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

Students are always talking about IELTS tricks to help them on the exam.

Tricks don’t work! You can’t ‘game the system’, as they say. There’s no way to cheat the test to improve your score.

The only way to actually raise your IELTS scores is to learn solid strategies and practice them intensely before test day.

So, be careful of following some of the IELTS advice out there! Stay away from the four tricks listed below.

  • Doing Task 2 before Task 1
    • I’ve heard many students talk about this one. They think that because Task 2 is worth more points than Task 1, they should make sure to finish it first.
    • The fact is, if you don’t finish Task 1, your score will also be low! Thus, there is no reason to write them out of order.
    • Do Task 1 first. This task does not require creativity, so focus on accomplishing the required reporting and describing of numbers.
    • Then, your brain is free to invent specific and interesting details/examples for Task 2.
    • Practice the timing before test day, so you are confident with the limits.
  • Doing ‘harder’ Reading questions first
    • You should only spend about a minute looking for any answer, no matter the question type.
    • Do the questions in order, as they are given. Do not confuse yourself by skipping ahead.
    • The only time to skip a question is if you cannot find the answer in one minute.
    • Often, as you are looking for other answers, you will come across the answer for the difficult question that you skipped.


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  • Skipping ahead in Listening
  • Not taking notes in Part 2
    • Some IELTS candidates think they do not need the minute to take notes, and so they start speaking immediately. These answers are usually unorganized and choppy, and may not fill the whole two minutes.
    • Not taking notes does not impress the examiner. The examiner wants you to take notes and follow the timing schedule.
    • Organize your notes in a way that will help you when you start speaking.

Do you have any questions about IELTS tricks?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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