Taking an IELTS mock test can be a useful indicator of how you will perform in an actual IELTS exam, but there are quite a few other reasons why taking a practice test can be useful. In this article, we will learn how to use mock tests to help with your IELTS preparation. I’ve compiled this information during my many years of experience teaching in Singapore and it is useful for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests.
When Should You Take A IELTS Mock Practice Test?
I recommend two specific instances to take a practice test. You should take a practice test before you even start preparing for the exam. Doing this will give you a good idea about what your actual level of language proficiency is. Many test-takers often severely underestimate the difficulty of the IELTS exam and they also tend to inflate their English language capabilities. Taking a practice test can help overcome this biases and assumptions so that you can get a better idea about how to move forward with your IELTS preparation.
Once you are familiar with the strategies and skills required for either the IELTS test, you can use mock tests can help you to check whether your preparation has been effective or not. Taking regular tests can also help you improve the time it takes for you to complete your tests.
The more tests you take, the more familiar you become with the types of tricks the examiners often include to throw students off. Regular practice under exam conditions can help you overcome these particular issues so that you can complete your IELTS test with ease.
What Should You Look For In A Good IELTS PracticeTest?
An IELTS mock Test is a test that should mimic the exact conditions of a real IELTS test. This means that an IELTS mock test will have the same structure, timings, difficulty and question types as a real exam
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. I’ve often come across free model answers which claim to be of a band 8 or 9 level, that are actually quite poorly written. Remember there is most probably a reason why these resources are free
Where Can You Find Good IELTS Practice Tests?
Most reputable online preparation courses do offer practice tests with provisional test result band scores. They also offer the added benefit of providing an analysis of your answers and help with improving your skills in the tasks where you failed to score well. As a second language learner, it would be very difficult to score your writing or speaking test on your own in an objective manner. Even just having the answers to the reading passages and listening tests would not be enough to help you figure out where your comprehension skills are lacking. This is where having a trained IELTS professional tutor comes in handy. Not only will an IELTS lecturer be able to tell you about your estimated IELTS score but they will also be able to help you improve it as well.