10 IELTS Study Tips

 10 IELTS Study Tips You Can Try EVERY DAY

It is important to study every day before your test. This is especially important if you are working and preparing for the IELTS test at the same time. Make every minute of your day count!

Here are some of my top tips for succeeding at IELTS:

Continue reading for 10 top tips...

1. Bribe your Colleagues!
Try to find a regular study partner who you can speak English with at work. Offer to buy a colleague a rice box if they practise English with you in exchange.

2. Talk to Yourself!
Practise speaking whenever you have 5mins. Practice when your friend is late for lunch (ask the waiter for some paper and practise preparing for Part 2 speaking or Task 2 writing). Practise while your dumplings are boiling in the pan! Practise while you are waiting for the bus.

3. Carry a (paper!) notebook EVERYWHERE!
Write down vocabulary for review and add new words and example sentences EVERY DAY. Read it for review whenever you have 5 mins. Test yourself.

4. Organise your Time!
Plan your IELTS study. Make sure you include a range of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening study, as well as Grammar and Vocabulary. Use an online calendar to plan and set reminder alarms to make sure you achieve your goal. Dont forget to do some REVIEW once a week.

5. Put Down your Smart Phone!
Checking what friends are up to on Facebook is great fun, but think about this:
 2 hours per day using your cellphone = 14 hours per week. 
That is 56 hours per month! 
Did you know that improving 1 band (i.e. from 6 to 7 in either Speaking, Reading, Writing or Listening) should take around 100 hours of study? 
Just by practicing instead of playing Angry Birds you could reach your target score! 
(If you must use social networks, write your comments in English!)

6. Talk to your Pet!
No one to speak English to? Why not talk to your dog or cat (or fish!) in English? You can get some free practice (good for intonation and fluency especially) and your pet will love you whatever language you speak to it. Aw, cute doggie!

7. Read a Newspaper Once a Week.
Don't read it all. Don't try to understand every word. Just read some of the titles (headlines) and find a few stories you are interested in. Not interested in an article but you already read half of it? No problem, have a look at another article. You already understood the main idea here, right? (Good for understanding general ideas).

Now write a list like this:
  • Find five countries
  • Find five names of famous people
  • Find five currencies (types of money)
  • Find five words you don't know (but look useful)
  • Find five ....... (fill in your own ideas)
Now try to find the things in the newspaper as quickly as you can! Make a note of your time and try to break your record next week! (This is good for practicing finding information quickly for the Reading test.)

8. Cover your Walls!
Find, print and cut up useful phrases, ideas, facts, tips that are useful to remember for IELTS. Stick them up ALL OVER your apartment. On your TV, on the telephone, on the fridge, in the bathroom, on your mirror. It might drive you crazy, but you will remember them if you look at them frequently every day. Move them around or change for new things to remember after one week.

9. Practise while you Travel 
Do you travel to work or school by scooter? How much time do you waste at red lights? Stick some vocabulary on your scooter and try to make sentences every time you need to stop. Some lights in Taiwan take 90-120 seconds to change. That is enough time to practise a Part 2 Speaking topic!

Take the MRT or Bus? No problem. Look around at posters, signs or hoardings with English words. Try to use the words in a new sentence.

10. Remember to Take a Break from IELTS
Watch a movie. Listen to some music. Go out for dinner. Sure, you deserve it... but...
  • Watch a DVD movie in English with the subtitles turned OFF.
  • Listen to music with words in English (British or American is fine).
  • Eat at a western restaurant and ask for an English menu!

Some of these tips may be more realistic than others. Some you might think are a bit silly! However, try to make the most of your time before you take the test to maximise your chance of achieving your goal!