Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Most likely, you are a busy person. Finding time to prepare for the daunting IELTS Exam is, well, daunting!

Because IELTS is such a huge test, encompassing so many skills and strategies, it may seem like you don’t have time to tackle everything you need to.

We recommend 2-3 hours a day of study, 5-6 days a week. However, you don’t have to sit down for a straight 2-3 hours.

This preparation time does not only include IELTS practice, like learning and applying the Reading strategies, but it also includes activities to improve your overall English.

So, when looking ahead and trying to form a study plan for yourself, try to find time throughout your day to improve skills in small chunks of time, and you can save the test practice and strategy learning for when you do have a whole hour to commit to study.

How to Hack Your Day for IELTS Practice


  • When you wake up, tell yourself, out loud, what you’re going to do today.
  • Sign up for a word of the day app, and explain that word to a friend, in English, every day.
  • Before you go to sleep, talk out loud about how your day went. Be honest with yourself about actions and feelings.


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  • Change all of your devices to English (phone, tablet, etc.).
  • Keep an English novel with you at all times, sneaking in a page or two whenever you can during your day.
  • When eating out, ask for an English menu (they might think you’re nuts, but who cares!).
  • As you walk/move around your city, try to find all the English signs that you can, and read them.


  • Think of someone you know who lives in another city/country that speaks English, even as a second language. Ask them to be your pen pal, and exchange emails 2-3 times a week.
  • Whenever you need to write out a list, schedule, or reminder note to yourself, write it in English!
  • When you hear an interesting news story in your language, even by word of mouth, take 5 minutes to write about it in English.

Include these hacks in your study plan, and you’ll see improvements quickly!

What do you think of today’s advice?

Share your ideas in the comments section below!

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