How to prepare for IELTS Exam

IELTS or “International English Language Testing System” is the most popular and widely accepted English proficiency test that is required for approving many visa applications, getting admission to overseas universities, international jobs and for many home country jobs as well. But clearing IELTS especially with a higher score (band) like 8 or 9 is tough, isn’t it?

So, Dd you need to pass the IELTS test but there is not much time to prepare for it? Don’t worry, in this article, I am going to tell you how you can get a great score in IELTS within just a week of preparation. So, without further ado, let’s get started.


IELTS coaching from a reputed institute costs anywhere between $200 to $500. Some students can’t afford these heavy fees and as a result, they are unable to join classes. Now, the big question is:  Is it possible to prepare for IELTS at home without a teacher and all that stuff. So, let me just tell you the good news is “YES” you can always prepare for IELTS at home and you can get good results.

How to prepare for IELTS Exams?

Before moving ahead, it’s wise to get an idea about the format of the IELTS exam. Watch this video to know about different sections of IELTS exam, time duration and questions format –

6 easy steps to prepare for the IELTS exam at home:

  1. Know the basics of IELTS before starting for its preparation. You should clear your basic terms like what is IELTS, types of questions, sections.
  2. Set a goal. For eg: if your score is 6.5 with normal vocabulary set it to 7.
  3. As you are preparing at home then you must have proper practice material. First, follow official practice material i.e. Cambridge 1 to 12, you can easily get it from the market and then switch to another practice material.
  4. Proper practice-stop testing, start practicing especially speaking. Work on random topics, improve your weak zone, try to use a new word, new structure.
  5. Grammar is very important in the IELTS exam. You must focus on grammar.
  6. Improvement-improve your performance and monitor it day by day. You can practice your skills with many free IETLS tests either directly from or from any other website such as – British Council, Mini-IELTS, etc.


  • Evaluate yourself: The first thing you should check is where you stand at English proficiency. So, use any of the above listed free IELTS practice test websites, take their online test and see where you stand. Set your target half band higher than your required band. For eg., if you are looking for 6.5 prepare for 7. It is needed to set your band score now.
  • What you need to do is to read the band description which is given on Google just go to goggle and right there IELTS writing task: 1 band descriptor IELTS writing task, 2 band descriptor. Then evaluate yourself how much you know, what the level of your English is in comparison with the band score you require.
  • What to do for Listening and reading skills: There is no band descriptor for listening and for reading because it has different criteria. The general tip goes is to keep your pronunciation as clear as possible, add a good amount of connectors and don’t just answer the question that’s being asked, give proper reasoning on why you chose the answer.

Steps to improve Reading for IELTS:

  • In order to improve reading, you have to add reading to your lifestyle. Try to read English magazines, English books, some websites where they have given the details in English, try to read some novels. If you are a generally reading IELTS candidate then I suggest you should read about social affairs, about society’s workplace and job. If you are an academic IELTS candidate then you must read about science, technology, research innovation animal environment transport and all that stuff you should read about according to your gender.
  • Buy Cambridge IELTS books from the market or you can get them from Google, Amazon, etc. Take the reading test and at the end check your answers, write the correct answers and then see why my answers were wrong. If it takes one hour to take the one reading test, put another hour to recheck and for debriefing to just make sure, why your answers were wrong?
  • There are the answers to those questions, check which were wrong, what mistake you have done, where the answer is in the paragraph. Scan it. If you answered a question as false but it is true then why it is false, search the sentence that proves this is true so go on. With reading like this, believe me, it will improve.

How to improve Speaking for IELTS

You can get your speaking evaluated by any teacher or you can ask any class fellow or anyone who is taking IELTS or anyone who is good at English. You can just ask them, can you please evaluate my English and tell me what is the mistake and problems now. Once you are done with this and then you understand current problems and improvement factors of your English speaking. If you are required band 5 and your target is a minimum of 6 so you have to prepare for 6.5 to avoid any risk for your IELTS exam.

You should join some podcasts, some websites or even BBC, otherwise, collect valuable material.

English Speaking

Improve listening skills for IELTS

If you have access to internet and most probably everybody has, every day you must try to take two listening tests and not together at the same time. One in the morning and once at night. The question is where you find these tests. Then you can easily find these days on youtube. Otherwise, take the print out for doing the listening practice. Mark answers on the answer sheet so that you have the real feeling and check your answers and then through the band calculator, you understand where you stand.

Improve writing skills for IELTS

For writing, you must be a good reader of essay reports or letters. If you are a general training IELTS candidate, adopt a habit.

First, read an essay, read the topic, visualize the topic see what sort of information you have. If you have this essay what would you write? Then check what sort of words are used, what type of vocabulary is used, and see paragraphing how many paragraphs, what is the language for cohesion/coherence,  how the introduction is written, how heading is written, how the conclusion is written, how are structuring. I mean observe everything and then rewrite the essay. In the same manner, rewrite one report every day.


Do 20 essays, 20 letters and 20 reports like this and then write these things 21 times without following the steps. After that, just write directly now you have a big bank of vocabulary, ideas and knowledge on how to organize, structure, type of essay paragraph.

Recheck your score on the online IELTS practice paper, when you are totally confident, you can apply for IELTS exams. If you’re still not feeling enough confident, watch this video of Adrian from India which has scored IELTS band 9 score and follow the tips & advices which are being told to boost your IETLS score in the video-

Charu decided to unite her Honors Degree in New Media and lifetime of geekiness to pursue a career in tech and gaming journalism. You can usually find her writing about a variety of topics and drooling over new gadgets and games.