Top IELTS test tips

Many universities worldwide where English is an official language have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test requirement for entry into their courses if your first language isn’t English. 

If you’re looking to study online with one of the world’s leading universities, such as Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), here are 5 IELTS test tips to help you meet the English language requirements of their online courses. 

What is the IELTS test? 

The IELTS is an international standardised test that measures your English language proficiency. 

It’s typically designed for those individuals who want to study or work somewhere where a proficient level of English is required to communicate.  

If English isn’t your first language and you want to study with a UK university, such as QMUL, you’ll usually need to take an IELTS test to gain entry into the course you’re interested in. 

5 IELTS test tips to help you succeed 

1. Book your test early 

Because of their global popularity, IELTS tests can get booked out quite quickly, so it’s a good idea to book your spot early.  

You can still submit your application for your chosen course first and provide your IELTS score later on – you don’t usually need to wait until you’ve received your IELTS test results before you submit a course application. 

If you don’t include your IELTS test score with your course application, the admissions panel will generally still review your application as long as you’ve submitted the other essential supporting documents (you’ll typically find these listed in the entry requirements for your chosen course).  

After your course application has been reviewed, if you’re successful in receiving an offer, one of the conditions of the offer will likely be that you achieve the required IELTS score for your course. 

So, the earlier you book your IELTS test, the better, so you can be ready and able to meet the conditions of your offer. 

You can book an IELTS test online in over 800 test centres worldwide. 

2. Be well-prepared in advance 

Taking the time and effort to thoroughly prepare for your IELTS test and understand what to expect well in advance of your test date will give you the best chance of success. 

IELTS test results are reported on a scale of 1 to 9. The minimum required IELTS Academic score for admission to a QMUL Online masters course is 7 overall, mostly including a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking.  

Keep in mind there are 2 types of IELTS tests: Academic and General Training. You’ll need to take the IELTS Academic test for admission into a QMUL Online course.  

Understanding the format of the IELTS test will help you better understand what to expect on the day of your test. You can find out more about the IELTS test format. 

Several resources are also available to help you improve your IELTS test score. A great way to prepare for the test is to test yourself with a free IELTS practice test. You can also find other helpful practice resources and materials on the British Council/IELTS website. 

3. Practice your English reading and writing skills 

Another great way of improving your chances of getting good results in the IELTS test is to regularly practice your English reading and writing skills.  

Try reading some of these books to help improve your English. You can also explore graded readers, which feature world-renowned classic stories rewritten specifically for English language learners. These resources will help you both improve your reading speed and widen your vocabulary. 

You can practice your English writing skills by keeping a daily journal and writing a brief entry (or a more detailed entry, depending on how much time you have) about your day in English. Getting in the habit of writing in a daily journal will help to make sure you’re getting regular English writing practice. 

4. Record yourself speaking in English 

Recording yourself speaking in English is an ideal way to prepare for the speaking component of your IELTS test. 

You can record yourself reading your journal entries or parts of your English language books out loud. You can even just record yourself talking about anything you like in English – the main goal is to record yourself speaking in English, and to try to do it regularly. 

Once you’ve recorded yourself speaking in English, play back the recordings and assess your pronunciation. If you can ask a native English speaker to help review your recordings and give you feedback, it’ll be a great help in improving your speaking skills. 

5. Report your IELTS results promptly 

Your IELTS test results should typically be available up to around 13 days after your test. You’ll be able to view your score online, and you’ll also receive a copy of your Test Report Form (TRF).  

It’s important to email a copy of your TRF to your course admissions officer as soon as you’ve received it, so they can verify your score online. Alternatively, you can ask your nominated test centre to send a copy of your TRF directly to the organisation you want to send it to. 

QMUL Online’s team of Course Advisers can answer any questions you might have about the IELTS and English language requirements for your chosen course. You can contact them online and they’ll get in touch with you to help you take the next step in your professional journey:

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Topics: application process

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