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how to prepare for ielts

 
 

Types and Sections of IELTS Test:

 
Before your IELTS test you must familiarize yourself with its format. It is really difficult to pass the test without going through this phase.
There are two types of IELTS Test:
  1. IELTS Academic:
  2. IELTS General Training:
Both IELTS test are divided into four sections.
  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking
Listening and Speaking Test for both types of IELTS is same. However, Writing and Reading Test for Academic and General Training is different. Make sure what test you are going to take and prepare according to it.
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them and one Test of Speaking, that is an interview, may be taken 7 days prior or after the usual Test. Your test center will advise you about it. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
 
 

1 -   Listening

 
This test as the title declare is trial of your listening skills. They will check how good you are in understanding verbal communications in English.
 
Format of the Test
 
You will be given 30 minutes for this test. You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions. Remember. Listening test is same for both types of test.
 
Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
 
Recording 2 - a long speech set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
 
Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
 
Recording 4 - a long speech on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
·         Here is complete Detailed Information for Format of Listening IELTS Test.
 
Practice with Sample Questions:
 
They will provide an MP3 Audio file and paper sheets. Each answer sheet specifies which recording to listen to and/or you will be provided a transcript with it.
Following is a Sample Test taken from the official site of IELTS with details so, Pakistani students may be able understand it easily.
You should first open the Answer Sheet, and then start the recording. Then start filling the form as told or when it is better. Do remember, you have 30 minutes to complete all these 4 recordings.
 
Recording 1:
·         Here is an Answer Sheet 1 to Fill, by listening the following Recording.
·         Here is a Sample Recording 1 which you have to listen
Recording 2:
·         Here is an Answer Sheet 2 to Fill, by listening the following Recording.
·         Here is a Sample Recording 2 which you have to listen
Recording 3:
·         Here is an Answer Sheet 3 to Fill, by listening the following Recording.
·         Here is a Sample Recording 3 which you have to listen
Recording 4:
·         Here is an Answer Sheet 4 to Fill, by listening the following Recording.
·         Here is a Sample Recording 4 which you have to listen
 
 

2 -   Reading

 
Format of the Test
 
You will be given 60 minutes for this test. The Reading component consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognizing writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
 
IELTS Reading Academic Test:
 
This includes three long paragraphs that can be descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.  They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
 
IELTS Reading General Training Test:
 
This includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
 
Practice with Sample Questions:
 
Following are a few Sample Questions of IELTS Test for Reading, I took from official website of IELTS and filtered and sorted it for you. Read them carefully and try to solve it yourself. However, answers are also mentioned there.
 
Academic Reading IELTS Sample:
 
·        Academic Reading sample task – Diagram label completion
·        Academic Reading sample task – Matching information
·        Academic Reading sample task – Identifying writer's views
·        Academic Reading sample task – Matching features
·        Academic Reading sample task – Matching headings
·        Academic Reading sample task – Multiple-choice questions
·        Academic Reading sample task – Table completion
 
General Training Reading IELTS Sample:
 
·        General Training Reading sample task – Flow Chart Completion
·        General Training Reading sample task – Identifying Information
·        General Training Reading sample task – Matching Information
·        General Training Reading sample task – Matching Features
·        General Training Reading sample task – Matching Headings
·        General Training Reading sample task – Multiple-Choice Questions
·        General Training Reading sample task – Sentence Completion
·        General Training Reading sample task – Short-Answer Questions

 

                       3 -   Writing

Format of the Test
 
You will be given 60 minutes for this test. It has two writing tasks, you need to describe each in about 150- 200 words in your own wordings.
 
IELTS Academic Writing Test
 
There are two tasks in this test:
Task 1 - you will be given a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words.
 
Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.
 
 
IELTS General Training Writing
 
Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
Task 1 - you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation.
 
Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
 
Practice with Sample Questions:
 
Following are a few Sample Questions of IELTS Test for Reading, I took from official website of IELTS and filtered and sorted it for you. Read them carefully and try to solve it yourself.
 
Academic Writing IELTS Sample:
 
 
Academic Writing IELTS Sample:
 

 

4 -   Speaking

 
 
Last 4th Section of Speaking, tests your ability of conversation. Keep in mind that this test is conducted separately and they may call you 7 days prior or after the other test.
 
Format of the Test
 
In this section they will conduct an interview of 11 to 14 minutes. The Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests. They will check whether you have the ability to convey your message in English or not. This interview consist of three parts.
 
·         In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family.
·         In Part 2, you speak about a topic.
·         In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic.
 
Sample IELTS Interview:
 

 

Join a Course

 
You should join an IELTS preparing course. Such institutes have very experienced qualified teachers who know exactly what your Band is and what it will be. They will specifically highlight every aspect of your English that need more struggle and improve it right according to demand of IELTS.
 
·          [Here is a number of Experienced IELTS Coaching Institutes in Pakistan]
 
 

Recommended Preparation Activities

 

1.     Examine our IELTS practice test papers and answers

2.    Take practice tests under timed conditions.

3.    Practice with the British Council's IELTS online preparation resources, available free when you book your test with the British Council.

4.    Buy IELTS self-study books and materials

5.    Watch English movies or drama seasons without subtitles.

6.    Read as much English as you can. English Newspaper would best to improve your reading skills. You can go online and read Articles, latest news.

7.    Try to be in company of people who usually converse in English. Talk with them in only English.

8.    Learn all rules for writing and practice essay writing. Write on as many topics as you can.