for the next section. It will give you a head start.

Read, read, read


The questions asked in the reading module can be ambiguous so keep your mind sharp and alert. Attempt as many practice tests as possible before taking the real exam. Develop good reading habits.

As with all other sections, good practice is essential to score well in the writing module. Remember that your essay has to be at least 250 words long. The letter or report has to be 150 words long. If you fail to write the required number of words, you score will suffer. That said, you are not supposed to pad out your essay by repeating the question in your answer. Although you may not be penalized for doing this, that question part is unlikely to be counted by the examiner. So be prepared to write at least 250 words of your own.

Don’t memorize model answers

Don’t memorize ‘model’ answers. You may refer to them while preparing for the test, but the essay you write on the real IELTS test should be your own. Remember that examiners can easily detect memorized or plagiarized essays.

Write legibly. You will not be penalized for bad handwriting, but if the examiner can’t read your answers you won’t get any marks. Don’t expect them to have the patience to try and figure out what you may have written. They won’t do it. Check your spelling and grammar. Poor spelling and grammar are penalized.

The speaking section requires the least amount of practice. Take it as a normal chat session and you will do fine. Just make sure that you give descriptive answers to all questions. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions asked on the speaking test. All answers are right as long as you give them in good English. Remember that the examiner is testing your ability to express your ideas in spoken English. They are not testing your general knowledge.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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