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IELTS Preparation tips

The best ways to study for the four IELTS sub-tests: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Scared of IELTS? Here Is How to Overcome Your Fear

How to Overcome Your Fear of IELTS

Many of my students have told me they think of IELTS as this MONSTER that they are afraid to face.

Honestly, I can’t blame them. Some people are scared of failing and letting themselves down or disappointing their parents and families. Others had a previous bad experience where they froze up during the test and just couldn’t perform. Then there’s fear of the unknown, which can be terrifying. The cost of failure goes beyond money – it’s their future prospects, hopes and dreams that are at stake.

Zig Ziglar once said,

F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.

And here’s your step-by-step guide to overcoming your fear:

Step 1: Understand the Beast
Start by familiarising yourself with the IELTS format. When you know what to expect, it makes the test much less scary and reduces your anxiety.

Step 2: Identify Your Fears
Think which sections of IELTS cause you the most stress. Is it the Speaking test, the time pressure of the Reading section, or something else? Once you know what scares you the most, you can tackle it head-on.

Step 3: Arm yourself with the right tools
Use strategy books and practice tests to work on your skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Focus particularly on your weak spots identified in Step 2.

Step 4: Break It Down
Tackle your fears by breaking them into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, if speaking is your weak point, practice speaking about a variety of topics with friends, or record yourself to gain confidence.

Step 5: Practice Relentlessly
Consistent practice builds confidence. Simulate exam conditions as much as possible to improve your time management and achieve both speed AND accuracy.

Step 6: Seek Feedback
Constructive criticism is your friend. Feedback from an IELTS expert is the fastest way to understand what you should do to raise your score, especially in the areas causing you fear, such as Speaking.

Step 7: Celebrate Progress
Acknowledge and celebrate your improvements, no matter how small. This motivates you to keep pushing forward!

Follow this method to conquer your fear and soon IELTS will become a milestone on your path to a better future.

Stuck on Your IELTS Essay? How to Get Unstuck

Stuck on Your IELTS Essay

If you are getting stuck trying to write your IELTS essay, 90% of the time it is because of the writer’s block.

This problem is incredibly common and is a major source of pain in IELTS preparation. You’ve read the essay topic but can’t think of any ideas to write about.

Do this exercise to overcome the writer’s block and easily generate ideas for any essay topic you may get in IELTS:

Preparation: Put together a list of 5 IELTS essay topics (you can use the ones we post on or any other reliable source).

1. Analyse the first topic on your list to understand what you need to write about.

2. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

3. Spend these 5 minutes thinking of 2-3 main ideas for your essay. Write them down, but don’t proceed to writing the actual essay.

4. Move on to the next topic on your list & repeat the process.

This exercise will do 2 things for you:

A) It will train your brain to generate ideas quickly, and
B) By the end of it you will have notes that will help you write 5 essays.

Note: If you can’t come up with any ideas on a particular topic, it means you need to do some research! Find some model essays written for that topic and see what other people are writing about. It will give you ideas of what you can cover in your essay. That way, if you’ve done this exercise enough, you won’t have knowledge gaps. After all, the list of IELTS topics isn’t endless 😉

Keep practicing and soon you will get rid of the writer’s block for good!

What other problems are you struggling with in IELTS writing? Let me know in the comments!