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Best IELTS Tips

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:06 pm
by FastTrackIELTS
Hi everybody,

Let's use this page to post your favourite IELTS tips. What has helped you to pass your exam? Post your ideas here.


Read the instructions and questions carefully before you listen.
Try to get an idea of the situation. Who are the speakers? Where are they? Why are they speaking?
Remember, you will only hear the audio once. You will need to read, write and listen all at the same time.
Listen for 'signpost words' such as however, although and finally. They help you to anticipate what the speaker will say.


Skim through each text to try to get a basic understanding of what it is about. What is the text about? Who was it written for?
Carefully read the title and any sub-heading.
What is the main point of each paragraph? Each paragraph contains a single main idea. The questions will focus on these main ideas.
Remember questions appear in the same order as the answers in the text.

Re: Best IELTS Tips

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:13 am
by FastTrackIELTS
Writing Task 1 Tips

Spend 20 minutes on Task 1 (150 words) and 40 minutes on Task 2 (250 words). Task 2 is longer than Task 1 and is worth twice as many marks.

Before you write

Read the task and make a mental summary of the key points and overall trends/stages.
Why? Because if you misinterpret the data or diagram, you will lose a lot of marks for content.

As you write

Introduce the information, in a sentence or two, using your own words.[/b]
Why? Because if you copy the question, the examiner will not count these words.
Summarise the key points and use data to illustrate these.
Why? Because you will lose marks if you miss key points or fail to illustrate them.
Include an overview of the information - either in your introduction or conclusion.
Why? Because you will lose marks if your answer does not contain an overview.

How you write

Try to show that you can use your own words (wherever possible) and a range of grammatical structures.
Why? Because you will get more marks for vocabulary and grammar if you can do this.
Divide your answer into paragraphs and use linkers to connect your ideas.
Why? Because you will get more marks if you can organise your answer well and use a range of linking and reference words.

When you have finished

Count your words to make sure you have written enough.
Why? Because short answers lose marks. (There are no extra marks for long answers.)
Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Why? Because mistakes in these areas can reduce your marks.

Re: Best IELTS Tips

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:31 pm
by FastTrackIELTS
Listening Tip
In Section 1 of the IELTS listening exam, you may have to complete a form. Normally, each answer is one or two words.

In Section 1, the information is factual; for example, dates, telephone numbers and places.

Reading Tip
In the IELTS Reading exam, follow the instructions carefully. In tasks that ask you to summarize, the following instructions apply:

1) You are told how many words you can use in your answer.

2) Numbers can be written using words or figures. A number or symbol counts as one word.

3) Hyphenated words count as single words.

Writing Tip
In Academic Writing Task 1, don’t forget that you are not expected to give your opinion on the information you are given.

You should merely describe the information factually.

Speaking Tip
In IELTS Speaking exam, when you have to answer questions in Part 1, think for a moment before you respond.

You can use conversation fillers such as, “Let me think for a moment” or “What an interesting question!”.

Re: Best IELTS Tips

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:49 am
by FastTrackIELTS
Advice from an IELTS student:

1. Focus more on your areas of weakness. I had some difficulty with reading, which is why I devoted more time to it.

2. I also paid more attention to both the listening and reading skills, because they will be graded objectively. The writing and speaking are both subjectively graded, you may not know what you will get regardless how much you prepare.

3. Time is your greatest enemy. Practice answering the reading passages within the allotted time limit, because 1 hour may not be enough to answer 40 questions.

4. In the writing part, always do task 2 first because it bears more marks than task 1. Also practice finishing essays in less than 1 hour.

5. When doing sample drills, always train yourself to follow instructions.

6. Always build up your stamina, try doing a simulation exam, wherein you have to answer 3 modules (listening, reading, and writing) continuously within 2 hours and 40 minutes.

7. On the night before the test, have a good night’s sleep, for it can help you concentrate on the day of the test.

8. Eat your breakfast in the morning before the test; you might fail to concentrate when you are hungry.

9. The speaking test is the most difficult part for me, so try to do “one on one” with a friend or a mentor. Simulate what happens in sections 1-3 of the speaking test. It helps you build your self-confidence.

10. Lastly, what really helped me a lot in the speaking test was the feedback from other test takers. Gather some information on what came out as their questions, and try to formulate your own answers.