How to Prepare for IELTS Exam?

Tutorial to Prepare for IELTS Exam

If you want to study abroad or if you want to work in places like the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia then this video is for you. IELTS, also pronounced as I’E’LTS is a test that most of us fear. Why? Because it is an English and Communication test. Two things that our education system forgot to focus on. But don’t worry, there is still a chance that you’ll do well as long as you know, how to prepare for the IELTS EXAM test. So it doesn’t matter if you are a student or a working professional, today by the end of this article on eakhabaar, you’ll know exactly what you need to do. So in today’s article, we are going to learn What is IELTS exam and why do you need to give it? What is the format of the IELTS test? How to prepare for it?

Let’s begin with the tutorial of how to prepare for the IELTS exam. The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an exam you give if you want to study or work at a place where English is the language of communication. This test is accepted by over 9000 organisations worldwide including universities, employers, immigration authorities. The main purpose of this test is to find out whether you can survive in an environment where English is the primary language. This test has 2 main modules. IELTS Academics is for people who want to enrol in a university. And IELTS General Training module is for people who want to work abroad or for immigration purposes. Remember, there is no pass or fail in IELTS. You’ll get a score from 1 to 9. 1 being the lowest and 9 meaning that you are an expert user of the English language. See, IELTS wants to test whether you can read, write, understand and speak in English which is why the test also has these 4 modules.

Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. But the speaking test can be done on the same day or a few days before or after the other tests. Now, both the Academic and General Training modules are almost the same. The only difference is in their ‘Reading’ and ‘Writing’ rounds. For GT module, the text that you will read and write will be related to daily life topics. But for the academic module, the text will be analytical in nature. I’ll tell you the difference between both with examples in just a few minutes. But for now, let’s understand what these 4 IELTS Exam sections contain. #1: The listening round. It lasts for 40 minutes and has 4 sections. In these sections, you will hear an everyday conversation like 2 colleagues talking in an office, one person speaking, an educational situation where maybe a student is talking to a professor and a talk or a lecture on a general topic. Now that you know the format, here are a few important points to keep in mind before you attempt it. #1: Synonyms are important. For ex: Suppose the question is, ‘How does John travel to work?’ And the voice you hear says…’ John walks to work.’ Then, one of the multiple-choice answers could be, ‘on Foot’. Did you see that? What you hear and what the answer is might not be the same word-to-word. So, be alert. #2: Always look out for distractors. For ex: Suppose the voice says, ‘It’s Tue, 4th of July, 3:15 PM. Oh no, I’m sorry. It’s actually Tue, 4th of July, 3:50 PM’ I am sorry for the bad accent imitation but the point is, sometimes, the correct answer comes later. So listen carefully and be alert for distractors. and #3: Remember, not all question types will be the same. They might be in the form of multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks, match the following, they might ask you to write no more than 2 words/3 words and if you get these basic instructions wrong, then your answer will be wrong. So please, read the instructions carefully before you answer. For example, suppose the question is, ‘What is John’s gaming level?’ and the multiple-choices are… Beginner, Average, Good, League. And the voice you hear is a conversation that goes like this. How do you rate your game? Beginner, League? Oh no, not League standard. Just middling really. Not bad. Not good. So, the answer is ‘average’ but he said, ‘middling’. That’s why you read the questions first and be prepared just in case you encounter synonyms as well.

The next round is reading. The reading lasts for 60 minutes and has 3 sections. If you remember, we discussed that the reading text will be different for Academic and for GT module. For the Academic module, the text will come from book, magazines, newspapers and may include diagrams, graphs, illustrations. You don’t have to be a specialist in something to understand these. The GT module also has 3 sections. Section 1 will include simple text from Public Notices, Timetables, Advertisements. Section 2 will be slightly more difficult and will include text from a workplace environment like a job description, contracts, training material. Section 3 will include a passage from a book, magazine or a newspaper. Now, here are a few points to remember while attempting the reading section. Don’t start by reading the whole text first. You won’t have time for this. Just skim through the text and then go to the questions. And while you read the question, you will remember ‘Oh, this para has that answer!’ Now, go back to that para and read it carefully while you answer that question. And needless to say, each question type will be different. Multiple-choice questions, Yes/No/Not Given, Sentence Completion, match a heading to a paragraph. So please, read the instructions carefully before answering the question. Now, let’s see an example. Suppose, the first 2 paras of the text look something like this. You first start by skimming through the text and then move on to the questions. The first question is, ‘Which game company was established in 1858?’ You know that the answer lies in the first para. Now, you go back to the text and you notice the answer in the last line. Now read it carefully and while answering double-check the spelling of your answers. Next comes, writing. The writing test lasts for 60 minutes and has 2 tasks. For academic module, you will be given a graph, diagram, chart or a table and you’ll have to describe it in your own words.

For the General Training module, you will have to write a letter in response to an everyday situation or a problem. Task 2 will be the same for both the modules where you’ll be given a situation, an argument or a point of view and you’ll need to write a short essay in response to it. For the writing round, here are a few important points to remember. In Task 1, you will need to write at least 150 words and in Task 2, you will have to write at least 250 words. Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. So ideally, out of the 60 minutes, you can spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. So always, keep track of the time and leave enough time, in the end, to review what you have written. #2: Write in paragraphs. Each para must start with a topic sentence and the rest of the paragraph must support that topic. Why? Because when examiners look at your writing they are looking for, how well you organise your thoughts, your vocabulary, your use of grammar. So when you use paragraphs, it gets easier for them to assess all of these. Especially in Task 2, have an introduction, a body and a conclusion and in the conclusion, make sure that you include your point of view. An example of Task 2 is this. Now you can organise the answer to this question in 4 paragraphs. The first para will obviously be the introduction. The second para can be about the disadvantages of international tourism. The third para can be about its advantages. And finally, in the conclusion make sure that along with the summary you also include your point of view, whether you are for it or against it. And the last section is speaking. The speaking test lasts for 11-14 minutes and is conducted in the form of a one-on-one interview with an examiner. It has 3 parts. Part 1 is a general introduction where you’ll talk about yourself, your work, your family and other familiar topics.

In Part 2, you will be given a topic card and one minute to prepare on that topic. At the end of that one minute, you are supposed to talk continuously for 1-2 minutes on that topic without being interrupted by the examiner. In Part 3, the examiner will have a conversation with you where they’ll ask you questions related to the topic in Part 2. Now, here are a few important points to remember. Don’t memorise your answers, especially the introduction. The examiner will spot this and will give you less to zero marks for answers that look prepared. #2: Give a little bit more detail. Suppose the examiner asks you about your hobbies. Don’t just say, ‘I like badminton.’ Give a little bit more detail… Why do you like badminton? Whom do you play with? How does it make you feel? They want to assess how well you communicate. So, talk as much as you can. I know that the speaking section sounds scary but the more you talk to native English speakers, the better you get at it. And one of the ways to talk to experts, who will help you with your spoken English is through the Cambly app. This video is bought to you by them. I’ll show you how this app works later. But for now, let’s see, what a Part 2 topic looks like. On your card, the topic can be, ‘Describe a well-known person you like or admire.’ So you talk about… who this person is, why is this person well-known and explain why you admire this person. The one minute preparation time you get is crucial. So, note down bullet points related to that topic. These bullet points will give a nice structure to your talk and will also act as a guide in case you go blank while speaking.

So as of today, this is the format of the IELTS test. But it’s always better to check the official website of wherever you are booking whether British Council or IDP to know the current IELTS exam format while preparing. Now, before I tell you how to prepare for IELTS comment below and tell me, which section do you find the most difficult? Is it reading, writing or speaking?