The biggest secret that you should keep in mind before you even appear for your IELTS exam is that even if you are fluent and good at English, still prepare thoroughly for the test as there is a lot more to the test than just spoken English skills.
It is not a high school English exam, it is a language proficiency exam which tests you on each parameter associated with the language and the exam conducting entity assesses your complete language understanding, including:
- understanding of the language
- oral fluency
- task achievement
- logical skills
- quick analytical skills
- coherence in writing
- how well you connect socially
- problem-solving mindset
- ability to perform under a time constraint
- troubleshooting skills
All these parameters are very important to assess as you are going to be in another country where the natives speak this language and have been born and brought up in this language. So, for you to be on par with them, you have to work hard.
How you can achieve all of the above is yet another secret. And the secret to imbibe all of the skills is 3P’s: practice, patience, and persistence.
Practice as much as you can to master all the language skills. When you practice regularly, you will be able to track your progress and can compare how much improvement you have made from the time you started and where you are currently. In all, IELTS practice tests help you assess your skillset.
This is another secret to IELTS success because many times you may lose patience when you are not making much progress in terms of improvement when you are preparing for the IELTS exam and it may seem boring to you. But have patience and that will surely pay off.
Persistence always pays and pays really well. Sometimes you start giving up during the preparatory phase due to lack of improvement in some areas of the test and that is the time you have to remotivate yourself by thinking about your goals and keep going without giving up. Remember no matter how slow your progress maybe but you are leaping ahead is all that matters.
Apart from the above-mentioned secrets, a few more secret ingredients if followed can blend in well to give magically successful results are:
Strengthen your weak areas:
After you are through with your practice sessions, by now you will have assessed the areas you are weak in. It’s time to strengthen those areas like it can be your grammar skills, writing skills, listening skills or maybe vocabulary. Approach the problematic areas systematically.
1. Refer last-minute tips:
Besides that, you can gather last-minute tips from the internet can help you a great deal and also be careful that you should not use bullet points when you are attempting any writing task be it letter writing, essay writing or report writing. And maintain uniformity in your tasks.
2. Take mock tests:
Taking the mock tests under exam-like conditions will help you a great deal with exam stress and anxiety which you may face when you appear for the exam.
There will be examiners/ invigilator in the exam hall and the examination hall will have tight security checks and all this may be overwhelming, which may increase your nervousness.
So, it is better to prepare yourself mentally for the timed exam conditions beforehand. It will ward off the last-minute chaos. That is going to help you perform better and will help you have better concentration. This is the golden secret out of all the other secrets we have discussed so far.
3. Work on concentration:
A piece of advice will be to enhance your reading concentration power and to practice that try to read at those places where there is a bit of a disturbance or a noisy place.
When you do that, at first it will be very difficult for you to concentrate on what you are reading but gradually you will get the hang of it and will be able to understand what you are reading even in a noisy environment.
Although the exam center may not be that noisy, still you can never be sure of what the places in the vicinity be like.
4. Follow the instructions:
A word of caution is: Never miss out or ignore the instructions rather it is the first thing you should do when you are appearing for the exam. But this advice is something you should remember beforehand.
Instructions carry what is expected from you in the exam and what kind of answers are expected. Failure to do so may lead to blunderous consequences as you may lose marks and hence lose good bands.
5. Be a proactive listener:
Art of Proactive Listening is an important skill that needs to be developed in order to be attentive enough to catch the right answer comfortably rather than stressing out yourself to get to the correct answer.
The audio played during the listening exam carries a conversation in many different accents from various parts of the world and for a non-native person, it becomes difficult to catch the individual words sometimes.
So the best way to master the listening skill is to listen to different radio channels, podcasts, English songs, etc. to be able to get used to the pronunciation of words in different accents.
6. Get familiar with the IELTS terminology:
The language used in the IELTS test has a typical vocabulary and terminology, and it would be easier for you to ace the exam if you become IELTS ready way much before the exam.
Go through the previous year’s test papers and refer sample tests to get the IELTS terminology used in the questions. Mark the typical words used, jot it down in a diary and revise them every day. It really works!