The following tips are specifically for the IELTS exam, however, they should also be useful for any other language exam, in general.
For simplicity, the tips have been divided into four sections that correspond to the IELTS exam format too:
Give yourself a few moments at the beginning of each section/topic and write down the main points which you will use, later on, to build your essay around. You can also add to this list while you are writing that (or another) assay! Our brain works on more than one thing at a time, it’s God’s blessing.
When writing the assay, try to combine two or more ‘simple’ sentences together into one ‘complex’ sentence, where possible. For example: It was a lovely day. I decided to go for a walk. I enjoyed it very much. [Change it to: It was a lovely day, therefore, I decided to go for a walk and enjoyed it very much.]
Please don’t use text message language!, such as ‘cos’ and ‘b4’ etc.
Quickly read through the questions first before reading through the section. It will be easier for you to answer them if you already know what you are looking for.
If you come across the answer to a question, while you are reading through the section, immediately write it down next to the question (before you forget it!)
Underline/highlight the main points in it as you read through a section
Most importantly, equally divide your time for each section. Don’t spend a extra time on one section if you are struggling with it. Leave it and start the next section (it may be simpler and easier!)
If time permits, go back to the one you thought you could do them but had to leave them because of time constraint
Quickly look at the questions before they put the tape recorder on. Make use of this time to familiarise yourself with the questions. So that you know what should you be listening to. However, as soon as they start speaking, listen to it with full attention, i.e., stop reading.
Probably you will not be allowed to look at the questions in the next section, BUT you will be free to look at the next part of the same section. So, please do so as soon as you finish answering the last question.
Whenever the interviewer say something, think about it for 2-3 seconds and then say as much as you can. Don’t worry too much about vocabulary. As long as you are telling them what they asked about, it is OK to tell it in simple words (rather than not telling anything, while trying to find ‘impressive’ words).
When you go into the room, greet him/her with a smile. When you are done, thank them before standing up and leaving the room.
Good luck with your test. I hope you will find them helpful and, please, do let me know how your test goes. Thank you.
The IELTS test can booked online using the official site.
The author scored 7.5 in IELTS, with 9.0 in the Listening section