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IELTS Mastery: Crucial Techniques for Success

IELTS Mastery: Crucial Techniques for Success

The IELTS exam is similar to a pop quiz on steroids, making you sweat bullets with your knowledge and nervously tap out the answers with your pencil. It’s a high-stakes dance with destiny, where preparation and success dance to the beat of procrastination and failure to the beat of preparedness. In other words, it’s an exciting intellectual rodeo, so fasten your seatbelt and conquer that exam!

The four sections of the IELTS exam are speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Success requires the ability to anticipate answers, read attentively while paying attention to the question, think about two questions concurrently, write right away, practice shorthand, avoid typing too quickly, leave no question unanswered, pay attention to repeated material, and look for indications in the question. For the reading component, one should read academic texts, prioritize the content above the questions, categorize the text type, skim, scan, understand paragraph structure, obtain an overview, and spot parallel phrases. One should also not worry about new or difficult terms, and time should be strictly managed. One should prepare for the writing segment by reading regularly, keeping to the word limit, organizing their thoughts, and maintaining confidence. For the speaking test, one should talk in front of a mirror, listen to oneself speak, picture what they are saying, and practice their pronunciation every day.

IELTS is divided into four parts: speaking (11–14 minutes), reading (60 minutes), and listening (30 minutes). The exam lasts two hours and forty-five minutes in total. One sitting is required for the listening, reading, and writing assessments. The speaking test may be administered on the same day as the other tests or up to seven days before or after.

By using the following advice, you can succeed on the IELTS:


1. Predict the response by reading before you listen.

One challenge with the exam is that you must simultaneously listen, read the question, and write your response. One easy strategy is to read the questions first so you know what to listen for when you listen. Although it is a challenging talent to perfect, it occasionally helps to try to guess the kind of response you are looking for: is it a name, for example, or a number?

2. Read while paying attention to the question in its entirety.

A significant majority of errors occur not because you haven’t listened carefully, but rather because you are not paying attention to the question. Pay close attention to how the question is phrased while you listen.

3. Consider two inquiries at once.

One challenge is that the solutions to two questions frequently appear right after each other. Can you obtain both responses? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the only way you can is if you are prepared for the follow-up inquiry.

Getting one question wrong is not a big deal, but the real issue arises when you lose track of where you are in the listening process and continue to listen for question 13 when the cassette has already moved on to question 15.

4. Don’t put off writing until the last minute.

Sometimes applicants put off the writing portion until last, assuming they would recall what they heard. This virtually never works in my experience because there is a lot of material, you are stressed, and — most importantly, you should be moving on to the next set of questions to read them after each hearing.

5. Exercise shorthand.

You get 10 minutes at the end to copy your responses onto the answer sheet, so you don’t have to write everything down. Therefore, you must learn how to capture just enough of what you hear as you listen in writing so that you may later write it out completely. The only exception to this rule is Part 1’s numbers and names, where the objective is to write everything down exactly as you hear it.

6. Avoid typing the response too hastily.

Occasionally, after hearing what you assume to be the response, the speaker corrects themselves or offers slightly different details:

Thus, I’ll visit you in the afternoon on Wednesday.

I’m sorry, but I have to go. What about Thursday night?

“Okay, Thursday at 7:00”

7. Leave no questions unanswered.

This is due to two factors. First off, if the question is in the form of a multiple-choice question, your prediction might very well be accurate. Second, it’s possible to write the wrong answers in the wrong boxes on the response sheet if you leave a blank, which can be disastrous.

8. Pay attention to the information repeated.

If you need to make a guess, pick the words you hear repeatedly because they may well be the answer. This doesn’t always work, but sometimes the words that are the answer are repeated.

9. Examine the question for hints.

Filling up a table is a common question type; you can frequently get hints for the answer by looking at the other data in the table. Pay attention to the heads of the rows and columns in particular. For instance, if the heading says “equipment” and some of the filled-in boxes say “paperclips” and “cardboard,” you will know exactly what to listen for.


Read scholarly works

In your spare time, read! “General academic texts” are the IELTS texts. This indicates that they are based on materials like specialized publications, journals, and textbooks. It is crucial that you begin reading these types of English texts in your spare time if you are not accustomed to doing so. This will help you be more comfortable with the vocabulary and structure you will encounter on the exam. The National Geographic, the New Scientist, and the Economist are three common sources for IELTS texts (in decreasing order of difficulty, simplest first). Most newsstands carry these magazines.


Prioritize the text over the questions! You can respond to the questions more quickly and effectively if you have a solid comprehension of the content.


IELTS exam authors choose from a variety of distinct text styles. Understanding the type of material you are reading can enable you to anticipate its structure and, as a result, comprehend it more quickly.

The four IELTS text types are as follows:

A text is classified as analytical if it discusses the causes of an event, offers suggestions, or explains a concept. A text is classified as descriptive if it describes a situation, explains how something is done, or categorizes something. A text is classified as discursive if it expresses different opinions about an issue. A text is classified as narrative if it explains a chronological sequence of events.


Improve your skimming skills. Skimming involves reading fast while ignoring tough terms you don’t need to grasp and skipping over irrelevant words like prepositions. Use this to gain a general understanding of a text or a paragraph or to actively look up information.


Take up scanning. When you search for a price in an advertisement or a name in a phone book, you are scanning. When you scan, you only need to swiftly scan the text rather than truly read it. You can scan from top to bottom, from bottom to top, or from left to right. Do this to locate the answers in the texts, keeping an eye out for words that are simple to detect, such as numerals, dates, and words that start with capital letters, such as geographical names.


Recognize the structure of paragraphs. Finding the connection between a paragraph’s core theme and secondary ideas is a common requirement for this. Although some, typically the first and last paragraphs of a text, are ascending — the key concept is placed nearer the end — paragraphs are most frequently descending, starting with the primary idea somewhere near the start and developing from there. This is especially useful when trying to match heads to paragraphs.


Before tackling the questions, gain a general knowledge of the content. To do this, read the title and subtitle as well as the first and last sentences of each paragraph, but not just the first and last sentences. This speeds up the process of reading a text and processing the information to better respond to queries.

Similar Phrases

Recognize parallel phrases. The phrases “I like to ski” and “skiing is enjoyable” are examples of multiple ways to say the same thing. Many questions, such as gap fillers and YES NO NOT GIVEN questions, assess your ability to compare similar phrases in the task with their textual equivalents.

Don’t Worry

When you come across a new or challenging word, try not to freak out. IELTS texts contain a tonne of extremely specific jargon. Avoid using challenging terms that are not necessary for understanding the material. For terms you do need to comprehend, rehearse attempting to infer their meaning from the text’s and the sentence’s general context as well as the word’s form, such as whether it is a noun or a verb.

Control Your Time

Exam time management. The third reading section is where most IELTS test takers run out of time. You should allot 20 minutes to each text (the examiners will let you know when the 20 minutes have gone). Never spend too much time on a single question; instead, make a guess or set it aside to be addressed later. Additionally, if you feel like you are out of time, focus on gap-fill questions rather than “easy to guess” jobs like YES NO NOT GIVEN questions. Don’t forget that by the time the test is over, you must have written down all of your responses on your mark sheet. A helpful hint is to jot them down in pencil on the mark sheet as you go, correcting as necessary at the end.


As much as you can, practice because it makes a man perfect.

Every time you write for practice, always stay within the word count.

Make reading every day a routine. Boost your vocabulary. While reading, pay close attention to how sentences are put together since this can help you develop your writing abilities.

Always organize your thoughts before beginning to write on any subject.

ADVICE FOR speaking

Be confident that you will pass the IELTS exam with a decent score.

You should carefully listen to what you say and record it. You will learn about your areas for improvement by doing this.

Speaking in front of a mirror is recommended. Try to maintain eye contact with yourself as you speak, as doing so can help you make a favorable impression on the examiner throughout the IELTS exam.

Visualize what you’re saying while you talk to boost your confidence in speaking about any subject. Additionally, you will have enough to say.

Read any article, then write your own summary of it.

Be assured and impulsive when voicing your opinions.

Practice your pronunciation every day.

websites that offer free IELTS preparation courses online:

British Council — https://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-exams-ielts

IELTS Preparation — https://www.ielts-preparation.com/

Magoosh — IELTS Online Test Prep | Magoosh

IELTS Materials — IELTSMaterial.com: IELTS Resources, Free Practice Tests, eBooks, Courses and Live learning

IELTS Advantage — IELTS Advantage Homepage

Road to IELTS — Road to IELTS: IELTS preparation and practice

E2Language — E2Language — Error 404

IELTS Online Tests — Free IELTS Online Practice Tests | IELTS Online Tests

IELTS Liz — IELTS Preparation with Liz: Free IELTS Tips and Lessons, 2023

Exam English — https://www.examenglish.com/IELTS/ielts_free_practice_tests.htm

Good luck!


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