IELTS Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Purpose for taking IELTS
It is important for you to understand the types of IELTS exams. We have an Academic version which is aimed at students willing to study in an English-speaking country and the other version is “General” which is aimed at professionals and individuals who are willing to work or immigrate to an English-speaking country. Both exams have similar listening and speaking sections but reading and writing sections are different.
Step 2: Understand the Format
After you’ve decided which test to take you should get familiarized with the format of the test. Students usually take this step for granted and end up scoring low even with a better grasp on English language.
Understanding the format helps you understand what to expect and prepare for it accordingly.
For details, read “IELTS Guide” & “Introduction to IELTS” & “Introduction to Academic IELTS” & “Introduction to General IELTS”.
Step 3: Diagnostic
After you’ve familiarized yourself with the test format, it’s time to take a practice/diagnostic test. This will help you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Sample tests can be found on both the British Council and the official IELTS website.
Step 4: Registration
Based on your diagnostic test scores, you will have to decide how much time do you need to prepare for IELTS exam and which areas you need to work the most. This is also the perfect time to register for the test. Please make sure you do not take a long break between your test preparation and actual test day as you might lose focus and forget newly acquired skills.
Step 5: Concept Building
After registration, all you need to do is to focus on test preparation strategies. As soon as you learn a strategy try applying it on your practice questions. Remember a language cannot be improved overnight. It requires practice and consistency in hard work.
For different test taking strategies, we would recommend you look at the preparation strategies IELTS Test Taking Strategies.
Step 6: Practice Tests
Once you learn the strategies, it’s time to practice and master them. Take “Cambridge IELTS Tests 2-10” & “Cambridge IELTS 11 (General only)” & “Cambridge IELTS 11 (Academic only)” practice tests section-wise. If you already have a good command on English, then you don’t need to use all test, just take one or two practice tests to get familiar with the format. But if you want to improve your score then practice is the key.
Step 7: Test Day Tips
Please make sure you read the instructions from the IELTS test takers received on your email and bring pencil, rubber and sharpener. Please also note, only passport is allowed, all other items including cell phone are not allowed inside the test center, they will put all your valuable in a locker. Please go through following tips for the test day.
- Don’t forget to take your passport or Identification card with you.
- Don’t study at the last moment, a day before the test. Try to relax and reserve your stamina for the test day.
- Make sure to take at least 8 hours of sleep and stay hydrated a day before the test.
- Eat your favorite breakfast in the morning.
- Make sure you know where the test Centre is so that you don’t have to worry about it on the test day.
- Reach the test Centre well before time.
- Once you get to the Centre, follow all the rules that the instructors give you.
- During test, do not stress if you don’t know the answer to a question. Mark it and move on and come back to it later.