Tips to pass your IELTS exam


Hello all! My name is Michele, and I have had the pleasure of teaching at Langports, Sydney since 2016. Prior to that, I had a 17-year stint teaching English overseas, during which time I was fortunate enough to also train as an IELTS examiner. Once I became registered, I spent the following eight years working for the British Council, ECCLES (Cambridge English) and IDP (Australia). Having examined thousands of IELTS candidates in the Speaking and Writing Modules, I would like to share some tips to pass your IELTS exam.

Tip – 1 Find a reputable IELTS course provider

Langports – Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney – all provide two discrete comprehensive 5-week closed courses in IELTS which cover all four modules: Reading, Writing Listening and Speaking. They include exam strategies as well as offering students many exam practice papers, with helpful teacher feedback.

Tip 2 – Keep a comprehensive record of work you have done

Familiarise yourself with a large variety of global issues, by reading and listening to reputable news and current affairs sources such as the BBC. You can build up a vocabulary bank of topic-related words necessary for both speaking and writing. Keep a notebook for new words, phrasal verbs, fixed expressions and idioms as you see or hear them, and categorise them in your own way to remember them more easily.

Tip 3 – Tomato (pronounced ‘to-may-to’ or ‘to-mar-to’)

Listen to a variety of English accents – Australian, Canadian, American, English, New Zealand – by sourcing podcasts such as Ted Talks and 6-minute English. This not only prepares you for the varied collection of accents used in the Listening exam, but has the added bonus of increasing vocabulary acquisition which is useful for the Speaking and Writing exams.

Tip 4 – Warm up!

Like athletes who prepare for an event by exercising the muscle groups required for a particular race, IELTS candidates can also warm up just before ‘the big day’(of the exams). Find a supportive friend to talk to for half an hour before the Speaking exam. This will provide an English context that will enable you to reach a more fluent level with which to start the exam.

You can also warm up for the Writing paper by selecting a few IELTS practice questions. For a week before the exam, try to complete either Task1 or Task 2 each night. Likewise, listen to a variety of English sources during the week to prepare for the Listening exam. Finally, do some skimming and scanning of a number of text types as well as more in-depth reading to prepare for the Reading exam.

Final word

If you are thinking of preparing for the IELTS exams, I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Good luck!

Michele Walters – Langports Sydney

To learn more about our IELTS course, watch our video here! Or contact us on our website:


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