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

How can you avoid mistakes that will destroy your score?

Today Aubrey will share the 3 lessons that she has learned so far while getting trained in the 3 Keys IELTS Success System.

In today’s episode, you’ll get a fresh, native perspective on what to do to save time and escape pitfalls when it comes to preparing for IELTS.

What has Aubrey learned from 3 Keys?

Aubrey is going through the 3 Keys IELTS Success System and has learned some vital tips!

She discovered three lessons that can be used by everyone taking the IELTS Exam.

Strategies Created By a Former Examiner

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Lesson #1: Apply the strategies every time!

Test validity is extremely important.

You need to recreate the IELTS exam when you take practice tests.

  • Print practice exercises and tests so you can underline key words
  • Time yourself!
  • Use the vocabulary you have learned rather than looking up new words
  • Apply the strategies

It is impossible to retain the keywords in your mind.

You have to be able to mark up printed copies!

  • Be sure to complete all the practice exercises after every video module.
  • These skills can’t be learned just from watching a video.
  • They will all take practice!

Lesson #2: Check your answers

What is the second tidbit Aubrey learned from the modules?

  • “Tidbit” is a tiny bit of specific information
  • This expression is used often among native speakers
  • Add it to your vocabulary notebook!

It is so important to check your answers!

Work backwards to see why the answer is correct and why you missed any.

Don’t just do IELTS practice and be upset about your score.

Have a growth mindset!

How do you work backwards?

  • Check answers and find out which questions you missed
  • Figure out what the correct response should have been
  • Find the correct answer in the passage
  • Highlight the key words that match
  • Think about what the problem was that made you get it wrong

What could the problem be?

  • Is the issue with vocabulary?
  • Did I struggle with parallel expressions?
  • Is it a grammar issue?

IELTS exam writers use the same tricks over and over.

  • Distractors
  • Parallel expressions
  • Tricky key words

Work backwards before you even try the answer!

Check out IELTS Energy episode 618 for more information about how to work backwards.

Lesson #3: Learn strategies before practicing

It is extremely difficult even for a native speaker to take practice tests without any strategies!

Completing the 3 Keys Success System modules before completing any practice tests makes a huge difference.

Many difficulties arise for someone who is unprepared, such as:

  • Unfamiliar with the format of the exam
  • Unaware of distractors, parallel expressions and other pitfalls
  • Don’t know what to listen for
  • Unsure if you will hear information a second time

It’s easy to miss questions if you don’t know what to look or listen for!

What is different about IELTS?

  • The format
  • Question types
  • Strategies you need for different question types

You can’t go to a TOEFL class and get specific enough information.

The study tips and information you use must be specific to the IELTS exam in order for you to be well-prepared!


The IELTS exam is extremely difficult!

Today we showed you how Aubrey learned that you must learn strategies before you practice for IELTS.

You also learned why test validity matters and why you need to work backwards to check your answers.

Do not get discouraged if you are struggling, as even native speakers find it tricky!

Without IELTS strategies and practice, it is difficult for anyone to get high scores.

Sign up for the 3 Keys IELTS Success System to access all the strategies Aubrey used to improve her scores!

Do you have questions about today’s topic?

Let us know in the comments below.

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