IELTS Preparation – Self Study Advice

Top Tips

Know the exam
It is crucial to know what comes where in the exam and what to expect. Learn the order of the papers and the type of question to expect in each paper.

Think before you write.. and after!
Plan your work before you write. The structure of you writing is as important as the content! Try to stick to the suggested time limits but leave time at the end of the test to check over your work. When you write quickly and under pressure it’s easy to make silly mistakes.

Analyse your mistakes
Take the time to analyse your mistakes. If you take a practice test look where you dropped the most marks and see if there is a pattern when you have taken several exams. This will help you pinpoint exactly what skills you need to develop.

Remember general English too!
IELTS can be extremely narrow in terms of its focus. Exam strategies and technique is incredibly useful but you will need to have a solid foundation of English so you can deal with whatever may come up in the exam.

Study the right words
Focus on the Academic Wordlist – this is a list with the most common words in academic English. These are generally the type of words you will need to know for the exam.

Learn more than one word
When you learn a new word learn the collocations and other words in the word family. Learn which affixes can be used with the word and learn any synonyms or antonyms as well.

Read intelligently
Start by quickly skimming the text and thinking about the topic and style. When you read don’t waste time thinking about the meaning of every word you don’t know – it might not be important.

Useful websites

Books to buy:

Vocabulary for IELTS
Grammar for IELTS
IELTS Advantage Writing Skills