Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll meet Alex, a 3 Keys student who just took IELTS for the first time.

Find out how she increased her test day confidence.

You’ll also discover how she focused her preparation.

This helped improve her Writing and her raise her scores.

What was her test day experience like?

She often has severe anxiety, but she was able to be calm and confident.

Because Covid-19 is prevalent where she lives, she avoided public transportation.

She wanted to do everything she could to manage her anxiety.

Why did she sign up for 3 Keys IELTS?

She was overwhelmed by the billions of online IELTS resources.

It’s impossible to know who to trust.

As an avid listener of our podcasts, she was impressed by our content.

She knew she could trust the 3 Keys study system!

Tip #1: Open your brain box

Alex found this 3 Keys IELTS strategy incredibly helpful!

On the Listening section, she accessed her schema by opening the appropriate brain box.

If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, it means:

  1. Predict what you will hear.

2. Then mentally pull up what you have learned about that topic.

This includes all relevant vocabulary!

This is a useful strategy for the 30 seconds before the Listening audio begins.

Strategies Created by a Former IELTS Examiner

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Tip #2: Don’t overcomplicate your study

Especially with Task 1 and Task 2 Writing, you need to keep it simple.

You don’t have time to be complicated with ideas.

This will make your essay unclear.

There is a fine line between complicated and convoluted.

  • convoluted: the logic is confusing and ideas are unclear

Tip #3: Write by hand

Even if taking the computer test, she recommends writing essays by hand.

Additionally, when practicing vocabulary and grammar, write by hand.

Write the word with the definition and a sentence for context.

This helps you involve your sense of touch and your brain more.

Hand write your notes and your Vocabulary notebook.

Also, practice writing Task 1 and Task 2 by hand.

How is academic writing different from IELTS writing?

Alex has some experience with academic English writing.

With academic writing, Alex spends a lot of time weighing ideas.

She considers which ideas are strongest and best.

When it comes to IELTS writing, she knows you can’t take this kind of time to choose an idea.

You need more time to support ideas with details and examples.

Therefore, you must run with the first strong idea you think of!

What should you do if you’re lacking motivation?

It is difficult to self-motivate!

If you’re studying on your own, you may feeling your motivation drop.

You shouldn’t have to worry about this!

You need to be able to spend time studying, rather than seeking internal motivation!

Let us motivate you!

Sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

Book recommendations for learning IELTS Vocabulary

Alex read a book that she found very helpful for Writing Task 1.

It is from The Economist and is called Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures that Turn Our World Upside Down.

She also recommends a funny and entertaining book called The Cartoon Introduction to Economics.

Topics related to economics often show up on IELTS Writing as well as Speaking Part 3.

How can studying economics help prepare you for IELTS?

Economics is not just math!

It is also theory and is very fascinating!

We also recommend any books by Malcolm Gladwell.

Also, listen to the podcast Planet Money.

They look at fine points of economics, but in very entertaining ways.

These resources are a fun, engaging way to learn more about economics!


You can get the scores you need the first time you take IELTS!

Take notes on the advice she shares today.

Practice using it as you study for IELTS.

Follow her example by getting into our study system.

We have all the strategies you need to get your IELTS score!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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