The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an internationally recognized English language proficiency exam for study, migration, or work.
It is a key requirement to pursue academic studies in the United Kingdom (UK), and you need to excel in this test.
Though there’s no pass or fail in the IELTS, the score you obtain enables admission boards and employers to assess your proficiency in speaking the English language.
This is why you want to take it really seriously as an average IELTS score can prevent you from getting admitted into your desired UK university.
Here are 10 tips for getting a band 9 on your IELTS exam.
1. Know the Exam Format
Get to know the format of the exam, which includes the number of questions, the number of modules, and the time allotted to each module.
The IELTS exam has four modules that each assess a different aspect of your English language skills – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
You will attempt 80 questions and write two essays of at least 400 words total within the duration of the exam which is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Another helpful tip is to learn the scoring system of the IELTS exam. If you understand how the test is scored, you can also make your preparation more effective.
2. Develop Your English Language Skills
Improving your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation will help you to communicate effectively in English.
You can better your language skills by watching English movies and television shows, listening to English music and podcasts, and reading English books, newspapers, and magazines.
This will be particularly helpful to you if English is your second language.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like every other thing, constant practice makes you perfect. Therefore practicing consistently with mock tests is a great way to assess your performance, identify your weaknesses and improve.
As you take your mock tests, make sure to simulate an actual IELTS exam situation as much as possible.
To remedy your weakness, getting a private tutor or joining an IELTS preparatory class can also help to improve your performance and strengthen you ahead of the exams proper.
Note that if you don’t take your mock tests as seriously as the actual exam, you won’t come up with an honest assessment of your test readiness.
4. Time Management
Make a study plan and allocate sufficient time to read up and test yourself on each module.
Effective time management will help you prepare adequately for the exam while also ensuring that you meet up with your other activities.
5. Understand the Question Types
The questions on the IELTS are not the same.
Each module of the IELTS exam has different question types, therefore you need to have a good grasp of the questions to know how best to answer them correctly and quickly too.
For example, in the Reading module, you will meet different question types, like multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and sentence completion questions.
You will improve your chances of scoring high if you know how to approach each question type.
6. Develop Exam Strategies
Developing exam strategies can help you to approach the exam with confidence.
For example, in the Speaking module, you may be asked to talk about a topic for two minutes.
With an effective strategy for this section, you will be able to structure your response and deliver it in a way that impresses your examiner and maximizes your time.
The strategy you develop should also include self-soothing strategies. You could try taking deep breaths, staying calm, and focusing on the exam.
These strategies can help you to manage exam anxiety.
7. Review Your Answers Carefully
It is very essential that you review your answers on completion of each module of the IELTS exam. This will help you to identify any wrong answers you may have entered and correct them.
Make sure to focus on your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. These errors can negatively impact on your performance.
8. Take Care of Your Health
This is an aspect that is often not taken care of by candidates. It is a very important factor for maintaining focus and concentration.
You should ensure that you eat healthy food, exercise regularly and get enough rest as you prepare for the exams. Your health could affect your performance on exam day.
9. Take Advantage of Online Resources
In preparing for IELTS, you should take advantage of resources that are available online. There are many online resources that provide valuable information, practice tests, and study materials to help your preparation for the exam.
Though there are lots of online resources, not all are reliable. Therefore, make sure you get your resources from credible sites.
10. Stay Motivated
As the saying, half of the battle is won in a motivated mind. In preparing for the IELTS test, you need to stay motivated and optimistic for success.
If you harbor any doubt about achieving success in your mind in the IELTS, you may not be motivated to work hard enough to make a good grade.
Set achievable goals, reward yourself for achieving them, and believe in yourself.
Achieving a high band on the IELTS exam requires adequate preparation academically, emotionally, and health-wise.
Note that the focus is not just on passing the test but on improving your English language skills.
The tips mentioned above will not only help you to score high on the IELTS exam but also improve your ability to communicate effectively in English.
These 10 tips discussed above, if adhered to, will greatly enhance your success in the IELTS exam.