Prepare for your test day

If you want to get the result you deserve, you’ll need to prepare for the test in advance. You should study as much English as possible, but also make sure you know what to expect on the test day. We’ve put together some tips to help you succeed:

Tips for success

  • Make sure you are familiar with the test format so that you avoid any surprises on test day.
  • Practise sample questions and check the assessment criteria used for IELTS.
  • Record yourself speaking English or doing practice IELTS speaking tests. Then listen back to check when you hesitate, when you repeat words, when you make grammatical errors and when you might be speaking too quickly – these are the four key aspects of the speaking test.
  • Underline the key words in the questions during the Listening, Reading and Writing tests: be sure you know exactly what needs to be included in your answer. Make a plan for your Writing answers before you start as well. 
  • Learn and identify synonyms (different words with the same meaning). In the Listening and Reading tests you will often notice a key word in the question, then see/hear a different word with the same meaning in the text – you need to make these connections. Using synonyms is also useful in the Speaking and Writing tests to show the variety of your vocabulary.
  • Check your answers carefully in the Listening and Reading sections. Ensure you have followed the instructions, otherwise you may lose marks.
  • Get a good night’s rest before the test, and make sure you arrive at the test venue in plenty of time. Arriving late will not help you perform to your best.

For more advice and information, you can read our IELTS test day advice.