A famous quote says that – “Procrastination leads to creativity”. If your preparation time for the IELTS has been cut down for some reason, its time for you to get creative to score well.
Apart from locking yourself in a room with a 10-day food and water supply, here are 10 secret tips to help you get creative and get going to achieve an acceptable band. And yes it has been done before
1. Day 1 – Get a reality check
It is easy to sit around and get lost in the dream of enjoying a foreign nation. But to get there you need a good score. Take a mock test, do a toe-dip test and analyze your weakness to identify the sections you need to work on.
2. Day 2 – Get your material/research/help in place
Before you start studying it is important that you find reliable sources. There are multiple websites that will claim to have helped candidates score a dream band 9 in 15 days but can you really understand what they are saying?
If the answer is no, we suggest you move on instead of trying to figure out what is being said. Each person has a way of absorbing information, dedicate your precious time to finding that for yourself rather than struggling for the next 8 days.
Also, this would be a good time to recognize if you need professional help or not. 10 days is not enough to go from a Band 6 to Band 9.
In the IELTS Exam 4 skills are tested – Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. So, it is crucial that the next 4 days be dedicated to deciphering the structure and understanding the question pattern for each of these tests.
3. Day 3 – Reading Test
For the reading test particularly, do the following:
- Develop the art of skimming, scanning and reading with agility. This will help you locate answers faster
- Read the questions and the instructions really well in order to not miss the finer details
- Understand ‘paraphrasing’ and ‘rewording’ as it is a commonly tested skill when answering in the IELTS reading section
4. Day 4 – Listening Test
The listening test includes listening to 4 audio clips and answering questions on the go. For this section particularly, practice the following:
- Take note of the questions quickly before the audio clip begins, look for the keywords in the questions
- Develop the art of writing down answers while continuing to listen
- The answers are presented in a sequential fashion. If you miss answer 3 and have answered 4 already, then you can forget about getting back to the right answer. There is no repetition of the clip
- Train yourself to get over the panic of missing an answer as it can be a detriment to all the upcoming questions
- Get used to the accent, BBC radio should come to the rescue here
5. Day 5 – Writing Test
This test will have 2 tasks requiring you to write 400 words in total, in 40 minutes. Keeping the following in mind should help you score better
- The type of questions vary slightly and can look like they are asking your opinion but are actually asking you to discuss both sides of an argument. This is a more common mistake than you think. Practice understanding the question fully before you begin.
- This is a subjective section, one where there really isn’t a right answer. We suggest you get a third person or a professional to review your writing
- Work on building a skeleton for each type of essay that you may encounter
- Practice breaking your thoughts into paragraphs, a minimum of 4 – An intro, primary thought, secondary thought and a conclusion is a must
6. Day 6 – Speaking Test
This test requires you to answer the examiners for 10 to 15 minutes. There will be 3 different types of questions and here is what you could practice:
- Work on not just what you are saying but the pronunciation as well as the sentence construction
- Look at yourself in the mirror when you are speaking, observe your body language and stance. Work on developing a confident style of speaking and sitting or standing
- Work on a vocabulary list for each probable topic. For example, to be able to talk about your pet, the list should look like this: Pets, canine, dog, cat, tricks, breed, lineage, origin, diet, emotional bond etc.
- This is again a subjective section. We suggest you seek professional help if possible
7. Day 7 – Identify your weaker sections again
Dedicate this day to analyzing mistakes that you make repeatedly. You will be able to identify your weaknesses better. Go through all the tests that you have taken so far and find things you need to immediately work on.
8. Day 8 – Work on specific skills
You will realize after day 7 the areas that you lack in. Whether it is on building a decent vocabulary or your writing skills. You could also spend this day taking professional help and asking an expert to review your progress and suggest quick ways to improve. Dedicate this day to uplifting your weaker points and fine-tuning your strategy for the IELTS.
9. Day 9 – Take multiple tests
Once you work out a strategy for taking the exams, it is best to test it. Use this day to take as many full-length tests as possible and working on identifying the sections that you have made progress in. This step is very important to build confidence and to enter the correct mind space before entering the exam hall.
10. Day 10 – Review your journey
Now that your 10-day journey has come to end, dedicate this day to reviewing and reiterating the lessons that you have learned so far.
This day should include making sure you are fully aware of where you stand, having a fully developed exam strategy. This will give you the confidence to walk into the exam hall fully loaded.
11. Bonus tip for managing distractions
Since you have very little time in 10 days, here’s how you could manage the all too common wandering minds
- If you feel like listening to music, tune into British radio channels particularly BBC radio. This is excellent practice for getting used to the accent.
- If you feel like reading, read up blogs on the kind of articles that you would encounter in the reading test
- If you feel like picking up your phone, then play word games that help you discover new words and build a vocabulary.
We have tonnes more amazing exam tips that will help you get your dream band. Check them out.