ACU’s resident IELTS expert & teacher Jan Brown has dropped by to share some great tips to help you pass the IELTS reading and listening tests.
This is not an all-inclusive list, however it will provide the main points to consider.
A few recommendations.
– Listen to news, read papers, books, magazines. Use English everyday – eavesdrop!
– The Prep. course is not sufficient to pass the IELTS test.
– Improve language skills especially the ones examiners look for.
Eg. Use of a variety of tenses, conjunctions, compare / contrast.
Cohesive devices, inc. pronoun referent words (these,this,those,it etc.)
* Identify common mistakes and work to rectify those.
* Have a good night’s sleep.
* Concentrate hard. Do not be distracted.
* Read Instructions and questions carefully.
* Look for key words and highlight them.
* Try to predict, especially in section 1. Think of synonyms.
* Use the time given to keep a step ahead of the recording.
MAKE NOTES…you have 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers.
You can use this time to check spellings, grammar, capitals etc.
* If you miss a question – move on. Highlight it and come back to it later.
* Listen for parallel expressions, especially in section 4.
* If three people are discussing something, try to put a name to a voice…recognition. Intonation.
DO NOT leave any blanks on your answer sheet. Guess if necessary.
* Make sure your answers are sensible and appropriate.
* Fill in the answer sheet carefully. One misplaced answer will render the remaining answers wrong.
* Check for spellings, capital letters. Do not include any extra detail which is already there.
* Spend between 17- 20 minutes on each passage, but leave enough time at the end to check your answers.
There is no time at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
* Time is the enemy. No specialist knowledge is necessary.
Skimming – General quick view
(Headings, sub-headings, pictures, 1st sentences in paragraphs.)
Scanning – looking for specific answers.
Detail – only need a small section. Read carefully.
* Read the questions and instructions carefully first. Decide which skill is needed.
* Skim the passage first. Get an idea about the content of each paragraph. Do not read every word.
* Look at the questions and scan the relevant section for the answers.
* Highlight important names, places, words or dates. Don’t worry about unknown words.
* Is there are glossary, explanation via brackets or nearby words?
* Do not spend too long on one question if you cannot find the answer – highlight it and move on.
* About one minute per question should be enough.
* The HEADINGS section. If the instructions say a letter may be used more than once, it probably will.
* Look for parallel expressions and synonyms.
* Yes/No/Does not say ( Writer’s opinion ) or True/False/Not given ( Information ) Use correct response.
Remember the qualifying words… few, almost all, a majority etc.
* Do not leave any blanks. If you have to guess the T/F/NG/ section. NG is the least used.
*Make sure your answers are sensible/appropriate and the grammar fits.