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Preparing to take the IELTS Exam is an essential step towards your goal of studying, living, or working in English-speaking countries.

Before you decide to commit yourself to prepare for the IELTS Exam, it is necessary to understand what IELTS is, what to expect, and its potential benefits.

What is IELTS?

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IELTS or International English Language Testing System is a well-known internationally recognized English proficiency test for non-native English speakers to work, live or study abroad.

IELTS is divided into two – Academic and General.

The IELTS Academic exam is for students who want to study abroad, and the General exam is for those who wish to work overseas.

Every year millions of students appear for the IELTS Exam. Last year, more than 3 million students appeared for the test in various test centers worldwide.

What to expect from the IELTS Exam?

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Both IELTS Academic and General are further divided into Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening.

  • Listening (30 min): The listening section consists of monologues, and conversations between native speakers, and you have to write answers to the series of questions based on the conversation you hear in the audio. It tests your ability to understand main ideas and factual information in the English language.
  • Speaking (14-15 min): The Speaking section is a face-to-face, informal conversation with the examiner. It tests your pronunciation, grammar, and fluency.
  • Reading (60 min): The reading section consists of reading comprehensions and based on that, you have to answer 40 questions. It checks your ability to understand and interpret the text.
  • Writing (60 min): This section consists of 2 tasks – writing task 1 and writing task 2. It evaluates your writing and analytical skills.

Note: The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for IELTS Academic and General. Whereas, Reading and Writing are different.

Marking Criteria:

Task Response (25%)

Coherence and Cohesion (25%)

Lexical Resources (25%)

Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)

Your performance is evaluated in each section of the IELTS Academic and General exam based on the 4 criteria mentioned above. The overall score is the average of these four component scores.

What are the potential benefits of the IELTS Exam?

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The potential benefits of the IELTS Exam are:

  1. It helps you get into international organizations and universities.
  2. Over 10,000 organizations widely accept it in more than 140 countries.
  3. You can be assured that your English language skills are reflected accurately.

Picking up the right study material is crucial for your IELTS Exam preparation process. There are numerous resources available online and offline, but very few of them offer the content which can help you crack the IELTS Exam. Here are some resources mentioned below, which can help you prepare for the IELTS and get you the desired band score.

  • IELTSMaterial offers a full range of study material for both Academic and General IELTS Exam. It provides eBooks and sample practice tests and lessons on IELTS vocabulary and grammar to enhance your test preparation. The site’s self-study guide 2021 includes self-study activities, tips, and tricks, and strategies for each module (Reading, Speaking, Writing, and Listening) designed by IELTS professionals.
  • Another online portal that provides substantial amounts of study material is IELTSLiz. It offers a wide range of tips, tricks, and lessons for IELTS preparation. Besides providing these useful tips, it also provides study material in the form of eBooks for the Writing section of IELTS. It includes vocabulary and essay topic ideas to help you enhance your test-taking skills.
  • The latest edition of Cambridge English IELTS book series 13,14 and 15 carries the latest practice tests with sample answers. It also helps you get familiar with updated IELTS questions and strategies.
  • Barron’s IELTS book is another resourceful book that provides practice test papers to help you with IELTS concepts and questions. It also enables you to develop vocabulary and strategies for writing better answers and improving your time management skills. It is a comprehensive book that covers all the aspects of the test.

Practice tests

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Improving your IELTS Exam score requires a significant amount of time and energy. One way to start is to check where you stand—the easiest way to do this by taking a practice test. Many online portals offer free practice tests. But it is necessary to practice from authentic papers because questions on unrelated topics can confuse you and waste your time. On the other hand, practice tests listed on reliable websites are checked and created by a team of IELTS experts or taken from last year’s actual IELTS papers.

Online Courses

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Many students prefer learning from IELTS experts. The easiest way to find the right course is by attending a free IELTS Demo class. This is one such website that offers free demo classes. They are not just quick overview classes, instead diagnostic tests with feedback. They also give you tips and strategies.

How will study materials help you clear the IELTS Exam on the first attempt?

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Many students take the exam repeatedly and do not take the time to understand where they lag. Taking the IELTS Exam is easy, but knowing your mistakes and correcting them is necessary. If you do not work on these areas, you will always struggle to get a high band. Mistakes are commonly made because the topic was unfamiliar or due to a lack of understanding. Study materials help you prepare by providing tips, strategies, lessons, practice tests, and feedback on your weakness and mistakes, which will improve your test-taking abilities and help you crack the IELTS Exam in the first go.

General IELTS Tips to help you enhance your IELTS band scores.

  • Practice speaking in English daily.
  • Make it a habit of practicing 1 to 2 practice tests daily.
  • Do not just buy the study materials, but make an effort to use them.
  • Improve your lexical resource
  • Concentrate on one task at a time. If you practice reading, practice it well, then move on to the following sections.
  • Make it a habit of reading and following the instructions properly.
  • Proofread your answers before submitting

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