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How to Prepare for the IELTS in One Month

So, you’ve got just one month to prepare for the IELTS. Don’t panic, but do get organized.

Foreign languages are a lot like muscles – they get stiff and difficult to use from lack of exercise, but get stronger and back in shape with regular practice. Speaking, writing, listening, and reading are easier for English speakers who do these tasks regularly.

Plan on giving yourself daily (or nearly daily) practice doing the kinds of communicative tasks that you’ll be expected to do at test time. If you spend this month getting comfortable with them, the exercise will benefit you when you need it most.

Prepare for the IELTS in One Month

This month you should:

  • Familiarize yourself with the test.
    Understand how it’s formatted, what tasks you’ll have to do, and how the assessment is marked.
  • Clearly define your goals and priorities. 
    Identify your weakest areas and plan to give attention to them. Remind yourself of them regularly so that you can check on your own progress. For example, perhaps you need to improve your pronunciation, practice
  • Make a plan.
    Using your knowledge about the test and acknowledgement of your goals, plan your month out so that you can be sure to make the most of the time you’ve got between now and the test.
  • Be consistent and diligent.
    If you’re a creature of habit, try to set aside the same block of time everyday (say, 6pm – 8pm every evening on weekdays). Remember not to overload your brain, it may be good to plan to give yourself one day “off” of English study per week.

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Sample Study Plan:
Strengthening the Four Skills in Four Weeks

Imagining that I am taking the IELTS in exactly four weeks, I have created a plan that considers the format of the test. I will give each section of the test (i.e. speaking, writing, listening, and reading) a solid week of focus. For five days, each week, I’ll practice communicative tasks in each skill area, leaving one day for rest, and one day for integrated practice using all four skills.

Note: If you are taking the academic version, be sure to use texts and recordings that are appropriate for this genre. For reading, use passages from university textbooks, essays written by native English speakers, or articles from academic articles (this is more difficult). For listening, look for lectures on Youtube about topics that interest you. I love linguistics, so I would watch lectures by Chomsky or Steven Pinker.

Getting Prepared for the IELTS in One Month: 4-Week Plan




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