IELTS for Study

The Academic module is ideal if you want to study at undergraduate/postgraduate level or for professional registration. The General Training module is normally taken by those who want to migrate to an English speaking country or study at below degree level. If you’re still unsure, we advise you to check with the institution you’re applying to.

IELTS is an international English test that covers all major varieties of English (American, Australian, British).

A wide range of topics are covered and they are relevant and accessible to those wanting to study at university level. No specialist knowledge is required.

Yes. You can find free samples on the official IELTS website: http://luyenielts.net/


Listening

DO

  • Listen carefully to the introduction to each section. This will give you useful information about the situation and the speakers.
  • Use the time at the beginning of each section (and in the middle of Sections 1–3) to look through the questions and think about the topic.
  • Read the instructions for each task carefully. Remember to check the maximum number of words allowed.
  • Write all your answers as you listen – remember, you won’t hear the recording a second time.
  • Check that what you write makes sense in the context.
  • Pay attention to any examples that are provided.
  • Keep to the word limit: if you are asked for ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS’, for example, then do not write more.
  • Try to answer all the questions, even if you don’t feel sure about an answer – you may have understood more than you think.
  • Transfer your answers at the end of the test. You have 10 minutes for this, which is plenty of time.
  • Write clearly when you transfer your answers. If an answer isn’t clear on your answer sheet, you will lose the mark.
  • Check your spelling (and grammar, where necessary).

DON’T

  • Don’t worry if you have to cross out or change an answer.
  • Don’t panic if you miss one question. Look ahead and concentrate on the next one.
  • Don’t try to rephrase what you hear. Write down the words you hear which fit the question.
  • Don’t write more than the maximum number of words or letters allowed for each answer.
  • Don’t copy any words that were printed before or after the gaps on the question paper when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
  • Don’t write more than one answer when only one is required. Even if one of your answers is correct, you will not receive a mark.
At the beginning of each section you will hear a short description of the situation you are about to listen to. This may give information about who the speakers are, where they are and what the general topic is. This description is not written on the question paper, so it is important to listen carefully.
Yes, there is time to look at the questions before each set of questions. The voice on the recording will tell you which questions to look at.
Yes, there is an example at the beginning of Section 1. The recording relating to the example is played twice.
You will hear each recording ONCE only (other than in the example at the beginning)
Yes. This is true for all question types in IELTS Listening.
There is a pause between each of the sections. Also, there is one break during Sections 1, 2 and 3 to allow you time to look at the following questions. However, there is NOT a break in Section 4.
You will hear a range of English native-speaker accents on the recordings (for example, Australian, British, New Zealand and North American speakers).
Yes. You will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar. However, words which you have to write will usually be common words. Both UK and US spellings are accepted. When you hear the name of a person, place, company, etc., in the recording, it may be spelled out.

Reading

DO

  • Keep an eye on the time and take care not to spend too much time on any one text or question. Remember that you only have 60 minutes to answer the questions and to transfer your answers onto your answer sheet.
  • Start at the beginning of the test and work through it. If you cannot do a particular question, leave it and go on to the next. You can then return to that question later, if you have time. Put a mark next to this question on the question paper so that you can find it again quickly.
  • Answer as many questions as you can.
  • Look carefully at the title of the text and any subtitles and illustrations it may have. You can get a quick idea of what the text is about from these.
  • Read the instructions for each set of questions very carefully. It is important to do exactly what you are asked to do.
  • Skim the questions, where appropriate, before reading the text so that you have a purpose for reading.
  • Read through the text quickly so that you are familiar with the topic and how it is developed in the text. An understanding of the text structure can be very helpful when answering the questions.
  • Look at the dictionary definition, if one is provided, to help you understand unfamiliar words.
  • Pay attention to any examples that are provided.
  • Keep to the word limit. If you are asked for ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS’, for example, then do not write more.
  • Copy words accurately from the text. Spelling mistakes will mean that you will lose the mark for that question.
  • Make sure your answer is grammatically correct where you have to write your answer in words, e.g. short-answer questions, sentence completion, summary completion.

DON’T

  • Don’t waste time reading the whole text each time for each set of questions. Remember that many task types ask you to locate or check details in the text. In cases like this, you need to skim quickly through the text rather than reading it all carefully.
  • Don’t go back to the beginning of the text for each question when you know from the task type that the answers will come in the order of the information in the text.
  • Don’t become anxious if there are questions you cannot answer. Leave them and move on to the next question. You can always come back to the ones you couldn’t answer at the end of the test, if you have time.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t understand every word. It may not be necessary to understand all the words in order to answer the questions correctly.
  • Don’t forget that you must write your answers on your answer sheet. You will NOT be given extra time to do this at the end of the test.
  • Don’t write more than one answer when only one is required. Even if one of your answers is correct, you will not receive a mark.
You must put all of your answers on an answer sheet during the 60 minutes allowed. You may write your answers on the question paper first, if you like, but the examiner will not read these. No extra time is allowed to copy answers to the answer sheet.
All the words you will need in order to answer the questions will be given in the text. Remember to transfer your answers to the answer sheet with care. You will lose marks for poor spelling and grammar.
You have 60 minutes to read three texts and answer 40 questions. You should spend about 20 minutes on each text. Make sure that you do not waste time worrying about questions you can’t answer – use your time sensibly to read what you can and answer as many questions as possible.

Writing

DO

  • Read all of the information in the questions very carefully and respond appropriately.
  • Follow all instructions, including the number of words that you need to write.
  • Finish Writing Task 1 after about 20 minutes to allow enough time to answer Writing Task 2.
  • Remember that Writing Task 2 carries more marks, so you need plenty of time to answer it.
  • Make sure that for Task 1, you use figures or data from the visual information accurately.
  • Plan your ideas before you begin to write. For Writing Task 1, locate and select the most important pieces of information first. For Writing Task 2, take time to organise your ideas and argument.
  • Provide supporting evidence for any of your claims or views in Writing Task 2.
  • Leave time to check your answers for careless mistakes at the end. Try to check for spelling mistakes, verb and subject agreement, singular/plural nouns, tense mistakes and problems of fluency.
  • Make sure all your ideas are relevant to the question.
  • Try to avoid repeating the same words and phrases too often. Try to use a range of vocabulary.
  • Make sure that you do not repeat the same idea too often – explore different ideas to provide a wellbalanced response.
  • Write as clearly as possible.
  • Produce organised and linked paragraphs and make sure that the style of your language is academic.

DON’T

  • Don’t write less than the required number of words.
  • Don’t use note form or bullet points.
  • Don’t leave out any required information.
  • Don’t waste your time learning essays by heart to use in the exam. You will be penalised for this and you will waste valuable time that could be spent developing good writing skills.
  • Don’t simply copy words and phrases from the question paper – try to use your own words at all times by paraphrasing the question.
Write your answers on the Writing answer sheet. You will not get any paper for making notes, but you may write notes on the question paper. The examiner will not see these.
You can write in pen or pencil, but you must write clearly. You may erase/cross out and change parts of your writing, but you must make sure that your work is easy to read.
You will not automatically be penalised if all your letters are capitals. However, remember that punctuation is assessed in the Writing test and you may be penalised if it is not clear to the examiner where your sentences begin and end.
Yes. You must write at least 150 words for the Task 1 question and 250 words for the Task 2 question. If you don’t write enough words, you will be penalised.
No. You will not get any paper for making notes, but you may write notes on the question paper. The examiner will not see this.
No. Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.
You have 1 hour to write your answers for the two tasks. It is your choice how you divide this time. However, remember that Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score – so you may wish to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. You should plan your work carefully before writing, and you should allow time to check your writing after completing a task or at the end of the test.
In Task 1, you need to describe the visual information and present this information in an organised, coherent way. Therefore, you need to write an introduction, although this can be very short. Also, a short summary of the main trends or features is a good way to finish. Remember that you do not need to guess about the reasons for things in Task 1. (For example, do not write I think this is probably because …)
There is no separate assessment for introductions and conclusions. However, if you do not write an introduction and conclusion, you may be penalised under ‘Task response’ and/or ‘Coherence and cohesion’.

Speaking

DO

  • Talk to the examiner – you will feel more involved in the conversation.
  • Listen carefully to the questions you are asked so that your answers are relevant.
  • Answer the questions with some detail so that your answers are long enough.
  • Practise speaking for 2 minutes for the long turn in Part 2.
  • Use the preparation time in Part 2 to think about what is written on the card.
  • Use the instructions and prompts on the card in Part 2 to help organise your long turn.
  • Practise ways of delaying answers to give yourself time to think in Part 3.
  • Explain your opinions and give examples to support them.

DON’T

  • Don’t learn answers by heart..
  • Don’t give very short answers, except when the examiner asks you questions at the end of your long turn. At this point, the examiner needs to move on to Part 3 of the test and only expects short answers to the questions.
  • Don’t talk about something different from what is on the card in Part 2.
  • Don’t worry if the examiner stops you in the Part 2 long turn. It means you have spoken for 2 minutes. The examiner has to keep to the timing of the test.
  • Don’t write on the Part 2 task card.
  • Don’t worry if you realise you have made a mistake. It is OK to correct yourself. If you can’t correct yourself, forget it and carry on.
  • Don’t ask the examiner if what you say is correct...
You can only take your identity document. The examiner will give you everything you need in the test.
The recording is needed in case your performance needs to be re-marked
The topics are carefully chosen to reflect common experiences, so you don’t need special knowledge to talk about them..
Yes. If you don’t need the whole minute, you can begin speaking when you are ready. However, it is a good idea to use all of the preparation time.
No, making notes is just an option. Some candidates prefer just to think about what to say, whereas others find that making notes helps them to organise their ideas and to keep talking.
You will have the opportunity to talk for 2 minutes. You should try to talk for the full 2 minutes to give the examiner a good sample of your English.
You should tell the examiner that you don’t understand. In Parts 1 and 3, the examiner will be able to repeat the question. In Part 2 you should look carefully at the task card because you may be able to guess the meaning of a word you have not understood. In Part 3, the examiner will be able to ask the question in a different way, or may be able to help you to understand the question.
No, the examiner is not allowed to give feedback, and you should not ask them to do so.

IELTS for Work

The Academic module is ideal if you want to study at undergraduate/postgraduate level or for professional registration. The General Training module is normally taken by those who want to migrate to an Englishspeaking country or study at below degree level. If you’re still unsure, we advise you to check with the institution you’re applying to.

IELTS is an international English test that covers all major varieties of English (American, Australian, British).

A wide range of topics are covered and they are relevant and accessible to those wanting to study at university level. No specialist knowledge is required.
Yes. You can find free samples on the official IELTS website: http://luyenielts.net

Listening

DO

  • Listen carefully to the introduction to each section. This will give you useful information about the situation and the speakers.
  • Use the time at the beginning of each section (and in the middle of Sections 1–3) to look through the questions and think about the topic.
  • Read the instructions for each task carefully. Remember to check the maximum number of words allowed.
  • Write all your answers as you listen – remember, you won’t hear the recording a second time.
  • Check that what you write makes sense in the context.
  • Pay attention to any examples that are provided.
  • Keep to the word limit: if you are asked for ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS’, for example, then do not write more.
  • Explain your opinions and give examples to support them.

DON’T

  • Don’t learn answers by heart..
  • Don’t give very short answers, except when the examiner asks you questions at the end of your long turn. At this point, the examiner needs to move on to Part 3 of the test and only expects short answers to the questions.
  • Don’t talk about something different from what is on the card in Part 2.
  • Don’t worry if the examiner stops you in the Part 2 long turn. It means you have spoken for 2 minutes. The examiner has to keep to the timing of the test.
  • Don’t write on the Part 2 task card.
  • Don’t worry if you realise you have made a mistake. It is OK to correct yourself. If you can’t correct yourself, forget it and carry on.
  • Don’t ask the examiner if what you say is correct...

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