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Everything you need to know about IELTS


Preparation Tips for Those Taking the IELTS in 2023 


An effective IELTS preparation strategy can provide a competitive advantage. Ideally, you must start preparing for IELTS 2-3 months in advance. Understanding the IELTS exam format and scheduling your preparation activities accordingly is crucial. Familiarize yourself with each section's questions, tasks and rules. Then, begin practising with IELTS sample questions to get a fair idea about the exam in real-time. 


The tips below will help you score 7 bands or more in IELTS! 


  • Improve Reading Skills

Develop the habit of reading and learning new words, and make an effort to use them in appropriate contexts. Read every day; if you’re new to reading, start with English newspapers and listen to the English news. Reading helps you hone your skills and develop the ability to search for specifics. Additionally, you can try making notes to trace back information. Remember, IELTS is one of the most time-sensitive exams, so practising reading within a specific time limit can help you significantly!


  • Enhance your Writing skills

 Reading and writing skills go hand-in-hand, but reading quickly alone isn’t enough. Practice writing faster and strive to increase your writing speed. By improving your writing skills, you will be able to complete task 2, which is longer and requires more time. When you read, pay attention to new words and when you practice writing, use them to compose sentences. Examine the task 2 questions carefully to understand better what you approach towards writing should be. Work on your writing speed so that you have time to review your work. 


  • Work on Listening skills

The listening section can be tricky for some users as you can only listen to the recording once. It’s important to be attentive. You can hone your listening skills by listening to sample audio without pausing. Be aware of the exact request and review the instructions. 


  • Learn vocabulary

Building your vocabulary and using them appropriately is vital for IELTS. For this, you must read extensively. Notate the new words and practise using them in appropriate contexts. You will be exposed to new words if you read editorials and various publications. Using these in daily conversations is a great way to learn their context. 


  • Learn the pronunciation and develop fluency

The listening section consists of three parts: a short talk, a structured interview, and an unstructured interview. For four to five minutes, candidates will be asked two to three brief questions on familiar topics. For this exercise, speak in English for an extended period and concentrate on your pronunciation. Read and listen to various topics so you can learn about them and speak on various subjects. Learn your weaknesses and your strengths by recording yourself while speaking. 


IELTS Reading Preparation Tips


  • Read as much as you can.
  • For the Academic IELTS reading test, focus on academic journals, newspapers, professional magazines, hard-hitting journalistic articles, etc. Try to comprehend what you read quickly and accurately.
  • For the General IELTS reading test, read instruction manuals, magazines, advertising materials for hotels and services, and newspapers. General IELTS reading passages are usually selected from these sources.
  • If you find unfamiliar words, look them up on Google or a dictionary. It will help you follow the jargon used in professional writing. This is particularly beneficial for those applying for the Academic IELTS reading test.
  • Improve your speed of reading. You need to read 3 – 4 passages during the IELTS reading task, ideally within 15 – 20 minutes. Practice speed-reading and grasping the full extent of the passage in one go.


IELTS Writing Preparation Tips


  • Start reading academic and professional magazines and journals. Read the newspaper daily. Read academic study materials, books, and other relevant sources of information.
  • Observe the pattern and writing style in these information sources.
  • Learn grammar rules and how to use them in the correct format.
  • Learn the 8 parts of speech: Nouns, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, and interjections.
  • Learn how to form simple, complex, and compound sentences


IELTS Listening Preparation Tips


  • Start by watching Ted Talks, educational programs, native news channels, etc., with subtitles.
  • Once you are familiar with the sounds in different accents, watch them without subtitles.
  • Then switch over to listening to English podcasts. This will help you focus your attention on the listening part rather than watching or reading.
  • Make it a point to note the important facts and data they share.
  • Improve your vocabulary. Learn at least 3 – 5 words every day in the beginning. Then move on to learn 5 – 8 words a day.


IELTS Speaking Preparation Tips


  • Speak some English in everyday life
  • Ask questions if a question is unclear
  • Do not resort to memorising
  • Give full answers instead of short, incomplete answers
  • Use your one minute wisely. Use this time to think of everything you want to say


IELTS Preparation Materials 


Many IELTS books and materials are currently available to help students prepare for the IELTS exam. Below is a list of popular IELTS books and practice tests required for IELTS preparation. The best aspect of the IELTS books is that they can be used anywhere, whether in the classroom or at home. Books and CDs containing exercises for learning all four IELTS skills are also included in the preparation materials. 

Here are some books you can use to prepare for IELTS. 


Top IELTS listening Books:


  • Achiever IELTS 9 Bands IELTS Listening Practice Tests Kit by Arunlata
  • IELTS Listening Strategies by Rachel Mitchell
  • Written by Fiona Aish and Jo Tomlinson, Listening for IELTS (With Answers and Audio)
  • IELTS Listening Practice Tests – IELTS Self-study Exam Preparation Book: For IELTS for Academic Purposes and General Training Modules by IELTS Success Associates


Top IELTS Writing Books:


  • Parthesh Thakkar’s The Ultimate Guide to IELTS Writing
  • Get IELTS Band 9 in Academic Writing by Cambridge
  • Visuals: Writing About Graphs, Tables and Diagrams by Gabi Duigu
  • Sam McCarter’s Academic Writing Practice for IELTS 
  • Barron’s Writing For The IELTS


Top IELTS Reading Books


  • Target 9 Latest Reading test (2022 – 2023) IELTS Reading Academic ( 15 Advanced Level Tests) by Darshan Singh
  • Makkar IELTS English for Exams IELTS Academic Reading Vol.1 and Vol.2 by Dr Kiranpreet Kaur Makkar


Top IELTS Speaking Books


  • Target 9 Lastest 2022 Edition IELTS Speaking by Darshan Singh
  • Parthesh Thakka’s The Ultimate Guide to IELTS Speaking 
  • The Masterpiece of Speaking IELTS by Vinod Gambtoo


Other IELTS Books


  • IELTS Topic Vocabulary: Essential Vocabulary for Speaking and Writing Exams by Peter Killingley and Mary E. Kuder
  • IELTS Graphs from Past Exams by Dr Kiranpreet Kaur Makkar and Ravepreet Singh
  • A Masterpiece of Essays IELTS by Vinod Gambtoo
  • IELTS Practice Test by Oxford publication
  • Barron’s IELTS Practice Exams
  • Latest edition Cambridge IELTS Academic 14 + 15 + 16 + 17 (Set of 4 Books)
Can I prepare for the IELTS test within 2 weeks?

Although two weeks is less time, a sound strategy can help you achieve a respectable IELTS score. Candidates must comprehend the format of the IELTS examination and create a comprehensive study plan for the next two weeks that covers all topics. After covering every topic in each section, administer full-length practise exams.

Can the IELTS test be taken without coaching?

For some exam candidates, it is essential to have a mentor and a regular study schedule with set times. Upon learning its complexities, the IELTS examination may appear simple to many, but it can be challenging for others. Candidates can review the exam format and determine which topics they must study. If you believe you need tutoring for preparation, you should seek out tutoring; otherwise, you should engage in self-study.

Is it difficult to score 7 in IELTS?

It is not difficult to achieve a score of 7 on the IELTS. Most students score between 5 and 6 bands, so by focusing more on their weak areas, candidates can improve their score. Whether it's a writing test or another subject in which you score poorly, focus more on that area, and it won't be difficult to earn a passing grade.

Which is the hardest section in the IELTS exam?

This question may not have a definitive answer because it varies from person to person. Some may find the Writing section the most challenging, while others may find the Speaking section the most challenging. It is preferable to review the IELTS exam format and comprehend each section, as well as to identify the most difficult section and devote more time to it.

Can one pass the IELTS exam without studying?

Those who wish to take the IELTS exam without studying should take a few IELTS practise tests and then determine whether or not they need to prepare for the exam.