IELTS Preparation
Gayathri Gopakumar

Meet Gayathri - a Content Editor at Hotcourses India- an IDP company. A once-international student herself- she loves to research & give insights into the world of global education through her writing. When she isn’t working, you'll find her playing, travelling or binge-watching just about anything.


28 Mar 2019 43K Book icon 5 mins Share

How to prepare for the IELTS

Here’s everything you need to know on how to prepare for the IELTS- from registering for the test to personalised coaching.

28 Mar 2019 43K Book icon 5 mins Share
IELTS Preparation

What is accepted world-wide by more than 10,000 organisations as a means of measuring language proficiency — any guesses? Yes, we are talking about the world’s proven English language test — the IELTS. Co-founded and co-owned by IDP, the IELTS has over 200 test centres across 50 countries. The registration fee for the computerised IELTS test is INR 13,250.

Just last year, we heard that 3 million students flocked from all around the globe to take this test. It makes you stop and wonder what all the big fuss is about, doesn’t it? Keep reading and we’ll tell you.

 *Stick around till the end- we have some EXCITING IELTS updates for you (hint: you can now get faster results)*

Why the IELTS?

Over 2000 universities and also scores of employers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA take the IELTS into consideration. If you want to fly to any of these destinations for your higher studies anytime soon, it’s time to prepare for the IELTS. Taking the IELTS could really open doors for you all over the world.

Interested to know how to get started with your IELTS preparation? Here are a few pointers for you…

Know. It. All.

As the very first step to prepare for the IELTS, we suggest you learn all about the test itself. Go online and visit their official website and read up.

The test is divided into four modules that will test your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Each module will fetch you a certain band score as per your performance. One interesting must-know fact for you — when it comes to the IELTS, there is no pass or fail. Your results will be reported on a     

 9-band scale and will be valid for a period of two years.

Now, a little bit about the modules you will be taking:

  • Listening: This 30 minute-module has four sections and will basically have you listening to an audio recording and have you answer questions from a booklet.
  • Reading: This 60 minute-module comprises 40 questions that will test you on a wide range of reading skills including: reading for main ideas, skimming, reading for detail, and understanding logical argument. It is divided into two versions: the academic and general training versions.
  • Writing: This 60 minute-module too has two versions: academic and general training. The academic comprises two tasks, in short — one: describing a chart or a diagram; two: writing an essay in response to a problem or argument. The general training also comprises two tasks - 1) writing a letter in response to a situation; 2) writing an essay in response to a problem or argument (this one may be a bit more personal than the first one).

Here’s a solid IELTS band 9 essay for your reference.

  • Speaking: This module may last from anywhere between 11-14 minutes and assesses your spoken English skills. This will be nothing but a conversation with a certified IETLS examiner.

The Listening, Reading and Writing modules will come one after the other on your test day. Your Speaking module, however, may be on a different day — mostly either seven days before or after your actual test date.

Time to Go Shopping

Research online and make sure you buy yourself some top study guides fresh from the market. You will not regret investing your money in these, we promise.

Paint yourself a clear picture

We recommend you to get your prep on at least three to six months ahead of time, if not earlier. We know that you want to obtain a certain IELTS band score to get into universities and programmes of your choice. Bear in mind that this test is an overall test of your proficiency in the language so it requires you to be more than just a book worm (you heard right)! Stay 100% dedicated to your preparation, and sharpen your language skills in all methods possible.

Practice away

As you start with the prep, how many hours per day do you plan to spare for all four subtests?

Regular practice is key, but do give yourself a breather; a day off your hectic prep in a week won’t do you any harm. They don’t say that slow and steady wins the race for no reason! Long intervals are not a good idea though.

As you take practice tests, you will notice your areas of weakness that you may need to put some extra time into. Don’t get carried away and put too much time into your weak areas alone. Cover and work on all areas.

How fast are you?

Many a times, we hear that candidates are unable to perform as well as they had hoped to, because time ran out fast in the reading test or their tape was so fast in their listening test. If you are unable to finish your test, it is not the end of the world, as you will only be measured on a scale from 0 to 9, where 0 is for those who did not attempt it. Focus on getting yourself to your best pace in the test — be fast, attentive and sharp. This way, you will minimize your chances of running out of time.

All ears

When you are taking the listening test, keep in mind that the tape is played only once — so it pays to remember what you hear. Pay close attention.

Talk, walk & breathe in English

For acing a test like the IELTS, we strongly recommend you to use English as much as you can in your everyday life. Here are a few simple things you could do that could make a difference:

  • Read up journals, articles, and newspapers and be informed of current events and issues, which may very well turn out to be a topic for the speaking or writing module.
  • Switch on your TV and tune in to CNN and BBC; British movies — that will help.
  • Get yourself used to the various English accents from around the world — the Australian, American, British, New Zealand, and even Canadian.
  • Practice thinking and also speaking in English as much as you can with your buddies and your family.
  • Write emails and letters to practice your written skills and — who knows — you may make a pen pal or two in the process.

Fake accent

What’s important is your pronunciation, not the accent. If your pronunciation is wrong even with a stylish accent, it will still cost you. Stay away from mispronouncing and wrong grammar.

Take the mock

All prepared? Why don’t you give our IELTS mock test a shot for free and see where you stand? This is a great exercise for you to identify your areas of strengths and weaknesses.

Book CD IELTS now

IDP’s Computer Delivered IELTS (CD IELTS) allows you to take up the IELTS on computer instead of paper. You can take up the CD IELTS in centres across cities - including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chandigarh.

Here are a few perks of enrolling for CD IELTS:

  • More test slots: multiple dates and sessions
  • Option to edit answers – re-structuring especially in the writing section
  • With a turn-around time of 5-7 days, CD IELTS give faster results than the paper-based test

Features of CD IELTS centres:

  • Speaking – Certified trainers and specific sound-proof rooms
  • Listening – Noise-cancelling headphones to help listen better
  • Quiet rooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities

Register online for a CD IELTS test slot now!

Rest before D Day

The three tests: Listening, Reading, and Writing Tests are usually held on one morning and with no break — so in other words, you really have to be at your best for quite a considerable amount of time here. This is why we strongly advise you to eat well and get some good sleep before your big day — your mind should be fresh and ready.

What band are you in?

Depending on the university and programme that you are planning to study, you’ll need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 as a minimum.


There are no limitations on how many times you can retake the test but you must apply within six weeks of the test date.

IELTS coaching

We provide IELTS coaching with customisable training schedules for the duration of 30 hours. With 15 sessions of Skype available from Monday through Friday, you can personalise timings that suit you. We assess you with an internal test to gauge your strengths and weaknesses- before starting on the training.

Your future

Our role doesn’t end there. After we help you prepare for the IELTS, we can short-list universities and assist you with admissions; our experts can walk you step-by-step to guide you to a bright academic future.

Help us help you- get in touch with us right away in our chat below.

Preparing for IELTS?

Neha Jain Neha Jain,
IDP Expert
Get personal training from our experts for IELTS. Get in touch with us today.