Exam Papers for IELTS
How to Study from IELTS Exam Papers
Different students have different ways of preparing for the IELTS exam. Whichever way you choose, be it enrolling for coaching classes or opting for self-study, what remains common to all these means of preparation is acquainting yourself with the pattern of the test. The thing that everyone stresses on the most is solving exam papers of IELTS. This is the only way you will understand what to expect from the test and thus be fully prepared for it.
Testing Your Level of Preparation
Before starting preparation, do take a mock test and find out where exactly you stand in terms of amount of preparation needed for acing the exam. This can be easily done by solving any of the exam papers of IELTS that are given in your chosen book for preparation or by going online and finding a site that lets you take a mock test for free. Some such sites are http://www.canadavisa.com/ielts/free-practice-tests.html and http://www.ielts-exam.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=15&Itemid=64. Grade yourself to find your existing level of proficiency and compare it with your desired band score to see how much work is cut out for you.
You can start practicing tests from the various books that are available for preparation like Cambridge IELTS Collection, IELTS TestBuilder, Insight into IELTS and 404 Essential Tests for IELTS among others. You can also find free exam papers online and use them for practice.
Official IELTS Sample Test
Visit http://ielts.org/test_takers_information/test_sample.aspx to see the official sample papers given by the IELTS foundation complete with their solutions and answer key. This should help you understand what types of questions are expected in the exam and the kind of answers you should give to maximise your score.
British Council's Practice Tests
The British Council makes available a lot of free exam papers on their site which students can access to improve their performance in the actual test. Since The British Council is one of the partners who own this test, you can rely on their sample tests to be accurate and help you in your preparation. Visit this link to find out more about their test papers - http://www.britishcouncil.org/professionals-exams-ielts-intro.htm. They have also mentioned many tips and suggestions to strengthen your preparation on their website.
This website has around 10 free full-length practice tests along with many other section wise practice questions which you can solve to gain a better hold on your basics of the English language. The link to the website is http://www.ielts-exam.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=15&Itemid=64. It has proved to be by far the most useful website as it houses the maximum number of free practice materials in one place.
Dominic Cole's IELTS Website
Visit www.dcielts.com for a variety of free sample tests with solutions that will help you prepare for the exam. The speciality of this website is that you can isolate the section you are having trouble in, be it Reading, Writing, Listening or Speaking, and practice for that section so as to improve your individual skills
Do keep reviewing your preparation by taking a mock test every week to see how far you have come in your preparation. It would be useful to supplement your preparation by buying a book that explains the correct way to attempt the different sections and by asking a teacher for guidance. Try and incorporate the usage of English in your day to day life so as to enrich your learning experience even more.
Practicing test papers is the only way to make sure you get a high score in the exam. You can consult any experienced teacher and all he will tell you is that practicing more tests is the key to improving your overall skills in English. The plus point of preparing in this way is that solving exam papers simulates the test taking experience for you and removes the fear of the actual exam experience from your mind. As they say, practice makes a man perfect.
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