Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

IELTS practice exams can be hard to come by!

This is especially true for the computer exam.

Today’s guest has 25 years of experience writing these practice exams.

He will share 3 tips for preparing for the IELTS exam.

You’ll also get a special offer for free practice exams!

#1: Practice

Robbie’s advice is practice, practice, practice.

In order to get the IELTS score you need it’s vital to practice for the exam.

It is, of course, vital to learn strategies.

However, this isn’t enough!

You must then practice applying these strategies on practice exams.

Listen for two answers

On the IELTS Listening exam, Robbie suggests listening for two answers at once.

Every part of the IELTS exam gets increasingly difficult.

As you’re listening to the audio, you may miss an answer.

It is very easy to panic when this happens.

This way, if you hear the answer to the second answer, you know if you’ve missed one.

The benefit is that this gets you back on track in the audio.

It helps you follow along and not miss multiple answers.

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Use the time before you listen

It’s vital to highlight keywords ahead of time.

You are then listening for these keywords.

Don’t just stare at an answer that you may have missed.

Keep looking for the keywords you’ve highlighted in the subsequent answers.

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t rush ahead.

It will be tempting to look ahead.

This may cause you to miss answers.

Additionally, watch out for detractors.

Often you will hear an answer and then the person will change it.

Watch for these adjustments so you don’t get tricked.

Listen for negative words

There will be signal words that someone is changing their mind.

This is likely changing the answer.

You will want to pay attention to sign post words that signal this.

  • However
  • I changed my mind
  • Now that I think about it
  • No
  • Wait, that’s not it

Don’t fall for these traps that are almost always on the Listening exam.

Buy yourself time

If you finish a section, you are able to start the next section early.

Use this time!

Don’t spend time second guessing answers or changing them.

This will likely cause you to get answers wrong.

Instead, move on to the next section.

Spend that time identifying keywords in the next questions.


Today we covered three problems faced by students.

First, they often lose track of the recording and miss several answers in a row.

Second, students rush and choose the answer too soon.

Third, they don’t read all the questions before the recording starts.

Today’s tips helps you solve these three issues.

Go to to check out the practice tests.

The first 20 people to email Simone at will get free access to all the practice tests on the platform!

Robert Nicholson bio

Robert was born and educated in the UK. He has a BA degree in English, a master’s degree in business Administration, a postgraduate certificate of education, and a diploma in teaching English to adults. Robert has taught English around the world for over 35 years and IELTS for over 25 years. He has worked in the UK, Austria, France, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and Poland in various institutions, including the British Council, and has developed IELTs materials for various companies for over 25 years.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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