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How to Prepare for IELTS in One Month: Academic IELTS Study Schedule

With only a month to prepare for the Academic IELTS exam, it’s likely you’re feeling some pressure! The IELTS is challenging, even for test-takers who are very proficient in English—which is why it’s helpful to use an IELTS guide as you learn how to study for IELTS.

During the next four weeks, you should engage with English as much as possible. Go out of your way to find opportunities to speak, write, listen, and read in English. You can learn a lot in a month, especially new vocabulary!

Of course, it is also critical that you use this time to become very familiar with the IELTS exam and how to approach each section of the test. And that is what this study schedule is designed to do!

The schedule is useful for students with varying degrees of English proficiency. Plan to spend between 1-2 hours studying each day (although some days will require more time and some less). Students with lower English proficiency will need additional time to complete the daily tasks simply because they will have more incorrect answers to review from the practice exercises. (Lower proficiency students may also want to spend extra time reviewing passages, questions, tasks, and audio tracks.)

Even if you don’t have time to complete all the listed tasks for a given day or week, do what you can! Modify the schedule to fit your circumstances. The Magoosh lessons “Create your study schedule 1 – 3 weeks” and “Create your study schedule 4 – 8 weeks” will help you develop a study schedule that meets your needs. If you have less than a month to prep, you might even consider using our One-Week IELTS Study Plan. The goal of the study schedule is to keep you organized, motivated and on track with your IELTS preparation.

Each week, there are six days of preparation. One day per week will be a rest day, which isn’t included in the schedule. Use that day to relax and regain your strength. If you study every day, it is likely you will get tired and benefit less from your study time.
 

Click here to download and/or print this study schedule.

One Month IELTS Study Schedule: Table of Contents

Click these links to jump to the resource lists or the day you’re working on:

how to prepare for ielts guide

Prep Materials for IELTS Guide

Here are three essential things you need to use this study schedule:

  1. A computer with internet access
  2. Magoosh IELTS Prep
  3. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training

And here are some great resources that are also mentioned in the study schedule. These are optional, but highly recommended!

  1. The Magoosh IELTS Blog (You are here!)
  2. www.ielts.org
  3. www.takeielts.britishcouncil.org
  4. www.englishvocabularyexercises.com


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How to Prepare for IELTS: Week One

Week 1, Day 1:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
  • Official Practice:
    • Complete some Reading and Listening questions from the official IELTS website. Today, your goal is to become familiar with the format of the test. Don’t worry too much about how many right and wrong answers you get. For Reading, make sure to choose “Academic Reading” questions on this web page.

Week 1, Day 2:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Reading” button on your Dashboard. Read one passage and answer all questions for that passage. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
    • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Answer all of the questions associated with two different recordings. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
  • Official Practice:
    • Respond to the Speaking and Writing questions in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS on pages 171-172. Make sure to read the directions for both sections carefully. For the Speaking questions, simply respond out loud to the prompts one-by-one. Your goal today is to become familiar with the format of these IELTS sections. Don’t worry about grading yourself today.

Week 1, Day 3:

  • Lessons:
    • In Magoosh, watch the video Studying for the IELTS in the Introduction to IELTS section. Then, watch the first video under the Reading section, titled The SUN Method.
    • Watch any 3-4 grammar videos of your choice in Magoosh, according to your weaknesses.
  • Official Practice:
    • Take the Reading section of Practice Test 1 from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS (pages 160-170). Use the self-scoring chart in the back of the book (pages 387-388) to see where you stand. You should review your wrong answers carefully so that you understand why you made every mistake. However, the goal for today is to become familiar with the question types you will encounter in the IELTS Reading section.

Week 1, Day 4:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Speaking” button on your Dashboard. Answer two full sets of interview questions. Make sure to utilize the built-in recording function. Afterwards, assess your responses using official IELTS band descriptors for Speaking. If possible, find a native English speaker or someone proficient in English to help you assess your speaking. Make sure to watch the explanation videos for both sets of interview questions.
    • Master at least 20 more words in Magoosh’s IELTS flashcards. If you believe the deck you are working on is easy for you, finish it today.
  • Official Practice:
    • Complete the “Listening” section of Practice Test 1 on pages 154-159 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. You should review your incorrect answers carefully, learning from your mistakes. However, the goal for today is simply to become familiar with the question types you will encounter in IELTS listening.

Week 1, Day 5:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Writing” button on your Dashboard. Complete one Task 2 essay and watch the explanation video.
  • Official Practice:
    • Take the “Reading” section of Practice Test 2 on pages 177-187 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. Review your wrong answers carefully so that you understand why you made every mistake.

Week 1, Day 6:

How to Study for IELTS: Week Two

Week 2, Day 1:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Spend time today learning more new words with Magoosh’s IELTS flashcards.
    • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Listen to two different passages and answer all questions related to those passages. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
  • Official Practice:
    • Read the essays that you wrote on Week 1, Day 6. Compare them to the sample essays and answer explanations in the back of the book. Edit both of your essays. Did you catch any errors that you could correct the next time you write? Did you meet the word count minimum? Are your essays organized clearly? Use the official IELTS Writing band descriptors to help you evaluate how you did. Here are the band descriptors for Task 1 and Task 2. If possible, find a native English speaker or someone proficient in English to help you assess your writing and give you feedback.

Week 2, Day 2:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Speaking” button on your Dashboard. Answer two full sets of interview questions and watch the explanation videos.
  • Official Practice:
    • Complete the “Listening” section of Practice Test 2 on pages 173-176 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. Review your incorrect answers carefully. Study the scripts in the back of the book (pages 344-346) to understand your incorrect answers.

Week 2, Day 3:

Week 2, Day 4:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Listen to 3 different passages and answer all questions related to those passages. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
  • strong>Official Practice:
    • Take the “Reading” section of Practice Test 3 on pages 195-204 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. Review your wrong answers carefully so that you understand why you made every mistake.

Week 2, Day 5:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Writing” button on your Dashboard. Complete one Task 2 essay, and then watch the explanation video.
  • Official Practice:
    • Edit the essays you wrote today and on Week 2, Day 3. How could you make them better? Can you find grammar mistakes you could avoid next time you write?
    • Listen again to your recorded Speaking responses from Magoosh and your official practice. Can you find mistakes or ways to improve your answers? If you had trouble answering a few specific questions, try answering them again. Repetition is a great way to improve your speaking responses.

Week 2, Day 6:

How to Prepare for IELTS: Week Three

Week 3, Day 1:

Congratulations—you’ve now reached the halfway point of your one month of IELTS study!

Week 3, Day 2:

  • Lessons:
  • Magoosh Practice:
    • Click the “Practice Speaking” button on your Dashboard. Answer two full sets of interview questions and watch the explanation videos.
    • Spend 10-20 minutes working on your vocabulary using these vocabulary exercises.
  • Official Practice:
    • In The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS, read page 132-133. Take your time as you analyze the three essay samples on page 133. Then do the same exercise with the essays you wrote on Week 3, Day 1. Make sure you also read the sample essays in the back of the book (pg. 390-391). Compare them to your own. What features of these essays could you incorporate into your own responses to improve them?

Week 3, Day 3:

Week 3, Day 4:

  • Lessons:
  • Week 3, Day 5:

    • Lessons:
    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Answer all of the questions for with three passages. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
      • Click the “Practice Writing” button on your Dashboard. Complete one Task 2 essay, and then watch the explanation video.

    Week 3, Day 6:

      Today, you’re going to take a full practice test. If you don’t have a full three hours to spend, then switch this day with a day next week when you will have the time. You need three hours with no interruptions to complete the test.
      Take Practice Test 4 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. Do not take breaks during the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, and be careful with the clock. Time yourself strictly in order to replicate exam conditions the best you can.
      If at all possible, try to find a native English speaker to interview you for the Speaking exam. If that isn’t possible, find a friend who knows some English to read you the questions. And if that is also impossible, simply read the questions and answer them on your own. Remember to record your responses so you can analyze them later!



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    How to Study for IELTS: Week Four

    Week 4, Day 1:

    • Lessons:
    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Click the “Practice Writing” button on your Dashboard. Complete two essays: a Task 1 essay and a Task 2 essay. Watch the explanation videos.
    • Official Practice:
      • Review all of your answers from the full practice test you took at the end of last week. Pay careful attention to your wrong answers in Reading and Listening, learning from your mistakes. Grade your Speaking and Writing tasks by comparing them with the examples provided in the back of the book.

    Week 4, Day 2:

    Week 4, Day 3:

    • Lessons:
    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Listen to two different passages and answer all questions related to those passages. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
    • Official Practice:

    Week 4, Day 4:

    • Lessons:
    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Review all your vocabulary from both Magoosh flashcards and EnglishVocabularyExercises.com.
      • Click the “Practice Speaking” button on your Dashboard. Answer two full sets of interview questions. Watch the explanation video for both sets.
    • Official Practice:
      • Return to the Speaking task recordings you created on Week 3, Day 4. Repeat the same tasks better than the first time, attempting to include new vocabulary in every answer. Try to avoid grammar errors you made the first time through. When you’re done, compare the recordings. Were you more fluent than the last time? Were your responses more organized? Did new problems emerge?
      • Return to the essays you wrote yesterday. Edit them and consider ways to improve them. If at all possible, give your essays to a teacher, friend, or family member (with knowledge of English) to read and evaluate. It can be very helpful to get a another person’s opinion about your writing.

    Week 4, Day 5:

    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Click the “Practice Writing” button on your Dashboard. Complete one to two essays, watching the explanation videos.
    • Official Practice:

    Week 4, Day 6:

    • Magoosh Practice:
      • Click the “Practice Reading” button on your Dashboard. Read two passages and answer all questions. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.
      • Click the “Practice Listening” button on your Dashboard. Listen to two different passages and answer all questions related to those passages. Watch the explanation video for every question you get wrong.

    If you have time remaining:

    • Review Magoosh videos and practice questions daily.
    • Take Practice Test 6 in The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS.
    • Review vocabulary that you’ve already learned.
    • Regularly listen to TED talks and read articles from New York Times or Newsweek. After every article or talk, summarize what you learned either in writing or in speech. If you speak your summary, record yourself.

    The day before your IELTS test:

      Tell yourself you’re a rock star who’s going to ace the test. Don’t study today—you’ll just build up anxiety! Instead, find out what to expect on test day by reading about what you need to bring on test day. If you’ve followed this one month IELTS study schedule, you should be in good shape for the test. Get a good night’s sleep, and have a healthy breakfast in the morning.

    Good Luck!

     
     

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