An IELTS simulation test is a practice test that mimics the exact conditions of an actual IELTS test. It should have the same structure, difficulty, grading and timings as the IELTS test.
Simulating test-like conditions can help improve your stamina, pacing, and understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. It is an essential step in any test taker’s IELTS exam preparation and something which I often encourage my students in Singapore to do. In this article, I will help you to identify the features of a good IELTS simulation test and how taking these tests helps you achieve a higher band score in your IELTS exam.
Free vs Paid For Simulation IELTS Tests
From my point of view, although a number of free practice materials and resources are available online, it makes better sense to go for a paid package,
Remember there are often unseen reasons as to why some resources are offered for free. These websites might just be clickbait, with no real value in terms of IELTS material. Most free IELTS resources are written by second-language speakers, who don’t really have a good enough grasp on the English language themselves! It’s important to do your research before choosing which IELTS sample test to take
What Are The Characteristics Of A Good IELTS Mock Test?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a mock test, and here are a few important ones that You should consider:
Full-length Mock Tests
Make sure that you use tests that have exactly the same format as the real IELTS test. This means that your simulation test should have the correct amount of questions and in the correct order. This will help familiarise yourself with what to expect during the test.
Genuine IELTS Questions
Make sure that you always practice with official IELTS Practice tests, from trusted sources. Using practice tests from reliable sources like the Cambridge Practice Tests or the IDP and British Council websites is important because there are far too many free fake tests and practice materials which can give an incorrect impression of your actual level of preparedness for the IELTS test. Remember there is most probably a reason why these resources are free
Question and Answer Details
Make sure that you take a simulation test that provides you with detailed answers at the end of the test. This will help you to identify the types of questions you might unknowingly struggle with.
Most reputable mock tests offer the added benefit of providing an analysis of your answers. An analytical report is an essential feature of a good IELTS mock test and can help with improving your skills in the areas where you failed to score well. If your main reason for taking a mock test is to improve your band score, then make sure that you take a mock test with a detailed analytical report, instead of simply giving you the answers to the reading passages and listening practice test.
Certified IELTS Examiners
The IELTS exam is marked by expert examiners that are certified by the British Council and the IDP. They have been trained to identify certain levels of language proficiency. When you write your practice test it is important to get feedback from an IELTS professional who understands what the examiners will be looking out for during the test and has loads of experience in the field of IELTS training. As a second language learner, it would be very difficult to score your writing and speaking practice test on your own in an objective manner. This is where having a trained IELTS professional tutor comes in handy. Not Only will an IELTS lecturer be able to tell you about the estimated band scores for your practice answers but they will also be able to help you improve them as well.