One of the key differences between people that pass their IELTS examination the first time and those that have to retake is the amount of preparation taken before the exam. Preparing requires more than just knowing how to read, speak, and write English.
Before taking the IELTS, we highly recommended you spend some time reading and reviewing various free IELTS test preparation materials. These materials help you become more familiar with what will be on each section of the examination. In addition, by completing free sample questions and tests, you will gain a better understanding of which areas still need improving.
It’s equally beneficial to understand which test format you’ll need to complete. There are two versions of the IELTS and they vary based on why you need to take it. The IELTS Academic exam is for students wishing to attend universities. Whereas the IELTS General Training test is for people that are immigrating.
On both versions of the IELTS exams, the speaking and listening sections are exactly the same. However, the writing and reading sections are different. Make sure to review the correct reading and writing preparation materials for the test you need to take.
If you mistakenly review the wrong preparation materials, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will not do well. It just means you may not be as well prepared, had you reviewed the correct test prep materials.
How to Practice While Preparing for Your IELTS Test
Each section of the IELTS has set time limits. You have to complete each section within the allowed time. People that don’t take the time to improve their test-taking speeds often find they’re not able to complete each of the sections.
It’s better to take the practice materials you obtained and set a timer on your phone as you work through them. Your IELTS test centre can provide details about the time limits for each test section.
For instance, if you’re practicing the writing section, start the timer on the phone, then complete all of the sample materials for this section. Initially, don’t worry about how long it takes you to work through the materials.
Your first objective is to determine how long it takes you to complete the test section sample materials. Once you know how long it takes you, then you’ll know if you completed the materials within the allowed time limit. If not, then keep practicing until you’re within the allowed time limit.
Aside from focusing on improving your test-taking speed, you will want to have reviewed the practice materials.
*The original article first appeared on: ieltscanadatest.com.