IELTS Listening Tips
1. Read the instructions carefully.2. Listen to the example in each part. It helps with situation and context.
3. Time is important. You should never be sitting with anything to do!
4. You are given time, in the beginning, to look through questions and think about the topic.
5. Concentrate (maybe close your eyes!). You hear recordings only once. When you answer, go on to the next question and get ready to answer it.
6. Circle or underline keywords in the questions to help you when listening.
7. In part 3 make sure you can distinguish each speaker.
8. Use your common sense! Is the answer correct for the context? Check the answer in the gap-fill makes sense. Does it fit grammatically and within context?
9. Check your spelling. If you spell the answer incorrectly then it is wrong. (Names, dates, numbers, addresses, money, telephone numbers, directions)
10. Don’t panic! If you could not hear the answer, make an educated guess and move on. Do not dwell on answers you do not know.
11. Check your spelling/ grammar and write clearly. Wait until the end to transfer answers. You have 10 mins to do this. Be careful to put the correct answer with the right number.
12. Never leave any blanks. Have an educated guess.
IELTS Reading Tips
1. Read the instructions carefully. If it says no more than 3 words then answer in no more than 3 words.
2. A recommended reading routine: Read the instructions and questions first/ Circle key words in questions/Skim read a passage, check to head, and circle keywords in text/ Return to questions and scan read text for answers.
3. Do not circle everything as it will not help you find the answer quickly.
4. Useful keywords to circle: names, dates, numbers, company names.
5. Write a short summary note by the side of each paragraph to help you remember what its subject is.
6. Delete stupid answers first! Then concentrate on the most likely answers.
7. Read the first sentence of each paragraph carefully as it gives you an idea for the whole paragraph.
8. Do not take time trying to understand unfamiliar vocabulary. Try to guess what it means from context and move on. You do not need to understand every word!
9. Do not spend too much time on one question. If you do not know the answer, make an educated guess. Leave questions you cannot answer until.
IELTS Writing Tips
1. Always state an overall idea of the graph/table/process in your opening sentence.
2. Do not talk about information which is not shown in the illustration. It will be irrelevant and will not give you extra points.
3. Try to use synonyms to describe the graph or table so that you are not repeating the same vocabulary.
4. Do not write your personal viewpoints on the information (TV is increasing in popularity
because people have more money). This is not relevant.
5. If it is a table or graph describe the trends, not individual parts.
6. You need to show you understand what the axes show in a graph.
7. Do not just describe everything you see in the graph/ table picture.
8. Comparing and contrasting the data will gain you marks. (Use linking words)
9. Try to take only 20 mins in part 1. Part 2 carries more marks. Have a watch in front of you!
1. Try to take 40 mins for part 2. It carries more points than part 1. Have a watch in front of
2. Write at least 250 words. Answer the question! Give examples and evidence.
3. Make sure you have a clear and separate introduction/ main body and conclusion.
- For and against = Part 1 intro/ Part 2 for/ Part 3 against/ Part 4 conclusion + your opinion.
- Opinion = Part 1 state topic/ Part 2 viewpoint 1 and reason/ Part 3 viewpoint 2 and reason/ Part 4 opposing viewpoint and reasons/ Part 5 restate your opinion using different words.
- Solution = Part 1 state the problem/ Part 2 and 3 list suggestions and justifications/ Part 4 Conclusion, summarise opinion.
IELTS Speaking Tips
IELTS Speaking Test Tips
- Listen to the questions carefully and make your responses relevant.
- Ask the examiner to repeat or clarify if you didn’t understand the question.
- Use fillers (umm, well, basically, let me think, etc.) to give yourself time to think.
- Open your mouth, speak clearly and not too quietly.
- Don’t repeat the same simple words all the time.
- Do not give very short answers.
- Don’t use words and phrases that you are not sure about.
- For Part 2, try to talk for at least a minute and stop if you have nothing more to say and you feel that your English is getting worse.
- Remember to answer the last part of the clue card in Part 2.
- Use connecting words and phrases (however, on the other hand, what’s more, etc.)
- Pay attention to the grammar used in the examiner’s questions.
- Remember the -s in the present simple third person singular: She works.
- Don’t use the present continuous when talking about things that you do regularly. Use the present simple: Every day, I travel to work by car.
- Use the present perfect simple (have +past participle) to talk about a complete change that started in the past and continued to the present.
– Eating habits in my country have changed a lot in recent years.
- Use the present perfect continuous (have been + -ing) to talk about a change that started in the past, continued to the present and is still in progress today.
– The standard of living in my country has been improving lately.
- If you say when something happened in the past use the past simple.
– The standard of living in my country started to improve 20 years ago.
1. Listen to the questions carefully.
2. Answer the questions with detail. Give full answers as short answers are not good for conversation but don’t ramble on!! (Use pauses when necessary)
3. Remember body language is important. (Nodding, hand gestures and use of fillers).
4. Do not ask the examiner if what you say is correct! It is ok to correct yourself.
5. Always look interested! Smile! Look like everything the examiner says is very interesting “oh, really!”
6. Practice with a friend. Time each other and give each other guidance on what your strong and weak points are. Practice in Masterclass.
Part 2 / 3:
1. Practice giving your talk in front of a clock or watch. Use the 2 mins effectively.
2. Use your planning minute in section 2 effectively. Use keywords to help you remember. Do not write sentences. You must deal with each bullet point on the card.
3. Part 3: give full answers with examples it possible.
4. Always ask for clarification if you do not understand what the examiner said.
5. Natural pronunciation, eye contact, body language and general communication skills are important.