Prepare for your test

Advice for native English speakers

Prepare for the IELTS test to make sure you get the very best score possible.

As with other types of test, such as your driving test, preparation is key. It is very important to prepare for the test, even if you have been speaking English all of your life.

The test asks you to do a range of specific tasks in timed conditions. Some of these will be unfamiliar to you, so it is vital that you get yourself ready in good time.

Follow this simple advice:

  • familiarise yourself with the format of each part of the test 
  • complete our free practice tests to practise your exam technique
  • time yourself when you practise 

Make sure there are no unpleasant surprises

You need to prepare for each section of the test, even if you have a good exam track record. This is because

  • you will need to listen very carefully for specific information in the Listening test
  • you will be asked to carry out tasks that you have never done before in the Reading and Writing tests
  • in the Speaking test you will have to speak fluently and coherently on a topic, regardless of whether you find it interesting

Remember, each part of the test will be timed, so practise in timed conditions.

IELTS preparation tips

IELTS preparation tips

General tips

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