IELTS Test Tips - Lexicon ll British Council Khulna
  • Read instructions carefully, don’t just glance at them. They are not always the same as in practice or previous tests.
  • If you do not know the answer to a Listening question, try to answer with your best guess. Incomplete or blank answers will not receive a mark.
  • Practice Listening to different English accents as the speakers will use Australian, British and North American accents.
  • Small errors can lead to low score such as bad spelling or omitting an ’s’.
  • Don’t panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. Relax and tune in.
  • Always check your answers when transferring them. You can easily lose marks.
  • Matching: The questions are in the order of the recording, but the answer choices for one question may not be. So skim the answers when Reading through the questions.
  • Map Labelling: Make quick notes or drawings to organize the information and avoid forgetting any important information.
  • Short Answer: The speaker will give you the exact word (s) you need to write down. There is no need to alter them to fit the passage.
  • Multiple Choice: As you listen to the recording, cross out answers that you know are wrong. Don’t choose an answer just because you hear the same words as in the question. It is important to know what the question is asking and what the answer means as a whole.
  • Often the speaker will give you an answer and then correct themselves – watch out for this. It’s a common trick.
  • Write clearly so the examiner can read your answer easily.
  • Try to determine how many lines a 150 or 250 word response will take on the paper when preparing for your IELTS Writing test.
  • We recommend that you break down your time as follows: 10 minutes to plan, 15 minutes for Task 1, 30 minutes for Task 2, 5 minutes to check. Whatever time portions you choose, make sure you keep track so you do not run out of time.
  • Task 1 General: Use vocabulary (formal or more informal) that is appropriate for the person you are writing to.
  • Task 1 Academic: If asked to describe the process of a diagram, identify all the stages to keep your paragraph organized and complete. Use the correct transitions to present your answer in an organized manner.
  • Task 2: Make sure you give your own view clearly and support it effectively. Task 2: Have a strong, organized structure to support your position.
  • Task 2: When using examples from your own experiences, try not to make it too personal.
  • Task 2: Leave a line between paragraphs. Give structure to each paragraph with a topic sentence, transitions and supporting ideas.
  • Do not get stuck on making each sentence perfect because you have a limited amount of time. It is more important to present an overall strong response rather than have an incomplete paper of perfect sentences.
  • Don’t repeat ideas in a different way and stick to the same topic throughout.
  • Avoid informal language.
  • Don’t memorize model answers, they won’t fit the question and you will make more careless mistakes.
  • Read the titles of all of the Readings first, this may help you decide which to go with first.
  • Underline keywords, names or numbers from the question as you read through the passage so the information is easy to locate.
  • Read instructions for each task thoroughly and make sure to follow them. Pay attention to the maximum number of words you may use in your answer.
  • Transfer answers as you go because you will not be given additional time to do so.
  • Identifying the writer’s claims and views: Distinguish between “No” and “Not given”. The first is saying the statement is wrong. The second is saying there is no information.
  • Where you have to write words, check spelling carefully (the word(s) will always be in the text) and make sure you do not write more than the maximum word limit for that question type.
  • Do not try to read too deeply into the questions. It could cause you to over-analyze and make incorrect inferences.
  • Practice skim Reading effectively, picking up important information and making a map in your head of what information is where in the passage. It helps to underline keywords as you go or make notes on the side of the text.
  • Leave a question if you can’t answer. To spend a long time on one answer is disastrous. Go back later if you have time and guess if you have too.
  • Don’t panic if you don’t know anything about the passage. All the answers are in the passage and you don’t need any specialist knowledge.
  • Try to use a wide range of grammar and vocabulary during the test. The examiner can only assess you on the language you use.
  • Don’t worry if the examiner stops you before you have finished by saying, “Thank you”. The test is carefully timed and the timings for each part must be followed by the examiner.
  • In Part 2 of the test, it is important to make notes. Use the preparation time to make notes on what you plan to say so you don’t forget.
  • You are marked on pronunciation. One thing that can help is the correct intonation. Try not to be too monotonous.
  • Give a reason when expressing like or dislike. I enjoy my job because… or I like doing this as.
  • Don’t speak too fast because it is difficult to follow. Don’t speak too slowly as you won’t be able to say very much. Keep a mental track of time.
  • The areas covered are fairly predictable and not infinite so practice at home recording ideas onto a tape recorder.
  • Don’t learn chunks of answers. The examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question.
  • Remember it is not a test of knowledge and there is no single answer, but ensure that you give your opinion. Don’t worry if you feel it is not sophisticated enough.
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