How to Manage Time in IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing:
Time management is very crucial in the IELTS exam. The whole IELTS test lasts for 2 hrs and 45 minutes with the IELTS Reading, IELTS Listening and IELTS Writing have to be done in one sitting—in 2 and a half hours. Since there is no negative marking on the IELTS it is better to attempt all questions. Do not lose out on scoring high because you could not complete the paper.
Here a few tips to help you get through the exam without any problems and issues.
IELTS test taking tips:
- Never go to take the IELTS test without preparation and knowing the format and time allowed for each section and overall time allowed for the entire IELTS.Once you are familiar with the test and have practiced a few times, you could go for the test absolutely stress free. Also, if you are unfamiliar with the IELTS you will waste a lot of time reading through instructions and understanding how much time you are allowed.
- Preparation time for the test depends also on your proficiency—so understand your English proficiency level and work accordingly. If you are not very proficient take atleast 2-3 months to prepare for the test.Once you are well prepared, you will be able to attempt all answers in all the IELTS sections without any problem.
- One of the biggest errors test takers make is that they are exhausted on the day of the exam due to the practice and the study for the exam. It shows that they are not ready mentally to write the exam. So, one has to be calm and stress free. The night before the test, sleep early and get ample sleep to wake up stress free and relaxed the next morning.
- Another mistake is trying to attempt the test on an empty stomach. If you are hungry during the test, you will think about food more than writing appropriate answers or the given questions. So, make sure you have eaten well before the exam starts.
- During the test, when you have few seconds on hand in-between sections, close your eyes to calm yourself down. Breathe and relax. Stretch when you have the time. A strong healthy body helps you perform better and also save time.
- IELTS is a standardized test. It will always have the same structures and types of questions with the same layout for the questions and it is also allotted the same amount of time. So practice and learn to train your body and mind to sit through the given 3hr time to complete the test without getting exhausted.
- Practice and be familiar with all kinds of skills like note taking skills, paraphrasing skills, writing skills etc., before taking up the exam.If the evaluator is not able to read what you have written in your answer script, you will lose marks which in turn is going to affect your score. If your hand writing is not up to the mark, practice writing legibly, since trying it for the first time during the exam is going to consume time.
- Know the format of the test. Be aware of all the instructions for the questions in every module before the test since it consumes more time to read and understand them during the test.
- The best way to achieve all of the above is to join a coaching school or tutorial which id familiar with all the sections of the IELTS and which will provide you feedback on your IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking tasks.
- Take a lot of full length practice tests online or from books and time yourself. If you feel that you are taking a lot of time on one section then work on that particular task until you get it right.
IELTS ListeningTime Management tips
- IELTS Listening has 40 questions from 4 sections which have to be answered in 30 minutes. In the first section/recording there are 2 speakers, in the second section there is a single speaker, in the third section there are 2 speakers and the last section has a single speaker. Be aware of the shift from one speaker to another while the recording is playing. The last section is relatively difficult since it is a lecture.
- After each section, you get a little time to prepare for the next section. Use this time wisely. Do not try to read everything as it consumes more time. Read around the blanks as it helps look for the words in the recording.
- Identify the question and the key words from the multiple choice questions. Listen for numbers, names and milestones. During the test, milestones help in deciding if a part of a conversation and the related answers for the questions have already been delivered by the speaker or not. They act as guides along the recording.
- Glance through the diagrams, maps and graphs. Note the headings and key words. Remember details on the X and Y axis.
- After all the recordings finish, you get 10 minutes to transfer your answers into the answer script.
IELTS Reading Time Management Tips
- It has 40 questions from 3 sections which have to be answered in 60 minutes. The level of difficulty increases with each section. So one has to learn to split the time allotted. The first passage should be assigned 15 minutes, second passage 20 minutes and the third passage 25 minutes.
- For each passage, allot 3-5 minutes to look for errors and to check if you have transcribed the right answer against the right answer number
- Spend 5 to 7 minutes to understand the gist of the passage. Find the thesis statement in each paragraph and write down the summary of each paragraph next to the corresponding paragraph in a few words.
- Underline the key words. This helps in looking for information in the paragraphs while answering the questions.
- Don’t spend too much time on the same question. If you can’t find the answers, move on to the next question.
IELTS Writing Time Management Tips
- In the Writing section, two tasks have to be completed. Task1 is either a letter writing or a graph description and Task2 is an essay. You have to spend 20 minutes on task1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.
- For Task1, assign 3minutes to plan, 10 minutes to write and 2 minutes to check your answer.
- Since Task 1 is merely descriptive, note down exactly what you see.
- For Task2, assign 5 to 7 minutes to plan, 30 minutes to write and 3 to 5 minutes to check your answer.
- In the time allotted to planning note down the main points you would be writing in favor or against the topic.
Prepare for certain topics like technology, education, travel and environment before you enroll for the test.There are several topics available on the IELTS website and in other websites online. Research and be familiar with all sort of topics to make it easier for you to write down the ideas and plan your essays.