Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever thought of approaching your IELTS preparation backwards?

What does that even mean?

If you find yourself stuck on a particular question type, or stumped by constant low scores, this strategy may be the key to turning your IELTS results around.


  • Reading is all about time-saving strategies. You must become accustomed to the feeling of not being 100% sure of your answers.
  • However, trusting the these strategies is difficult, and many students find themselves reading too much and thinking too much, and still getting the wrong answers.
  • So, don’t try and find the answers. Instead, go to the back of the book and write down the answers first.
  • Then, one by one, highlight the key words in the question and the matching key words in the text. Also, highlight the answer in the text. Analyze the highlighted parts of the passage and think about why that is the answer.
  • Likewise, analyze the wrong answers (in Multiple Choice, for example), and think about why they are the wrong answers.
  • You will begin to see patterns, and grow comfortable and familiar with how IELTS questions are written and answered.


  • Before you try a test, listen to a complete test while reading along with the audio script.
  • Then, do another test, but this time highlight the matching key words from the question and the audio script, as well as highlighting the answers.
  • Just as in Reading, analyze the correct and incorrect answers.

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  • As with Writing, you need to listen to sample answers by native speakers who are also IELTS professionals.
  • Analyze the answers for organization, vocabulary, linking and specific details/examples that are given.

After approaching the IELTS exam from these angles, you will now be ready to try and produce the same results yourself.

What do you think of today’s strategies?

Tell us your ideas in the comments section below!

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