IELTS Exam – How not to sweat it and how pass with flying colours

ielts exam

IELTS exam ? If you’ve decide to study abroad or to get a job, you might have come across the common IELTS test which is a requirement among many universities and workplaces worldwide for non-native English speakers. 

It might feel daunting to sit the exam since you probably would like to score well in the test in order for your university or job applications to go smoothly. 

Many international students are worried about not scoring well in the IELTS exam and it’s often considered a tough task to sit the test, however if you are prepared it doesn’t have to be that difficult after all. In our IELTS preparation guide we’ve listed everything you need to know to prepare for the IELTS exam. Good luck! 

What does IELTS stand for, and why do I need it?

It is one of the world’s most recognised English language tests, and stands for the International English Language Testing System, which most international students from non-English speaking countries who decide to study or work overseas must take. \

Why do I need to sit the exam? Well, simply because this test helps to demonstrate the fact that you are able to understand and also speak English fluently, which is a necessary aspect when you are applying to study at an English-speaking university. 

There are two different types of IELTS exams

It’s worth noting that there are in fact two different  IELTS exams – one is Academic and the other one is general. Essentially, they are the same IELTS tests, but they have different purposes. The academic IELTS is taken by international students who would like to apply to and complete a university degree at an English-speaking university. The general IELTS on the other hand, is usually taken by people who want to go abroad to fo work or to migrate temporarily.

How is the IELTS test divided and what do I need to prepare?

The IELTS exam is divided into four sections including; listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It’s important to be familiar with all four parts to ensure you are sufficiently prepared. For the listening section you will have 30 minutes to complete 40 questions related to four recordings of native English speakers including conversations between people set in an everyday social setting. The reading part consists of 40 questions and you have 60 minutes to read through three long texts and answer questions about them and also fill in any blanks. It’s important to understand the time constraints here and ensure you have practice to read fast.
study ielts exam

The writing part consists of 2 questions where you are asked to describe summaries or explain information in your own words. You are also asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The test is 60 minutes long. 

The final part of the IELTS exam is the speaking part where you need to demonstrate that you can speak fluently and naturally. The test runs for 11-14 minutes and you will be examined on your verbal communications skills. You wil be presented with a task card which asks you to talk about a particular topic, including points to include in your talk. You will be given one minute to prepare and make notes. You will then be asked to talk for 1-2 minutes on the topic. You will not be interrupted during this time, so it is important to keep talking. 

Key things to consider when studying for the IELTS exam

Firstly, ensure you are property prepared. This means studying as much as you can before the exam covering all the four parts of the test. This will reduce your risk of being surprised or underprepared. At the end of the day, it’s better to know what to expect than not. 

Secondly, don’t be afraid to reach out and get help from someone who’s already sat the exam or perhaps a teacher or tutor at your current school. There are even online courses you can sign up for which will help you to practice for the exam. 

Part of being prepared is also to do ‘test runs’ before sitting the actual exam. It’s important to not get nervous and also to ensure you are aware of the time restrictions, in other words, you need to work through the questions fairly fast. By doing several test runs you will get a good understanding of how much time you can allocate to each question which will prevent you from ‘getting stuck’ mid-exam or fail to complete the exam. Also, an important thing to know is that the exam won’t mark you down for wrong answers, so it’s better to answer every question although you might not be 100% sure of the answer, instead of leaving it blank.

Lastly, the key to successfully sit the exam is to ensure you have good enough English language skills which includes both your vocabulary but also your ability to understand the spoken language and, of course, flawless grammar. Although you might find it slightly odd to practice the vocal part you really should, since it will help you come across as more confident when you speak in the test and also help you to perfect your pronunciation which is very important. 

And whilst studying for the exam try not to stress too much. It’s important to keep calm during the exam and by preparing as much as you can prior to the test you are increasing your chances to pass the exam with flying colours. We wish you the best of luck! 

Book your Student Accommodation

Once you’ve successfully sat your IELTS exam, decided on the university and city you would like to study in, it’s time to find the perfect student accommodation for you. At we help international students find their student accommodation whether it’s student housing, student rooms, or luxury student accommodation. From cosy lofts to private rooms or entire studios and apartments there are plenty to choose from. Take a look at our range of accommodation options to make it easy for you to find the accommodation of choice. Our booking process is easy and our friendly customer support team is always on hand if you need assistance or have any questions.

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