If you’re a native English speaker, who’s planning to take the IELTS test you could be thinking that passing the test will be a walk in the park. However, it is a test and just like all tests the more prepared you are, the better chances you have to get a higher score. English might be your native language, but when was the last time you set a 3 hour exam? And when was the last time you really thought about your range of vocabulary while you were speaking? Or your grammatical structure, while you were writing? Let’s be honest – possibly never. Preparation for IELTS is the key for success and because often native English speakers underestimate this fact, in some cases they actually score lower than people who have only been studying English for a few years. So what should you be doing to prepare?
- Understand the test format
You should know the basics. The test is split into four sections and takes three hours to complete. You should also know the essential details, like how long you have to complete each section of the writing test and how you’re going to be scored.
- Practice test questions and answers
Try as many practice test questions and answers as you can find. This will hone your exam technique into a well-oiled machine.
- Download the IELTS study recourses
They will prepare you on what to expect on test day and you’ll find tips from examiners and a checklist for preparation.
Finally, don’t forget that the examiner can only score you on the actual language you use in the test. So as you’re practicing, make sure you’re paying attention to demonstrating the full range of your language ability. Don’t just use simple sentences with the same vocabulary. Mix it up! This is your native language, so show it off!