Sunday, February 13, 2011

IELTS Preparation - the days leading up to the exam


The day before the IELTS exam is an important time to gather together all the inner resources you have available to help you approach the exam in the best possible way. By the time the exam day arrives you should already be well practiced in all four components of the exam. Click here if you would like an overview of the IELTS exam. The IELTS is not an exam you should leave to luck - it is a challenging test of your integrated English skills and there is no substitute for adequate preparation. Knowing that you are as prepared as you can be will give you confidence on the day. 

Here is a checklist of helpful tips:

  • Get a good night's sleep the week before the exam. Last minute cramming is not advisable. You want to be alert and fresh on the day with your brain firing on all cylinders.
  • Eat a good breakfast on exam day with protein and some complex carbs to give you enough brain fuel and energy to see you through the long day ahead.
  • Keep hydrated throughout the day of exam and make sure you eat regularly to avoid blood sugar drops that will impair your exam performance.
  • Immerse yourself in English before you get to the exam. This will ensure that your ear is attuned to English before you step into the exam and will warm you up, a bit like a dress rehearsal! One idea is to download a podcast of a news bulletin or interview onto your ipod and listen to it on the way to the exam.
  • Try and speak in English before the exam- this is especially helpful if you are living with non native speakers or in a non English speaking country. Speak to yourself in the shower if you have to - sounds strange I know but look on it as warming up. It will engage your brain to start thinking in English and this can be helpful.
  • Remember how much work you have already put into your English studies. By the time exam day rolls around you are ready and able to pass the exam. Take some deep breaths and know in your heart that you can do this. Try and enjoy the spoken exam - look on it as getting to meet a new person. The examiner understands you may be nervous but try and put natural fears aside and let your true skills shine.
  Good luck!