Preparing for the IELTS Reading
To prepare for the IELTS Reading you will need to be aware of the information in the video above and familiarise yourself with the text types. You will learn more about the following skills and strategies in the online course we offer on our website.
Skills for the IELTS Reading
Part of Speech – a word that falls into the one of the following categories: verb, noun, pronoun, determiner, adjective, adverb, conjunction or interjection.
Key word – an important word in the task, this could be a missing word you have predicted, or word you will look for in the text.
Skills before Reading/Listening
Pre-reading – the time you have before reading the main text when you can implement test-taking skills.
Pre-listening – the time you have before you listen when you can implement test-taking skills.
Prediction – making an educated guess based on the context or task before reading/listening to information.
Skimming – reading a text quickly to get a general idea of the meaning.
Scanning – looking for specific information in a text.
Reading for detail – reading a text in-depth to understand both the meaning and language on a sentence-level.
Gist listening – listening to understand the general meaning rather than trying to listen for specific information.
Detecting signposts – noticing important cohesive structures in a listening or reading that indicate a change (e.g. however, even though, despite).
Noticing linkers – identifying cohesive structures that provide organisation to a text (e.g. firstly, in addition, until).
Note-taking – recording information beside the text or on a piece of paper for reference at a later point.
Preparing for the IELTS Listening
The video above will explain the overview of the IELTS Listening. You will be presented with the same information in the IELTS Listening whether it is the Academic or General Listening test.
You will need to learn the same strategies as you employed in the Reading above and be familiar with the various exam strategies needed to score highly, these include, most noticeably, 'noticing distractors'.
We would recommend watching the multiple-choice listening section in our online IELTS preparation course for more information on how to notice distractors and not select the incorrect answer.
Feel free to download our Top 10 IELTS Reading and Listening skills infographic below to help you study for more IELTS Listening and Reading Preparation.
Preparing for the IELTS Speaking
In order to prepare for the IELTS Speaking you will need to be familiar with what the examiners are grading you on. We go through the criteria in the video above and the IELTS Speaking criteria can be downloaded for free here. Speaking Marking Criteria Full.png
We have highlighted the parts that we think are important for you to note when looking at a Band 6 score v a Band 9 score in the IELTS Speaking. You will be marked on:
Fluency and coherence - generally how well you speak and can be understood. This focuses on your development of a topic or idea and how you express this when speaking. You will need to be understood and connect your ideas effortlessly.
Lexical resource - This refers to use of language generally. You will need to use important IELTS Vocabulary appropriately and naturally. This includes the phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions found in our downloadable book.
Grammatical range and accuracy - this is how well you use grammar and how effectively you use it. If you use grammar incorrectly or only use a few select tenses then you may not be able to reach a Band 9.
Pronunciation - the examiners want to be able to understand you. You don't need to speak in a perfect British or American accent, but correct uses of words like 'can' will count in your favour when used correctly.
Preparing for the IELTS Writing
The writing overview above refer to the IELTS General Writing only. There are two tasks you will need to complete.
The most important things to keep in mind when doing the IELTS Writing is that you will need to be aware of register and language.
Register refers to the use of approriate terms for the audience you are writing for. You wouldn't start an email to a university professor with 'Hey, what's up?' and you wouldn't end an informal message with 'Yours faithfully'. Awareness of register is explored in our course and you will need to understand how and when to use it. You will be given free downloads to see model answers for different registers and tasks for more practice.
Language is quite a broad concept, but in this context we mean use of paragraphing structures, indicators of expressing a new or different opinion, use of grammatical structures and variety of voicabulary. If you can meet those criteria then you should achieve highly on the test.