Tips for Managing Your Time in IELTS

There are two training formats of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You can choose either the General Training or Academic version. The IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one and by taking this test you can open the doors to education and career opportunities across the world.

IELTS General Training is for those who wish to migrate to an English speaking country while IELTS Academic is for those who wish to:

• Study or train at a university or college as an undergraduate
• Study or train at a university or college as a postgraduate
• Join a professional association
• Gain registration in a professional organisation (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering)

The IELTS is a time driven exam. The following points may help you to manage your time effectively in the IELTS test:

•  Start with the text that’s easiest for you. One way to manage your time in the IELTS Reading test is to start with the easiest passage. If you start with one of the more difficult text or sections, you may end up spending more than 20 minutes on it, leaving you with inadequate time to complete the others. In the IELTS Academic reading test, three passages are given for reading and the total time-limit is 60 minutes.

•  Don’t get stuck on the difficult questions. Remember, each question carries equal points. It is important that you spend most of your time answering the questions you do understand – this will help you to score more points.

•  Speed Matters: In a time driven exam speed is crucial. Many students are very slow in reading and they read the passages more than once without keeping the note of time. As a result, they are not able to finish the reading            section on time and will get a huge deduction in marks. So, make sure you read quickly with maximum  concentration. This will help you to attempt the questions after the first reading itself.

•  Write exactly what is asked: Writing long answers if you are very well versed with the subject is natural. But in an      IELTS test, what you are doing is wasting your time and making your position tough. No extra words will fetch you    any extra marks. So, write exactly what has been asked for.

•  Read Instructions carefully: Take a few minutes at the beginning of the exam to read instructions carefully. Sometimes, you may get confused in between and will go back to the instructions once again. Reading the                instructions thoroughly will help you to complete your exam smoothly.

•  Follow a straight line approach: Start from first and move to the last. Trying to attempt the easy question first is  not advisable because you may lose a lot of time while judging between easy and difficult questions. Always follow    a disciplined approach.

• Do not panic: Getting anxious will lead to distraction and eventually it will waste a lot of time. Don’t get nervous  when you encounter an unknown or difficult word or phrase. Skip difficult words which are not essential for your         understanding of the text. Understanding the overall context of the text and sentences is important.

• Skimming and scanning: This method involves reading at a quicker pace. With regular practice, you can develop  and improve the skill. Get a key word and look for the next.

• Underline & highlight: Skim reading may not help you to remember much information. Underlining and highlighting are important to remember information. Make sure you highlight the important text so you can come back to it later.

And of course, please keep an eye on your watch! Make sure that you are taking only the required time to complete each passage.

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