IELTS is an English language proficiency test. Therefore, the best way to start preparing for it is by inculcating the habit of speaking and writing in English. Hailing from India, we often think and communicate in our mother tongue. Many times, we also translate our thoughts into English. By doing so, we commit errors. Exact translation and lack of practice of speaking in the English language can be troublesome. Thus, begin your IELTS preparation by communicating in English with your peers. Unlike any other competitive examination, you can self-study and continue your IELTS preparation at home. This blog will help you map a good IELTS exam preparation plan.
The Complete IELTS Exam Preparation Strategy Without Coaching
The first step towards IELTS self preparation is to understand every section of the paper and know the IELTS test.
Let’s discuss some of the ways to pursue the IELTS Academic preparation at home -
Understand your IELTS test: Knowing the nuances of the test will help you stay on track to prepare for the IELTS English test.
Know the different sections and question types: Understand the Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing sections of IELTS and also, check out the types of questions you are likely to answer. By doing so, you will be able to answer questions swiftly and with ease.
Read: Make it a habit to read newspapers, magazines, journals and novels. Also, study the English grammar books to tweak your grammar and writing skills.
Engage in English-based activities: Have some fun-scrabble time with your friends and family or spend some time on the Yocket Flashcards app. Adapt to the engaging method of play-way learning.
Take at least 15 IELTS practice tests: Taking as many practice tests before your actual IELTS test is an amazing way to master your paper. This will get you used to listening mindfully, speed-reading, writing with a flair and speaking with confidence. Each of these activities will make you successful.
Practice speaking/interviewing with peers: Conduct mock interviews with a friend. Discuss general topics, allow your audience to observe your style of presenting facts, thoughts and opinions. Discuss if your expression on the subject matter is apt.
Watch cross-cultural movies: Movies are great teaching tools. They help you pick up on accents and dialects. The influence of culture, geography and the tribe of the population reflects directly in the movies. Thus, watching cross-cultured movies, or movies based in a particular set-up will help you gauge tones, accents and the style of speaking.
Use adjectives and verbs: A major part of the IELTS Writing, Reading and Speaking test requires you to describe situations, answer questions with blanks, sentence corrections and more. Thus, testing your hand on a few adjectives and verbs can come in handy.
Practice an effective introduction: As a part of your Speaking test, prepare a fun descriptive introduction for yourself. Talk about your interests, passions and ambitions. Express yourself well.
We’ve now discussed how you can prepare yourself for the IELTS test at home. However, to present you with insights on preparing for each of the IELTS sections, let’s delve deeper -
How to Prepare for IELTS at Home - Section Wise?
Study abroad aspirants are supposed to take the IELTS Academic test. The test has four sections. Each section of IELTS contributes to your total score.
Each of the IELTS tasks are different and so, you must gauge how to prepare for each of them. Let’s deep dive into discussing them:
How to Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test?
In the IELTS Listening section, you will need to listen to four recorded audios carefully and answer the questions that follow.
To prepare for the IELTS Listening section:
Cultivate the habit of making quick notes, mind maps and picking on pointers to answer.
Hear every word carefully.
Exclude all distractions and assumptions.
Answer questions with the required number of words.
Prepare yourself well with spellings and punctuations.
How to Prepare for the IELTS Writing Test?
For the IELTS Writing section, you have to compose two well-written essays. Make sure as a student you’re preparing yourself with the IELTS Academic Writing section.
In the first task of the Writing section, you’re required to write a description of a situation, image, process, graph, or chart.
For this section, learn adjectives
Learn to form easy descriptive sentences.
Practice writing about 150 words in 20 minutes.
Polish your writing skills.
Work on your spellings.
For the second task of the Writing section, you are expected to present an informative discussion in the form of an essay. Along with writing on the topic, you will have to present pointers and your views on the requested subtopics. To prepare for this task,
Read and practice writing lengthy essays.
Time yourself and compose 250 words in about 40 minutes.
Keep a check on your grammar, spelling and punctuations.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
How to Prepare for the IELTS Reading Test?
Read the given IELTS passages to answer the questions. Reading comprehension questions requires you to understand, interpret and comprehend answers.
To prepare for this section of IELTS, Practice speed reading.
Keep your eyes open while reading the passages to gauge answers immediately.
Read newspaper articles, magazines and journals.
Keep an eye out for punctuations and understand the text appropriately.
How to Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test?
For the IELTS Speaking task, an examiner will interview and assess you. Your communication skills will be tested. Your English speaking ability, sentence formations and narratives display a key role. The IELTS Speaking task is a face-to-face interview with an examiner. Therefore, present yourself well. Be professionally dressed. Carry yourself with etiquette.
Speaking of preparing for your talk, you must:
- Prepare a creative introduction to describe yourself.
Practice posing your views in a polite manner.
Participate in discussions.
Introspect and form your views on current affairs.
Inculcate the habit of politely greeting your interviewer.
Don’t forget to work on your body language. Body language is an important form of communication. Thus, make sure you’re carrying yourself with utmost decency.
Before wrapping up this article, one last thing we’d like you to stay aware about are the recommended books for preparation of IELTS at home -
Suggested Books to Prepare for IELTS at Home
- Barron's IELTS Superpack
- The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
- Cambridge IELTS 16 Academic Student's Book with Answers with Audio
- Official IELTS Practice Materials
- Check Your English Vocabulary for IELTS
- Focus on IELTS Foundation: Foundation Coursebook
- Collins English for IELTS
- Success to IELTS: Tips and Techniques
- Cambridge Grammar for IELTS
With proper resources to study, and a relentless passion to crack the IELTS Academic exam, you will be able to make it to your dream course eventually. In case you too face some of the pertinent questions posed by aspirants, scroll through the list below -
Commonly Asked Questions About Preparing for IELTS At Home
Q. What is the ideal IELTS preparation time if I study at home?
A. You should invest at least about 3 - 6 months time to prepare for IELTS. By investing more time in your preparation, you will be able to practice to a great extent and can be certain of achieving a good IELTS score.
Q. If my basics are clear, do I still need a good IELTS test preparation?
A. Yes. You are required to polish your basics, attempt ample amounts of practice papers, feel confident and only then go for the final test.
Q. What will I miss out on if I don’t go for coaching for IELTS?
A. You don’t need to miss out on anything by preparing at home. All that is expected of you is to self-evaluate constantly. This will keep you in the game and you will stay objective about your preparation.
To thoroughly prepare yourself for the IELTS test you must work hard and prepare smartly. Each of the sections of IELTS i.e., the Writing, Listening, Reading and Speaking come together as your gateway to a good university abroad. Thus, put your effort and polish your English language skill. A few hours of preparation per week reflects a drastic leap in your IELTS score. Hence, we urge you to prepare yourself for the IELTS.
All the best for your IELTS test!