Have you ever thought to yourself: ‘I have prepared for this test for such a long time and I cannot pass. I know all the tips and tricks about it and I still cannot get the score I need. I am sure they are doing it on purpose so that we cannot apply for a visa in Australia’? Knowing the IELTS tricks and tips doesn’t mean that a high score is guaranteed. IELTS is not just another test, but like all other tests there are some strategies/tips that can help you improve their score. Here are some of the most popular IELTS tips/tricks.
- Make sure that the style used is appropriate ( formal language to be used in essays or in formal letters/informal language to be used in the informal letters)
- Make sure you answer the question
- There is no right or wrong answer as long as you answer the question. The language is assessed not the ideas.
- Focus on both sides of the question ( agree/disagree; positive/negative aspects; advantages/disadvantages; problems/solutions; causes/effects)
- Write your answers in capital letters to avoid making punctuation mistakes
- Use the checking time at the end of each section to read the next section
- Predict answers. Your prediction may be the correct answer
- Don’t focus on spelling during the listening. You can check the spelling at the end of the test when you transfer the answers onto the answer sheet
- Answers should be in order in the text
- The first 2 sections of the test are easier than the third one so answer the questions in order
- Don’t leave empty boxes. Write an answer even if you are not sure it is the correct answer.
- Read the questions first and then find the information in the texts.
- Keep on talking. The more you talk, the higher the score
- Listen to the questions and make sure you answer the question. Going off topic may mean that you didn’t understand the topic or you are trying to use memorized answers
- Give shorter answers for PART1 and longer answers for PART3
- Make sure you talk about PART 2 for at least for 90 seconds
Focus on improving your skills… not just tips/tricks
Imagine that you are building a house. The bigger the house, the higher the score. How can you build a big house? The answer is simple: by building a big and solid foundation! Will these tricks and tips help you build this foundation? The answer is NO. Grammar, vocabulary, word order help you build this foundation. Once your English level is good, the tips will definitely help you improve your score and not the other way round.
When examiners mark your test, they have to look at all the aspects of your skills. Let’s take for example the writing test. There are four criteria examiners look at:
- Task Response ( did the candidate answer the question, is the format appropriate, is the style appropriate, did the candidate develop the answer appropriately, did the candidate express his/her opinion clearly and draw a conclusion at the end of the task, etc?)
- Grammar (how accurate the grammar is, how complex the used grammar is, etc?)
- Vocabulary (is the candidate able to paraphrase, how wide is the range of language used, is the candidate using any collocations, idioms, etc? )
- Coherence and Cohesion (are ideas organized logically, are ideas connected using different ways of linking them: linking words, substitution, referencing, etc?)
If candidates constantly get 6 or 6.5, this is often because one of these 4 areas needs improvement. Again luck will not help you get a higher score. Understanding what examiners look for in your test is vital if you want to improve and get a high score. The recommendation is to focus less on tips and more on improving your English skills. This will help you get the desired score.
IELTS at Greenwich English College
Knowing the tips about the IELTS test will help you get a good score for their Task Response and maybe for Coherence and Cohesion. However, if you are aiming to get a high score (7.0) both the Vocabulary and the Grammar must be improved. This is the reason why at Greenwich English College we have designed our IELTS preparation course.