Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn if test practice is hurting your IELTS scores.

We had this great question from a 3 Keys student:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you mentioned that doing tests repeatedly may hurt our score. Would you please elaborate on that?

Basically, if you are doing so many practice tests that you lose motivation and dread doing the test, you are creating a negative attitude toward IELTS.

Also, if you are practicing the wrong strategies, and aren’t seeing your scores increasing, you are wasting your time.

You must learn and practice the skills and strategies before you apply them to IELTS test practice.

So much of your test preparation is mental. If you are feeling anxiety because you are sick of the IELTS Exam, you won’t be doing your best.

Also, when you do something too many times, like give a certain Speaking test answer, you start just going through the motions.

This means you are on auto-pilot, and aren’t actually engaged in the process or the exam.

There’s a fine line between doing enough test practice so the strategies feel natural, and going overboard so you stop really thinking about what you’re doing.

So, how many tests are we talking about here?

If your exam is far away, one practice test a week is plenty, because most of your time should be spent building your testing and English skills.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t do more than 2-3 practice tests a week.

Also, as soon as you’ve completed learning the Listening skills, start doing Listening Exam practice immediately.

In the week before the exam, just do one full practice test. Your goal this week is not create anxiety and be mentally ready for the real test.

It all comes down to having the right study plan, so you know exactly how to prepare.

What do you think of today’s advice?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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