9 Effective Tips to Manage Your Time in the IELTS Test
Are you struggling with time management in the IELTS test? The IELTS reading exam comprises 40 questions that evaluate diverse reading abilities such as identifying the main idea, grasping key details, comprehending logical arguments, skimming, and detecting the author’s attitudes, opinions, and objectives. Although the question types in both IELTS General Training and Academic tests are similar, the topics of the reading passages vary.
Proper time management during the exam is crucial since you have only 60 minutes to answer all 40 questions. It is advisable to dedicate no more than 20 minutes to each section of the Reading test. However, if you find the first passage easy, you can complete it quickly, allowing more time to answer questions from the subsequent two passages. The level of difficulty increases as you progress through the test, so it’s crucial to allocate sufficient time to the final passage. Properly managing your time during the exam allows you to complete all the tasks within the allotted time and avoid rushing through them, which can lead to mistakes and a lower score. You can also join IELTS institute in Chandigarh for guidance from the expert teachers.
In this blog, we will discuss some effective strategies to help you manage your time efficiently during the IELTS test, which can significantly improve your chances of success.
1. Familiarize yourself with the test format and instructions:
Familiarizing yourself with the IELTS test format and instructions is crucial for achieving a high score on the exam. The IELTS examination comprises four components: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each part evaluates different language skills and abilities. Understanding the format and instructions of each part can help you prepare effectively for the test and avoid confusion or mistakes during the exam.
The Listening Test- The Listening test comprises four sections, and you will hear each section only once. Before the test begins, you will have some time to read the questions and prepare your answers.
The Reading Test- The Reading test comprises three passages with a total of 40 questions. The passages are taken from books, journals, magazines, or newspapers.
The Writing Test- The Writing test comprises two tasks that you will need to complete in 60 minutes. Task 1 requires you to describe and compare data, charts, graphs, or diagrams, while Task 2 requires you to write an essay on a given topic.
The Speaking Test- The Speaking test comprises three parts and takes between 11-14 minutes to complete. In Part 1, you will have to answer general questions about yourself and your interests. In Part 2, you will be given a topic card and one minute to prepare your response, then you will speak for up to two minutes. In Part 3, you will be asked follow-up questions related to the topic in Part 2.
2. Plan your time
Allocate your time wisely for each section of the test. For example, the IELTS Listening test has four sections and you have 30 minutes to complete them all. So, you can allocate about 7-8 minutes for each section. Make sure you stick to your plan during the test and adjust it if necessary.
3. Read the instructions carefully
To achieve a high score in the IELTS exam, it is essential to read the test instructions carefully. The instructions provide valuable information about the test format, timing, and scoring, and can help you understand what is expected of you in each part of the test. To ensure that you fully comprehend the instructions, take your time before starting the test and read each instruction slowly and carefully. Highlight any key points or information that you think will be important during the test, such as the time limits for each part of the test or the scoring criteria.
Pay attention to any specific instructions regarding timing, such as the time limit for each question or the number of words allowed for each writing task. Understanding the scoring criteria for each part of the test can help you focus on the areas that are most important for achieving a high score. Finally, if you have any doubts or questions about the instructions, do not hesitate to ask the test supervisor before the test begins. Clarifying any doubts beforehand can help you avoid mistakes during the test due to misunderstanding or confusion.
4. Read questions thoroughly
It is recommended to read all the questions before starting to answer them. Take a quick look at the entire set of questions, which usually come in groups of 3 or 4, to get a sense of what information you need to focus on while studying the text. Identify the key information words in the questions and highlight them. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what you need to look for in the text. Skimming through the passage beforehand and identifying keywords will make it easier for you to locate the answers to the questions.
5. IELTS listening time section
It’s important to effectively manage your time in the test as you’ll only have 30 minutes to answer 40 questions from 4 sections. The first section has 2 speakers, the second has a single speaker, the third has 2 speakers, and the last section is a relatively difficult lecture. To manage your time well, be aware of the shift from one speaker to another while the recording is playing, and use the little time after each section to prepare for the next section.
While listening, identify the question and keywords, listen for numbers, names, and milestones, and use milestones as guides along the recording. Also, take a glance through the diagrams, maps, and graphs and note the headings and keywords. Finally, remember to transfer your answers into the answer script during the 10 minutes provided at the end of the test.
6. Manage your time during the Reading section
The Reading section of the IELTS test can be challenging because of the amount of text you have to read and the time limit. Managing your time during the IELTS Reading section is crucial to achieving a high score. With 40 questions divided into 3 increasingly difficult sections, it’s important to allocate your time wisely. A smart approach is to assign 15 minutes to the first passage, 20 minutes to the second, and 25 minutes to the third.
Take a few minutes to check for errors and confirm you’ve correctly written the answers against the corresponding numbers. Spend 5-7 minutes per passage understanding the main idea and summarizing each paragraph in a few words. Underline keywords as you read to help you find information more easily when answering questions. Remember not to get stuck on any one question for too long; if you can’t find the answer, move on to the next one.
7. Use your time wisely during the Writing section
The Writing section of the IELTS test has two tasks, and you have 60 minutes to complete them. Allocate 20 minutes to Task 1 and 40 minutes to Task 2. Tasked with completing two written tasks, the IELTS Writing section requires efficient time management to excel. The first task, which involves either a letter or graph description, should be completed in 20 minutes, with 3 minutes allocated for planning, 10 for writing, and 2 for review.
It’s important to focus on being descriptive and to note down exactly what you see. Task 2, an essay, should be completed in 40 minutes, with 5-7 minutes for planning, 30 for writing, and 3-5 for review. Make sure you allocate some time for planning, organizing your ideas, and checking your work at the end. During planning, jot down the key points you’ll be using to support or argue against the topic.
8. Pace yourself during the Speaking section
The Speaking section of the IELTS test can be stressful because you are talking to an examiner. To effectively manage your time, practice answering questions in the allotted time before the test. Make sure you pace yourself and don’t speak too fast or too slowly. Use your preparation time wisely to organize your thoughts and ideas.
9. Use your breaks wisely
You will have breaks between the sections of the IELTS test. Use this time to relax, take deep breaths, and refocus your mind. You can also use this time to review your notes or plan your next section.
The bottom line is that IELTS exam preparation requires effective time management which is essential for achieving a high score on the IELTS test. By familiarizing yourself with the test format, planning your time, reading instructions carefully, managing your time during each section, pacing yourself during the Speaking section, and using your breaks wisely, you can effectively manage your time during the IELTS test and increase your chances of success.
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