Acing IELTS

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GETTING STARTED

Computer-based or paper-based? I would personally suggest taking the computer-based IELTS. It is easier, word count as you type (for Writing test), you have privacy (you get a cubicle with a PC & noise-cancelling headphones), smaller crowd; and the best part: you get your results faster — often within 5–7 working days.

PREP: READING TEST

☐ Learn how to skim and scan a passage to look for the main ideas: you can underline the key points (for computer-based tests, you can highlight them)

PREP: LISTENING TEST

☐ Know the format

  • Section 2: talk by one speaker on a general topic
  • Section 3: discussion between two to four speakers on a topic related to academics
  • Section 4: lecture or talk by one speaker on an academic or study-related topic

PREP: WRITING TEST

☐ Know the format

  • Task 2: written argumentative piece on a given topic (250 words)
  • Body: Key points in the next 2–3 paragraphs. Use linkers to connect your ideas
  • Conclusion: Include an overview/summary at the end
  • Suggestion: spend 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2

PREP: SPEAKING TEST

☐ You may be asked about anything — so have an “idea bank” prepared

  • Personal experience: accomplishment, habit, project, struggles, events

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Lynn Zulkarim

Lynn Zulkarim

Personal musings of a Malaysian in London