14 May 2019


I know that most people dread taking the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System. I took the exam as one of the first steps in getting a job overseas. Here are my general tips on taking the IELTS. 

1. Schedule the exam. Booking or having an exam date will give you the needed pressure to prepare for the IELTS. Preparing for a longer time will make you complacent. So, I suggest that you give yourself a MAXIMUM of 2 MONTHS to review, this should be more than enough. 

2. I don’t recommend enrolling in a review center since you can find most of the materials online. You may also ask your friends who have IELTS materials. ieltsbuddy and ieltsliz are great IELTS resources for Writing and Reading. Cambridge on Youtube has practice tests that are very effective. 

3. Practice as much as you can. Don’t be discouraged if you get low scores on your first try. Instead, let this motivate you to do better next time. Expose yourself to English news channels, movies and newspapers. Personally, I made it a habit to watch CNN and BBC. 

4. The Listening Test is the easiest part. So spend more time in Writing and Reading. For the Speaking Test, there are actual video recordings in Youtube. I also suggest that you practice with someone who has taken the exam. When answering the Listening and Reading tests, use CAPITAL LETTERS. 

5. Familiarize yourself with the exam venue, especially the route you’re going to take to avoid being late and wear comfortable clothing on the exam day. Most venues are air-conditioned and they can be very cold. Bring a jacket or wear a sweater. 

6. Many Filipinos believe that taking the exam outside of the Philippines will get you higher scores. But I don't think that this should be the case. If you have prepared enough, whether you take IELTS here or outside the Philippines, you will definitely ace the test. PREPARATION IS KEY!  

7. There are a lot of techniques you can use for each part of the test. Master one or two approaches. Having more than that might only confuse you. (This is similar to Tip #1.)

8. If you feel like your penmanship is hard to read, take the Computer Delivered Exam instead. One advantage of this type of exam is, it already counts the number of words which is necessary to both parts one and two of the Writing test.

9. IELTS was originally developed for high school students. So, most of the questions are easy to understand and interpret. Don’t get into your head and doubt yourself. 

10. PRAY! Hardwork and Prayers go together perfectly. These will give you the confidence to take the IELTS. 

I hope these 10 tips will help you get the scores that you need. Remember, we reap what we sow. If you have prepared for the exam, there is no way you are going to fail. 

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