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Top 10 tips for your IELTS examination

One of the most popular courses we have at Oxford International English Schools is designed to help students prepare for their International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. IELTS is an examination that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as the predominant language. Often, you will find that universities, colleges and workplaces in English countries request proof of your proficiency before you are permitted entry there. 

As your IELTS score can open the doors to your future, the question becomes how can you best prepare for the IELTS examination? Well, our friendly teaching staff at Brighton have prepared their top ten tips for reaching a high IELTS score.

The Top 10 Tips – Achieving a high IELTS score

  • Spend time with people – practise your speaking and listening
  • Expand your vocabulary through studying synonyms
  • Study all the different types of question – students often forget to study diagram labelling
  • Do timed practise exams
  • Read newspapers (on paper or online)
  • Ask your teacher for mock speaking tests (and record yourself)
  • Practise fixed expressions for speaking (e.g. that’s an interesting question, let me think…) and writing (e.g. it can be argued that, an alternative interpretation is…)
  • Don’t ignore grammar! It can help you understand if something is past, present or future
  • Don’t attempt words you aren’t sure of the meaning
  • Take your time to plan your speaking and writing answers – don’t rush in

Why prepare?

Students occasionally ask us “Why do I need to prepare specifically for the IELTS test, can’t I just take it?” Our answer is that you need to be comfortable with the style of the examination. The IETLS examination is uniquely designed, testing the four key areas of English language comprehension; Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading. Our IELTS preparation courses focus on helping our students excel in these four areas, teaching students the skills and language commonly required to achieve their desired IELTS score.

There are many benefits of studying for the IELTS that go beyond the examination itself. Focussing on listening and speaking, gives students the confidence to engage with others and their community, with writing and reading helping them to increase language comprehension and expression. All these skills are useful for study or academic pursuits, work or general life.

So, if you are thinking of taking on the IELTS examination, make sure you are prepared. Ask your teachers, Director of Studies or Assistant Director of Studies for their recommendations to help you prepare before you take on the exam, and Always, Always, Always – read the question carefully!

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Discover more about our IELTS preparation courses


We offer IELTS tests at 25 centres across North America, and a range of IELTS preparation courses across the UK, USA and Canada.


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