The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

8 ways to pass IELTS

Taking your IELTS this year? Want to know how you can do well? Read our guide to find out..

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IELTS can be the most of most non-English speaking international students worldwide. For a non-native speaker, it can be quite hard to grasp the language and pass the test, let alone ace it. Don’t worry. There have been so many students before you faced with the same problem and have done well. We’ve shortlisted 8 tips on how you can prepare for this test.


1. Find someone who can teach you the English language

If you’ve already got a rudimentary grasp of the English language, then you may skip this step. If you’re completely new to English, it is best that you find someone to help you. Your tutor doesn’t need to be a native speaker or even highly qualified, as long as they are able to help you understand the language. If you’re running low on budget, there are several online websites where you can learn English online with the help of a tutor, or even simply downloading instructional videos and audiobooks will get you used to the language.


2. Learn from your mistakes

This might come across as common sense, however, quite a lot of people tend to forget this. Making mistakes, is not a problem, it is repeating those mistakes that will cause you your grade. If you’ve hired a tutor, get them to tell you what your mistakes are so that you will remember. If you haven’t, all those practice tests and exercises have answer sheets, do the same test more than once. The first time you do it, check and read the corrects answers to the questions that you got wrong. Then do the test again.


3. Make sure that you answer all of the questions

During the exam, nerves might make you forget to check and double check if you’ve answered all of the questions. Remember to look through the paper carefully and answer any questions that you might have overlooked.


4. Languages are harder to master than other theory-based subjects

This does not mean that they are impossible to learn. Just that they take a longer time for you to learn. Theory-based subjects allow you to memorize facts and figures that you can then spout during the exam. While you can memorize what certain questions mean in IELTS, you can’t really memorize the answers. Thus, ample practice is KEY. Beware of tutors that claim you will only need two weeks to ace the exam, especially so if you’re new to the language.


5. Don’t practice blindly

Quality trumps quantity. It is not just the amount of questions that you do, but you need to ensure that the quality of your writing improves along with the number of questions. Learn how to write effective paragraphs and coherent sentences. These are valuable skills that will make a difference between passing or acing the test.


6. Don’t memorize, learn

It is awfully tempting to look up sample essays or sample speaking questions (and the model answers) and simply memorize them. Don’t. Chances are dozens of candidates before you have done the same thing with varying degrees of success. Is it worth risking your grade? Rote learning does not work in language exams because the questions rarely ever stay the same. The chances of you making mistakes are higher because it is harder to remember something that someone else wrote.


7. Pick up general English

IELTS topics tend to be a little specialised. Don’t just limit yourself to those topics. Expanding your vocabulary will go a long way in your performance. Watch more English-language shows to familiarize yourself with the correct pronunciation. Be pro-active about your learning. Think of the kinds of things that you would like to express in English and search for these words in English. Find friends who taking the IELTS or someone else who is fluent in English to assess and correct your pronunciation. Studying abroad in an English-speaking country means you will need to know basic English and phrases to get around. 


8. Learn the exam format

There are different parts to the IELTS exams, understand and get used to their formats so that they won’t seem foreign to you and add more pressure during the exam.


Other parts of IELTS

How to prepare for the IELTS speaking test

IELTS reading

IELTS listening

IELTS writing

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About Author

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A fan of anime and all things Japanese, Khai has been writing professionally since 2010 and “unofficially” for much longer. In her free time, you will often find her baking, reading, travelling and doing everything else in between.

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