Preparing For IELTS Exam – A Last day Strategy

Before actually diving into the last day strategy, let’s see how the IELTS process flow works.

Get the test date – This is the foremost step you need to take before you actually start preparing for the test. Now that you’ve a deadline,  plan for each remaining day with all your strengths and weaknesses in mind.

Scoring 

IELTS comprises of 4 modules : Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Each module has a total score/band of 9. Overall band is an equal-weighted average of all the four modules. Overall band is rounded to the nearest half/full band e.g. 7.25 will become 7.5 (rounds up).

Therefore, determine how comfortable you feel about each of these modules and then allocate the time accordingly. 

Speaking

The candidates are called for the speaking test on a separate day which is usually some days before the actual test date (In my case, 4 days). Nevertheless, you can call the local testing center and work out a date of your ease. 

Tip#1: More is better here – Talk as much as you can, and stop only when you’re asked to do so.

Tip#2: Your ideas doesn’t matter here, so whatever you’re thinking just say it out loud, and say it fluently.  

Tip#3: Accent matters. Develop some.

Writing

This module has two tasks.

For Task 1, you’ll have 20 min, try to write no less than 170-180 words. For Task 2, you’ll have 40 min, target for a word count of  280-300 here.

Tip: Download the sample answer sheet for the writing module. Practice on it atleast once to calibrate yourself for the required word count for each task.

Here: Writing- Sample answer sheet

Listening

Before the exam: Get yourself acquainted with the British and/or Australian English accent by listening to their radio/TV/movies.

On the test day:  While listening to the speaker, keep taking notes of any important detail you hear, especially jot down all the addresses, dates, person or place names that are mentioned.  

Tip : The recording will be played only once, so you don’t want to miss anything. Get hydrated before the test, and keep focused. 

Reading

Develop a habit of reading newspapers and good online blogs. Books too, if you can. No need to iterate on this one but if you read a lot of books, you can surely go a long way in life.

Tip: Read the questions first, then go skim the paragraphs and filter the required information. Reading the paragraph first, will only make you loop. 

A Last Day Strategy:

When you register for the test, British Council provides you with the preparation material by the name of “Road to IELTS”. There are 4 separate e-booklets, one for each module, containing all the information about that respective module. It gives a concise account of the test pattern, what the examiner is looking for, and tips and advice for getting the score you need. 

If you don’t have much time left for the test, just don’t forget to read these 4 booklets as your last resort. Read them multiple times actually. These will teach you indispensable techniques to get a good band.

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