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Super Fast Guide to IELTS
You must practise before the IELTS test if you are going to do your best. However, you also need to know what to expect in the test. This Super Fast Guide is a quick, concise guide that has been written by an experienced IELTS examiner. It will explain all the different parts of the test, what you are expected to do in each section and what the common mistakes are, so that you can avoid them and do your best on the day.
Where can I take the test?
To find your nearest test centre, go to the IELTS homepage. Simply click on the section labelled Test Takers to search for test centres in your country, or click on this link:
What should I do before the test?
Practise, practise, practise!
The more you practise English, the better your chances are of getting the score you need. There are several great ways that you can practise for free.
Our favourite website is Learn English, an excellent British Council website which has general English language sections, as well as specific IELTS pages to help you practise for the exam. Another really good website is Learning English, which is an English language website run by the BBC.
Try to use these websites at least every day to improve and practise all areas of your English langauge, from reading to listening, from vocabulary to grammar, from writing to speaking. These two websites will help you with all aspects of the IELTS exam.
What will I have to do in the IELTS Speaking test?
The Speaking test has three sections. In the second section, the examiner will ask you to speak for 1 to 2 minutes about a topic. You will be given a topic card and you will have 1 minute to prepare.
Try to practise talking about a variety of topics for 2 minutes. Example topics are: school, work, family, books, hobbies, sports, entertainment, animals, your country and culture.
Here is an example candidate task card for part 2 for the Speaking test.
Get a Dictionary
An essential tool for any English language student is a dictionary. A good dictionary will help you to improve your grammar and vocabulary, so that you do your best and succeed in the different sections of the IELTS test.
What can I learn from a dictionary?
A good dictionary can teach you more than just spelling. These are some of the others things you can learn:
• Pronunciation, e.g. how can you say the word correctly?
• Part of speech, e.g. is it a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb?
• Different forms of the word, e.g. what is the irregular past form of a verb, or the plural form of a noun?
• Different meanings, e.g. does a word have one or several meanings? If there is more than one meaning, the most common meaning is usually given first.
• Related words, e.g. what is the verb, or the adjective, or the opposite?
• Use of a word, e.g. what type of words is it used with, such as, how is it used in a phrase or an idiom, or is it slang, or formal? Often a dictionary will give an example sentence as well.
Which dictionary should I use?
You can use a dictionary website, such as www.dictionary.com. This website will give you all of the above information as well as the chance to hear what a word sounds like. It is also a good idea to buy your own dictionary. There are many good dictionaries available and you might want to buy one that provides you with a translation into your own language. However, these dictionaries often don’t give you all the information listed above in a clear, easy to understand format, which you will need if you want to improve your English language skills. For English language students, some of the best dictionaries are those published by Oxford and Longman. One of their dictionaries is an important investment for any IELTS student.
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