Registered for your IELTS on paper test and feeling the pressure to score well to get the results you need?

Fret not! While it can feel like an uphill battle to score across the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests, all you need is ample practice and a game plan!

When sitting for your IELTS on paper test, you will be writing all of your answers using pencil and paper in the Listening, Reading and Writing tests.

This brings with it certain advantages compared to the IELTS on computer option including being more familiar with writing, more time to transfer your answers and a quieter test environment thanks to the absence of typing on keyboards!

In this article, we will go through some strategies and tips you can follow to better prepare yourself on test day for your IELTS on paper test!

How to prepare to ace your IELTS on paper test

1. Practice writing at an adequate speed

While most of us have been writing since young and have taken examinations using pen and paper, things are a little different when you need to perform under pressure.

Because there will be time limits in every part of the test that requires you to write, from the Listening test to the Writing test itself, you want to ensure you can write fast.

It is essential to practice writing while taking sample tests to really gauge how fast you can write under a time limit while fulfilling the tasks. You will also want to intentionally write legibly so that the examiner can also understand your handwriting, so avoid being messy!

2. Practice proofreading and spotting your errors

Because writing on paper is something we are all more familiar with, it is less likely that we make mistakes. However, under a time limit plus the pressure of multitasking, such as listening to an audio recording and writing down answers, can cause us to make careless errors.

Unfortunately, these errors can cause you to be penalised and marked down.

A great way to prevent this is to practice proofreading to spot your errors regularly. This can be done by taking the time to read your passages after you write them down. This can be done after you complete a task as well as before the test ends during the final minutes.

Male test taker prepare for IELTS on paper test

3. Take online papers and mock tests

Practicing writing can only take you so far - you need to actually be sitting for the actual test itself!

Each test part is vastly different from the rest with multiple varied tasks that can easily leave you confused. Hence, you’ll want to understand how taking the test while writing will be like.

This will help you quickly pinpoint areas where multi-tasking is hard or where you are more error-prone. This is especially important during the end of the Listening test where you have 10 minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answers, you’ll want to practice this under real-world conditions.

You can start by taking these IELTS practice tests here as well as additional preparatory sample tests here as well.

You’ll be able to practice across the entire spectrum of test formats except for the Speaking test.

4. Watch free help videos and advice from IELTS experts

Sometimes, taking the sample tests might not be enough as well. You’ll definitely want to get advice from IELTS experts and examiners on tips and tricks to ace your test.

Be sure to attend a free IELTS Masterclass presented by experts. This free 90-minute seminar will take you through the questions and how you should tackle them on test day. In addition, you’ll be able to ask questions and get answers from the IELTS experts!

And once you are done with this, be sure to watch helpful videos and webinars here to gain even more insights into particular topics and aspects of the tests to help you get that extra edge!

5. Stay calm and meditate before the test

While it is easy to get overwhelmed and feel stressed, it is necessary to take a few moments to calm yourself down.

The IELTS on paper test is something that you will probably be familiar with and it is just about practicing beforehand and getting used to the test formats.

So do take a day or two off during your practice sessions over the week as well as learn a few meditation and breathing techniquesexternal icon. You can even use them to calm yourself down on the test day itself, so definitely worth a read!

IELTS test taker prepares for the IELTS on paper test

Ace your IELTS on paper test with IDP today

The IELTS on paper test is an excellent choice if you feel more comfortable writing using paper and pencil.  

You will be more familiar with writing more naturally - that means greater confidence to score your best on test day! 

Take the time to go through our resources and prepare yourself better with our wide range of sample tests at your disposal! 

At IDP, we have a world of resources and IELTS supportexternal icon that you can rely on to help you score better! 

Be sure to check out our IELTS preparation materials here as well as read hand-picked tips on how to prepare and ace the testexternal icon

And once you are ready, you can book your IELTS test hereexternal icon