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IELTS Test Taking Strategies


  •  Remember:

  • You need to be extremely ATTENTIVE! Even if you let your mind wander off for a second you’ll end up missing something crucial. You would need to practice a lot to remain attentive.

  • Do not forget to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.

  • Listen for the specific information by underlining the key words in questions.

  • There are always traps for deliberately confusing the candidates. Sometimes unnecessary information is given extra emphasis while important information is not spoken loudly or clearly.

  • Listen and note answers at the same time.

  • Try to guess in advance what the speaker will say; this will require attentiveness.

  • Pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘leather shoes’, the answer ‘shoes made of leather’ would be incorrect.

  • Attempt all questions; there is no negative marking for incorrect answers.


  • Remember:

  • Do not try to read all the contents of the reading material. Practice skimming and scanning techniques.

  • You must keep track of your time very closely. Most people get into trouble because they think it’s easy but it’s NOT. So, you will have to practice speed reading.

  • Never try to find answers by matching the words used in questions. Understand the question by reading it twice if you don’t understand it completely the first time.

  • Answers your answers directly on the answer sheet.

  • Write your name and candidate number in the spaces at the top of the page.

  • No extra time is given for transferring your answers to the answer sheet.

  • Do not waste your time on tough questions, move quickly onto the next one.


  • Remember:

  • Keep it simple but you can also use fancy words if you’re sure about their meaning. You should also keep your text grammatically correct.

  • Plan your answers by jotting down points on your question paper.

  • Do not repeat ideas using different words.

  • Keep to the topic; do not beat about the bush.

  • You will lose marks for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.

  • Do not exceed the given word limit.


  • Remember:

  • The speaking test does not test your IQ, you will only be assessed on your ability to communicate in a coherent manner.

  • Speak more than the examiner.

  • Never feel shy while speaking.

  • Try speaking fluently and clearly. Neither too fast nor too slow. No “er er” while speaking. Try watching various TV and News programs and even parliamentary speeches.

  • Don’t take long pauses.

  • Ask for clarification if necessary.

  • Keep your volume loud enough to be recorded.

  • If you are asked to describe an experience, which never happened in your life, use your imagination and talk about as many details as you can.

  • Never lie.

  • Don’t leave any sentence unfinished. Like ending your interview at ‘and, so, or 

  • Avoid using slangs or informal expressions.

  • Never finish speaking before the allocated time is over.

  • Record yourself before the test if you can so that you can go back and check your performance.