How well do you know the IELTS Test?
I’ve been a teacher of English since 1994 and a tutor of IELTS since 1998.As you can imagine, in that time I’ve been asked just about every question thereis about the English language and the IELTS test. One question, however, thatalmost all students, whatever their nationality ask me, is
‘How do I get a higher Band Score?’
Well, where do I begin? Academic or General? Which skill; reading, writing,listening or speaking? I’m going to ‘begin at the beginning’ with some generalhints that anyone can put into practice straightaway.The first thing to do is to educate yourself about the exam; I have taught manydifferent exam classes in my teaching career, not only IELTS but also CPE, CAE,FCE, PET and KET. One thing I have always believed is success is any test (notonly an English language test) is made up of two factors; how well you know thesubject matter and how well you know the test.In the case of IELTS, this means that a good result is obviously based on your English language level in each of the four skills; reading, writing, listening andspeaking but also on how well you know the test.So what do I mean, ‘
How well you know the test’
? I don’t mean you can predictwhat questions you will be asked or that you can memorise large amounts of information to reproduce during your test. The bank of IELTS questions is huge,which makes predicting the questions impossible and large chunks of memorisedinformation might even lose you points.What I mean is to educate yourself about the layout of the test; learn how longeach paper is, how many sections it has, how many questions you have toanswer.The IELTS Speaking Test and the IELTS Writing Test are marked by a certifiedexaminer who has been specially trained to mark these parts of the test. TheIELTS assessment criteria are confidential and do not leave the test centre, theofficial IELTS website,
, does, however give some indication of what they contain.Click
for the public version of IELTS Speaking band descriptors.Click
for the public version of IELTS Task 1 Writing band descriptors.