How Can I Practice For The British Council And IDP IELTS Test?

The IELTS exam is an international English language proficiency test, that gauges a student’s ability to perform well in 4 areas, i.e. listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is jointly owned by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and the IDP, and is offered in over 130 countries, including Singapore. The test does not have a passing score and test-takers are given a band score ranging from 1 – 9. Each band represents a particular level of language proficiency, with 9 representing the highest possible score (an expert user of the language). Preparing for the IELTS exam can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially if you are unaware of what skills you need to focus on. In this article, you will learn about the best methods to practice for the IELTS exam.

Before we begin, I would like to talk about the best time to start practising for both the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training  Many students confuse preparation with practice. These are not the same things. Preparing for the IELTS exam involves learning about the test format and skills needed to perform well in each component. For example, to score well in the IELTS writing task, one of the skills you need to possess is a good practical understanding of grammar to produce error-free sentences. No amount of essay writing practice will suddenly improve your grammar skills. Once you are confident with the skills you have learned during your IELTS preparation, you can start practising.

IELTS Exam Reading And Listening Module Practice

Try to read as much English content as you can in the form of books, magazines or articles. When you read something in English, you can also practice skimming the texts at the same time. You can also find websites that have  IELTS related reading material, or topics that interest you and use these to practice the skills of skimming and scanning. These are reading skills which are valuable for all IELTS Reading test questions. types. Try watching movies in English every night and surround yourself with English language news and songs to improve your listening skills. You could also try to summarise what you have heard. 

IELTS Exam Writing And Speaking Module Practice

The topics for the writing and speaking sections of the IELTS exam often overlap. A good way to practice for these 2 tasks is to practice answering questions from authentic IELTS practice materials offered by the British Council, IDP and Cambridge. Since both of these tasks involve producing language, it is very difficult to for second language learners to objectively assess their own answers. 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 on them as well.

Take A Practice IELTS Test

Taking an IELTS practice test under strict IELTS Exam conditions will help you to familiarize yourself with the test format and structure. This will help you get to know what it feels like to take the reading, writing and listening tests consecutively You will also get the added benefit of being able to gauge your current level of test readiness.

It’s extremely important to use authentic IELTS Practice or training tests, in order to get a realistic idea about your actual level of proficiency. It is important to use a practice test in which you’ll find questions that reflect exactly what you’ll see on the screen, on test day. This should give you a good idea about how the test is laid out.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.