(Photo credit

Let’s face it sometimes the obvious just has to be said. When you are studying for the IELTS exam sometimes you just get so far inside it you lose sight of the basics. So here I am going to go over  what I will call the ‘no-brainers’.

Now take three steps back…..way back….further….that’s right.    Ready?

  1. Read what the IELTS test is all about:

Go to your book store, go to the ESL section and look at the IELTS preparation books on the shelves. Even buy one or two if you like, so you can get an idea of what the test tests and how, what exams are involved and what they are looking for.

  • Test yourself

Maybe it is online or with one of the books you bought from the store, whatever way it is, try to test yourself first and see how you do.

  • Be PREPARED for a reality check:

If you did okay but feel you need more help. Go to No. 4 here. If you failed badly and just couldn’t understand anything? Maybe you need to get a reality check and take a few more months courses in General English.

  • Find a teacher or IELTS Preparation Course near you:

If you have been honest with yourself and haven’t tried to kid yourself that you ‘just don’t have time to do a proper English course’, then all you need now is guidance. Take look around for a good teacher or Preparation course.

  • Beware of False Promises:

There are some teachers and schools who will promise you a 7.0 or 8.0.  Know that no one can promise you anything, everything in the end is up to you.

  • Focus on building Skills:

It’s easy to try to pre-empt what the questions may be, but you will be going on forever if you prepare this way. Always focus on building the skills needed. E.g. how to write an introduction, how to use a topic sentence, etc.

  • In the Exam: Just ANSWER the question:

Sounds obviously but understand that really this is the most important point. They don’t want some quick and clever un-thought out answer, they actually want you to simply answer the question.

  • In the Exam: Be very aware of the TIME:

IELTS really is not only about content but time. This is the number 1 reason why people fail badly, there just wasn’t enough time for them to complete the task the way they wanted to, so know this before you go in, that you need to manage your time well. (No examiner is going to say….’okay a few more minutes just for you!”)

There you are!  Can’t get more simple than that…..But my feeling for a lot of people the hardest one is the ‘Reality Check’. So many people ruin their chances by not being honest with themselves.

All the best.

Links: IELTS Essentials, how to prepare How to prepare for IELTS without spending money IELTS Buddy, Free online IELTS Preparation 10 tips to help you prepare for IELTS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s