IELTS dates and planning
The IELTS is a paper-based English language proficiency test that measures the ability to understand and use English. The IELTS tests the four language skills, namely Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.
The IELTS is a popular English language Testing system that is taken widely by students who:
- wish to study abroad in a native English speaking country
- seek employment in native English speaking country
- wish to migrate and settle in a native English speaking country
- wish to evaluate their proficiency in English
IELTS dates in India
In India, the IELTS is conducted on all 48 days throughout the year. However, not ALL centers offer the test on each of these days. Test takers need to check available test centers from the official IELTS website. Before registering for the test, make sure your nearest IELTS test location has the dates and slots available that you are planning to take.
Preparing for the IELTS
Test takers are advised to communicate in English as much as possible. Communication should not just be restricted to speaking but also include reading, listening and writing in English.
Simulated tests and test reviews
Take simulated tests and do not be tempted to skip any section. Unless you take full-length tests you will not be ready for the real test experience. Test reviews are also critical to improving scores; consistency is the key to high scores and you need to pay particular focus to time management during the test.
Assess your learning style
Introspect your personal learning style – if you can put in the hours required and prepare your own study plans then self- preparation, an online course, or access to reliable test preparation books and tests is a safe bet for you.
Choose an IELTS prep course if you prefer structured classes or in-person sessions, have been out of a learning environment for some time, or require guidance and mentoring. Look at the provenance of teachers, online resources, and quality of content while taking a decision to join a prep course.
Developing skills for the IELTS
Speaking - practice speaking loudly and clearly and ensure that you correct any pronunciation errors. There is no need to sound like an expert speaker but the pronunciation and intonation must be clear and not hinder the graders’ understanding. Work with someone to improve your body language for the in-person speaking section. You can also consider recording yourself and assess how well you have been able to express yourself verbally.
Reading – read newspapers, articles, magazines, journals etc daily. This will not only improve your reading skills but also improve your vocabulary. While the passages on the tests always include the information required to answer the question, you can work on developing speed reading skills.
Listening – actively listen to TV Shows, radio, online broadcasts, podcasts etc. Try and think of a 3-5 sentence summary of the content that you have listened to. Get familiar with different accents that could be used in the recordings.
Writing- day-to-day writing tasks such as emails, notes, and reminders are a good way to keep in touch with writing skills. Avoid writing them as short notes, instead of complete sentences. You could also maintain a diary or journal to consistently improve your writing skills.
Have a positive mindset
Test-day pressures will only get in your way. Strong IELTS test takers take the exam with a positive approach - they believe they are prepared and have confidence in their abilities.
On test day
- Have a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast
- Dress in layers and be prepared for different temperature levels
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before your test appointment
- Read the instructions carefully and stick to them
- Do not waste too much time on a single question
- Guesses are not penalized, so do not skip any question, just make a random guess and move to the next question
- Be well-groomed on the day of your Speaking section. While there are no points awarded for your clothes – you need to be comfortable and not let anything detract you from the tasks at hand