Before you go on to the IELTS Study Material and the Questions,
here are a few common Pitfalls to avoid and Basic Strategies
that will help you get a higher IELTS score.
- All Questions are NOT equal
Though all questions have equal marks, you can easily spend
double the time or more on a tough question.
It is best to answer the easy questions first and come back to the
tough ones later.
- Guess and Move On
Do NOT become emotionally involved with any question. Even if
you think the questions is outrageously difficult or outright
incorrect. Just try to eliminate at least one answer (in case of multiple choice questions), guess and
- Know that time can be your biggest enemy
Certain questions by their very nature take more time to answer.
The first step to better time management is to recognize these
While doing your practice tests, try to become more aware of how
much time you have taken to answer a question. You will soon
begin to develop an Internal Clock that will help you meet the
pacing requirements of the IELTS and reduce test anxiety.
- Compare & Discard
This is immensely useful for multiple choice questions.
While there may be a ‘Perfect’ answer to a question, it
may not appear as one of the options.
What you need to do is compare the different answer choices and
choose the best one available. In fact you can usually zero down
on two choices and discard the ones that are distinctly different
from these two.
- Analyze your Strengths & Weaknesses and create a study
plan unique to these.
The important thing here is to stick to your study plan.
- PLAN YOUR ESSAY
Take three to five minutes to think before you write. Pick a
direction and stick to it, Write for 20 to 25 minutes-and say
something meaningful & coherent Use your last few minutes to
proofread your work. Also, be sure to write neatly. If the essay
scorers can’t read your essay, they can’t score it,
Graders have just a few minutes to score each essay. Make their
job easy. Indent your paragraphs deeply and follow established
essay-writing procedures. Set up your theme in an introductory
paragraph. Include a couple of paragraphs with examples that
back up your position. Finally, wrap up with a conclusion. Also,
“use plenty of college-appropriate ‘wow’
words-even when short, easy words will do.”
- Managing Test Anxiety
More than anything else, the IELTS is an test of your nerves. There
are hundreds of brilliant students who score MUCH lower in the
actual IELTS than they do in their practice tests. It is important to manage
your test anxiety. You can try using techniques like ‘Thought
Stopping’, ‘Self-Talk’ and ‘Visualization.