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How difficult is the IELTS test? Here’s how to make it easier


Many people are asking themselves if IELTS has gotten more difficult over the years. The answer might surprise you.

While there are a handful of other English language proficiency tests out there, the IELTS is the test that is accepted by governments and organisations in more countries worldwide than any other test for migration.

As such, you’ll want to put your best foot forward to get the band score you desired. Ready to start preparing? Read on to find out how you can achieve your desired score!

Preparing for your IELTS test - 5 ways to get the score you want

1. Get familiar with the components of each section


The truth is: the IELTS test has not become more difficult over the years. It might be a matter of perception, especially if you find yourself completely clueless and caught off guard on the actual test day. Many examiners and students recommend preparing yourself months before the examination and not waiting until the last minute.

This way, you give yourself ample time to review as well as retain everything you’ve learned and practiced over time.

How to deal with it: Take practice tests, try them out, and know them like the back of your hand

Taking several mock IELTS tests is one of the best methods to familiarise yourself with the test components.

The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to identify both your strengths and weaknesses in order to create a plan on how to improve. Acing your IELTS test doesn’t have to be a difficult chore!

2. Complete the test within the allotted time

The last thing you want to do is to hand in an incomplete test paper. Some students suffer from poor time management due to either a lack of preparation or spending too much time and energy in the wrong places for different test types.

With so many different components to take note of, you’d think it would be impossible to stay on track and finish everything on time. But the IELTS test isn’t as difficult as you might think.

How to deal with it: Take practice tests within an exam-like condition that is timed

Mock or practice tests give students the opportunity to practice under timed conditions, which would give them a general feel of what to expect during the test day itself.

For instance, if a student takes a mock reading test and notices that they have spent too much time re-reading a specific portion of text, they’d then know not to do this on the actual day and scan through it instead.

3. Stay mentally fresh


News flash: being too affected by certain questions, test types, and previous mock test answers will not get you anywhere. If anything, it will prevent you from keeping your mind sharp and mentally fresh.

How to deal with it: Understand your weaknesses and practice key sections or formats more

Instead of lingering over past mistakes on your practice tests, use this chance to better identify and understand areas of weaknesses, then practice even more. It’s just as they say: practice makes progress!

IELTS isn’t getting more difficult, all you need is to have ample preparation.

4. Get ample rest

While preparation and practice are key to acing the IELTS, you should never underestimate the importance of good rest before an examination.

Being physically and mentally exhausted from all the revision can really take a toll on you and affect your overall performance on examination day.

How to deal with it: Get ample rest the day before the test and free your mind from stress.

Remember to give your body sufficient time to recharge and for your mind to take a break from all the information you’ve been retaining.

Students often think they should be using every available minute until the test to revise, revise, and revise. In reality, all this causes is burnout and a lot of unnecessary stress.

Instead, use the one or two days before the exam to take a break from all the studying.

If you really can’t keep your mind off of it, go through your notes and merely skim through but don’t do any heavy lifting; give your body and mind the rest it deserves. IELTS isn’t as tough as it might seem.

5. Prepare for each specific part of the IELTS test

There’s a lot that goes into the IELTS test that you must be aware of. First of all, you should know there are two test formats: Academic and General training. They both have the respective Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking papers.

While it is a lot to take in, make sure that you prepare for each specific part of the IELTS test. That’s why it’s important to have access to all the available preparation materials that you could need.

Here are a few that will certainly be useful to you.

Ready to take your IELTS? Book your test with IDP today

The IELTS test doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you’ll be able to breeze through it with our strategies, as well as with enough practice and being familiar with the test format.

Now that you’re equipped with tips to ace your IELTS, it’s time to book your test.

Besides being the official co-owner of IELTS, IDP offers convenient test locations and free test preparation materials to support you. Learn why you should take your IELTS test with us.

Book your IELTS test today to begin your journey.