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IELTS Prep Protip: Write Your Answers Down on Paper

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When’s the last time you filled a whole sheet of paper with writing? I know, I know, it’s the 21st century. But IELTS prep protip: start writing on paper!

Writing Things on Paper is So Last Century…. Unless You’re Taking the IELTS!

Using paper may be easy for older IELTS test-takers. I myself am almost 40, and I grew up writing on paper instead of typing words into a phone or a computer. These days, I am regularly surprised by just how little paper I use in a day, or in a week. Welcome to the future! But now, let’s go back in time a little, to the “papered” age of the past.

Why is it important to be good at writing things down on paper? Because the IELTS is not a computer-based test. People can only take the IELTS on computer under very rare circumstances. It’s very likely you’ll take the IELTS with an old-fashioned paper test-book as if it were still 1997 or something.

So you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with that. Filling in answers on paper needs to come naturally for you by test day. And you must be able to write entire essays on paper for the exam. Writing by hand for long periods of time is no longer an everyday event. So practice, practice, practice.

How to Practice Paper Tests with Online IELTS Prep

You can find some really nice IELTS prep material online, especially if you look on the four official IELTS prep websites.

With so much good IELTS prep on your computer screen, it can be easy to forget the paper. Don’t. Instead, use paper with your computer-based materials. How? There are a few ways.

One good way to keep your answers on paper is to simply write down your answers in a notebook. Look back and forth between your screen and your notebook, and pen (or pencil) in all those answers by hand. This sounds like it could be distracting, but trust me, it’s not. Going from your computer screen to your notebook and back again requires concentration, so this “papered” method can help you focus better and think more deeply.

There’s another slightly trickier way to keep your IELTS on paper: printing out an actual answer sheet. You can get answer sheets in PDF on the website. And blank answer sheets are a gift that keeps on giving. You can use them on any IELTS practice exam you take, online or off.

Both notebook and paper have their advantages. When you store your IELTS answers in a notebook, you can also take pages of IELTS prep notes alongside your written responses. And the test papers from are just like the ones you’ll use on the real exam. So that’s some great, authentic practice writing. Either way, you get the old-fashioned paper-testing practice you need for test day success.

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