Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do's and Dont's

I found this very useful in the IELTS official website. It will help you understand more how to improve your score. For more details go to

Keep an eye on the time: it will probably seem to pass very quickly, so take care not to spend too much time on any one passage or question. Remember that you only have 60 minutes to answer the questions and to transfer your answers to your Answer Sheet.

Start at the beginning of the test and work through it. If you cannot do a particular question, leave it and go on to the next. You can then return to that question later if you have time. Put a mark next to this question on the Question Paper so that you can find it again quickly.

Answer as many questions as you can.

Look carefully at the title of the passage and any subtitles and illustrations it may have. You can get a quick idea of what the passage is about from these.

Read the instructions for each set of questions very carefully: it is important to do exactly what you are asked to do

Where appropriate remember to skim the questions before reading the passage so that you have a purpose for reading.

Make sure you give the passage a quick read through so that you are familiar with the topic and how it is developed in the passage. An understanding of the text structure can be very helpful in answering the questions.

Use the glossary, if there is one provided, to help you understand unfamiliar words.

Pay attention to any examples that are provided.

Make sure that your answers keep to the word limit asked for: if you are asked for ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS’, for example, then do not write more.

Make sure that you copy words accurately from the text: spelling mistakes will mean that you will lose the mark for that question.

Make sure that where you have to write an answer yourself, your answer is grammatically correct, (e.g. Short-answer Questions, Sentence Completion, Summary Completion).

Don't waste time reading the whole passage each time for each set of questions. Remember that many task types ask you to locate or check details in the text. In cases like this you need to skim quickly through the passage rather than read it all carefully.

Don't go back to the beginning of the passage for each question when you know from the task type that the answers will come in the order of the information in the passage.

Don’t forget that questions can come before the reading passage as well as after.

Don't become anxious if there are questions you cannot answer. Leave them and move onto the next questions. You can always come back to the ones you couldn’t answer at the end of the test if you have time.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand every word. It may not be necessary to understand all the words in order to answer the questions correctly.

Don’t forget that you must write your answers on your Answer Sheet. You will not be given extra time to do this at the end of the test.

Don’t write more than one answer when only one is required; even if one of your answers is correct, you will not receive a mark.