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This lady is Upper Intermediate – are you?

Okay, so you’ve finally done it. You’ve booked an IELTS test and very very soon you’ll be sitting in an examination room with students from around the world sweating over the papers in front of you, but don’t run away just yet!

Yes, the IELTS test is a difficult exam. Yes, it’s 3 hours long and you could be watching Avatar – (You’re not allowed popcorn on your table in the exam) but this is so much more worthwhile, and aren’t you glad you don’t have to spend time pretending to care about blue people. The test itself can cause even the most confident students to start biting their nails, but it really doesn’t have to be that bad.

In this blog, we’re going to explore some different tips to survive your IELTS adventure. Are you ready?

…Do you have a pen?- it doesn’t matter!

Let’s go!

1. The most important part of any upcoming test is preparation!

You can’t do it in a week! I’m serious, what you’re trying to attack here is quite a beast and I’m sorry but you can’t kill it with a smile and a very sharp pencil. You have to dive into the very strange world of IELTS for as long as you can before you even book your test. I would say if you’re an Upper Int. you’ll need to study for at least 8 weeks and possibly even 12! So, buy the books, take the classes (at EC English!) and prepare for the fight of your ESL Life! (It’s really not life and death, I’m just trying to be dramatic)

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He needs a 6.5

2. Sleep the night before!

I don’t want to hear it. No, I don’t want to know how you have ‘the perfect system’ and you’re going to revise all through the night drinking flat whites mixed with Red Bull and are currently stapling your textbook to your forehead. This doesn’t work and is terrible for your skin. Get your 8 hours and enter that examination hall with all the grace and dignity of a young Taylor Swift.

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‘La la la, section 4 doesn’t exist!’

3. Don’t ignore parts of the test

So, you have 3 hours, (1 hour of reading / 1 hour of writing / 40 minutes of listening and 15 minutes of speaking) It’s a long road.

You might be tempted to forget /ignore about some of the later questions and start looking at your hands for far too long, because hands are weird and did your thumb always look that fat? But Wait! Stay focused on the papers in front of you, you can do this! You might even be tempted to guess some of the answers in the multiple choice sections but come on, you’re better than that.

4. Guess the answers in the multiple choice sections

Okay, I know what I said. However, if you’re running out of time and you have some empty spaces on your answer sheet, then and only then, fill them in! What’s the worst that could happen?! Who knows, maybe you’re a naturally lucky person, I don’t know, it’s very difficult for me to get to know you personally as I’m writing this. – Remember to leave no space unmarked, this is your moment! -And for the record this whole experience is arguably much more interactive than Avatar. I don’t want to keep going on about it, but it’s not a great film.

Quote WORDS HAVE POWER made out of wooden letters on bright yellow background. Quote WORDS HAVE POWER made out of wooden letters on bright yellow background. Motivational Words Quotes Concept words stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

5. IELTS is a vocabulary test!

Words. That’s what it comes down to. The exam you so foolishly booked is a vocabulary test at the end of the day. The more words you know the higher your mark will be* (*I can’t legally promise that)

We’ve all seen them, those students with their perfect pink notebooks full of scribbled words. Yes, they go to class everyday and are always the first ones with their hands up to answer the teacher’s questions but I’m sorry, they’re right. …But there is one thing you could do that could take you to the next level. You see, filling in book after book with new words is fine, but if you don’t use the words in the real world, you’re just writing dictionaries for no reason.

There’s nothing stopping you from being a vocabulary wizard* (*All rights to ‘Vocabulary Wizards’ are currently owned by Netflix) – Remember, you have to use / see a word 10 times to keep it locked in your brain. So what’s stopping you, get serious about IELTS and get the mark you deserve.

Good luck everyone, I’m off to watch Avatar or something of equivalent length.

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