Tips for Speaking
The Speaking part of the test have been changed on July 1, 2001. It is now made up of three parts :-
In Part 1 the candidate answers general questions about themselves, their homes/ families, their jobs/studies, their interests, and a range of similar familiar topic areas. This part lasts between four and five minutes. In Part 2 the candidate is given a verbal prompt on a card and is asked to talk on a particular topic. The candidate has one minute to prepare before
speaking at length, for between one and two minutes. The examiner then asks one or two rounding-off questions.
In Part 3 the examiner and candidate engage in a discussion of more abstract issues and concepts which are thematically linked to the topic prompt in Part 2. The discussion lasts between four and five minutes. The speaking part is usually a conversation about you, your plans for the future, your past studies, the reason for which you are taking the IELTS,
your country, your town. Therefore be prepared for these subjects. You should prepare something to say about them. In addition, the examiner will show you a card with an argument you are supposed to discuss about. The thing you have to remember is: use easy words and expressions if you are not very confident and everything will go well. To be able to communicate what you think is far more important than doing it with a perfect English
accent. Therefore, don’t wary if your pronunciation is not exactly a British one. That’s not the main point. Your understanding of what the examiner says and the ability to communicate without grammar mistakes is more important. The conversation lasts usually 15-20 minutes and will be recorded. Don’t panic about that!!
Tips for Listening Exam
Tips for listening part
The IELTS listening part is RELATIVELY easy but this does not mean that you take it lightly and do not prepare for it.
1.The questions are in SETS and you hear tape recording for one set at a time.
2. Glance through the SET of questions for which you will be hearing the tape.
3.Read the questions & find out what SPECIFIC information is required (name, place, date, number etc)
4. Circle key words (Clue/trigger words)
5. When the tape plays listen intently when you think your
specific information will come.
1. Kevin is arriving London at __________
2. Dave will be waiting for Kevin at __________
3. Kevin will be wearing a ___________
4. Dave will be accompanied by ______________
5. Kevin is coming for______________
It is obvious from above that the key word for 1 is at & you will be writing TIME.
In 2 you will write a PLACE. In 3 CLOTHES, in 4 PERSON ACCOMPANYING DAVE & in 5 PURPOSE of visit. So you have already guessed what to listen for!
Listen to English program on RADIO at least half an hour a day. Two things are important; RADIO not TV, because TV is visual & scenes & visuals easily distract us. The next
important thing is LISTEN & not just hear!
Tips for Writing
The writing part
The writing part has two tasks: minor & major. The minor task should be done in 20-25 minutes. Usually three things asked in the minor task;
1. Object (eg a cycle is shown & various parts are labeled)
2. Process (eg the various ways in which solar energy is used)
3. Data; (graphs of all types eg line graph, bar graph, pie charts, tables etc)
For data one have to write;
1. Introduction (what it is about do not copy the question what. Use your imagination & write in your own words what the data is about)
2. Then in the next Para write three things, this is very important.The three things are General trend, Comparisons, differences.
3. In the last Para write conclusion. Use pencil to write & take with you a new good quality eraser & sharpener. Write at least twenty words more than required. This way examiner gets an idea that you are confident & can write.
IELTS – Tips for the Listening test
Answer all questions. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
Read the How to prepare for IELTS – Listening test manual at the Hong Kong City University site to familiarize yourself with the test, the types of questions that are asked and strategies for answering them. To get an idea of how this kind of test is conducted, you can try doing the practice tests at Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab . The accent is American so it does not approximate the actual test very well. Still, it is useful practice for this type of test.
Practise doing the 4 listening tests in the book — Cambridge IELTS 3. It helps a lot. It is the closest you can get to the actual test. At the center where I did the test, each of us was given cordless headphones to listen to the recording. This feels very different from
listening to the conversation over speakers. Check with the British Council at the time of registering for IELTS if these will be used for your test. If yes, it might be a good idea to do the practice tests at home using headphones.
Keep all your attention focused for the half hour or so that the test lasts. A lapse of concentration can make you lose the sequence of answers and panic sets in fast.
The test consists of four sections. Sections 1 and 3 are dialogues and sections 2 and 4 are monologues. There are 40 questions to be answered and the test lasts for 30 minutes. Ten minutes are provided at the end of the test to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
Pay special attention to the dialogues sections (Sections 1 and 3). I found it more difficult to focus on these and the conversation tends to be faster than a monologue (Sections 2 and 4).
At the beginning of each section of the recording, time is provided to read the questions. Use this time to read the questions pertaining to that section (the voice on the tape tells you how many questions to read ) and underline key words in each question on the question booklet like “when”, “where”, “who” and “what” which tell you what to listen for. Time is also provided at the end of each section to check your answers. Use this time
also to read the questions for the next section.
Read the questions carefully. If the question says mark the answer as A, B, C or D on the answer sheet, make sure you don’t write the phrase that A, B, C or D correspond to. Just write A, B, C or D. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer, writing 4 words will get you no marks for that question. IELTS tips listening IELTS help all about exam help now
The answers usually appear in the conversation in the same order as the questions. The speakers often correct themselves. They will say something initially and then change the statement. For example, “we will go in March” is said first and then “No, let’s make it May”. The correct answer is the final statement i,e. May and not March. Watch out for this and make sure you write the final correct answer. If you miss an answer, don’t panic. Keep listening for the next answer. Write your answer immediately on the question sheet itself. Don’t try to memorize the answers or to write on the answer sheet. The ten minutes
provided at the end of the test are quite sufficient to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
IELTS Tips for General
Success in the IELTS exam requires a candidate to know the test format and the specific techniques for answering questions. Make sure you are fully equipped with this knowledge. ( Please see Resources on the Internet and Books )
Don’t believe people who tell you that IELTS needs no preparation if your English is good. Even if it is, you still need to learn the right skills for the test. I would suggest a period of two weeks as preparation time, though this would vary depending on your level of familiarity with English. The test fees are high and if you don’t get the band score you need, you have to wait for three months before you can take the test again. Like in all other exams, practice is the key to doing well in the IELTS. Make sure you have plenty of it before you appear for the test. Answer all questions. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
Preparing for the test
Start by familiarizing yourself with the test format. Then read the online resources I have suggested. After that you could start with Step Up to IELTS to build the basic skills that you will need to do the test. Lastly, go on to doing the 4 tests in Cambridge IELTS 3 under test conditions. This should get you ready to take on the IELTS. The British Council offers preparatory courses for IELTS. A placement test is held first to assess the candidate’s level of English. This costs Rs 400/-. A four day intensive course is held before the date of the test. This costs Rs 5600/-. If you can afford the fees, the course might be a good idea as it gives you an insight into IELTS along with lots of practice. I think it would not help those whose level is very poor (possibly they would not do well in the placement test itself) or very good (they may not need the course). It would be most useful for those who lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Make sure you have visited the venue of the test a few days before the test date. Arrive at least half an hour earlier than the reporting time specified. Arriving late could send your tension levels soaring and the exam requires you to be absolutely relaxed and ready to give of your best.
There is no break between the four components of the test. This means that for around 3-3.5 hours, you can’t eat, drink or visit the restroom. However, water was provided in the test hall where I took the exam and students were allowed to visit the restroom, but only while the test was in progress ( not in the period between different modules ). Since time is