Advice To Follow During Your IELTS Exam

Advice to follow during your IELTS Exam

There is no reason to lose marks by not being prepared.


1. If you have a problem with your headphones, raise your hand right away instead of waiting too long.

2. The same goes for listening modules where no headphones are used. Make sure you can hear the audio clearly. If that is not the case, do not hesitate to raise your hand and request them to increase the volume.

3. By practicing at home you should be able to read through the questions with the time given before the recording starts. This way you know exactly what is asked of you and you can concentrate on the important parts.

4. Keeping number 3 in mind you should listen to find the answers and not to understand everything.

5. Don't waste time and start writing down your answers on your question paper while listening to the audio.

6. Read the instructions carefully and make sure you know how many words you are allowed to use for each answer.

7. After the recording has ended, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet (paper-based version). Check your spelling and grammar.

8. The use of all CAPITAL letters for your answers is recommended.


1. As already listed for listening, make sure to read the instructions carefully and pay attention to how many words you can use for your answer.

2. In case you cannot find a particular answer, just move on to the next one. Don't waste time; you can still come back later.

3. It is your responsibility to keep track of the time, so keep your eye on the clock.

4. Unlike in listening, there won't be extra time to transfer your answers at the end. Write the answers directly to your answer sheet.

5. Before you start looking for an answer, spend some time actually analyzing the questions.

6. One of the many traps students like to fall for is paraphrasing. Just because something is explained in different words than the question, does not mean it is not correct. Be careful!

7. The same as in listening, your goal is to find answers, not to understand the whole passage. Not everything mentioned is of importance.

8. Here it is recommended as well to use all CAPITAL letters.


1. Task 1 should not take more than 20 minutes of your time. Keep track of your time. Task 2 will definitely require 40 minutes.

2. Don't make the mistake of writing less than 150 words for Task 1 and less than 250 words for task 2. Always write a little more than that.

3. In order to fulfill number 2, you need a strategy to count your words without losing too much time. Therefore, count the lines and estimate your word count. Practice this at home.

4. It is recommended to plan your essay before you start writing. You can do this on your question paper since you will not be given an extra paper. Don't worry about the examiner. They will only look at your essay.

5. For task 1 academic, always write a clear overview and for task 1 general, cover all points requested in your letter.

6.  Never ever hand your task 2 essay in, if it does not have a conclusion. No matter how much time is left, use that to write your conclusion.

7. Use body paragraphs.

8. Always check your spelling. Use either American or British spelling.

9. Only use relevant information. Quality instead of quantity.

10. If you run out of paper, don't panic. Just put your hand up and ask for more.

11. Do NOT remove any paper from the exam room. Otherwise, your test might be invalidated.


1. Try speaking English as much as you can before your test. You should be able to express your opinions on different topics and talk about your past experiences.

2. Often people forget that this is not a formal interview like that for a job. Be open, confident and ready to chat.

3. Don't think too much about your answers, answer directly. (Part 1 & 3)

4. Don't answer questions with just one-word answers. Keep talking until the examiner stops you. This is your speaking test after all and you will be marked upon your verbal articulation.

5. Vocabulary is important but not the most important thing. If you can't think of the fancier word to express something, just use simple words. As long as the grammar and pronunciation are correct the examiner won't have a problem with that.

6. As already said, this is not a visa or job interview, you may wear whatever you feel like wearing. However, make sure it is appropriate.

7. Don't talk in only one grammar tense all the time. Switch it up in between to show the examiner that you know what you are doing.

8.  You can use American or British pronunciation. A mixed accent is also accepted.  Your spoken words should be easy to understand, that's what counts.

9. If you don't understand a question asked by the examiner, ask him/her in a polite way to either repeat the question or to explain the meaning of a word that is unfamiliar to you.

10. Being interrupted by the examiner during the test is nothing to be scared about. It's a normal thing and happens to almost everyone. Just focus on what the examiner is saying and continue.

11. During part 2 of your speaking exam, you will be provided with a pen and paper to write down your plans.  The examiner will not look at your plan. You can look at your written plan and cue card during your talk, but don't forget to also make eye contact once in a while.

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