IELTS Exam Tip 1

Listening Tip

When you have to answer multiple choice questions, remember that the information might be expressed in different ways in the recording.

Listen for ideas, not particular words and phrases.

Reading Tip

Remember that skimming and scanning are important exam skills. Skimming is the quickest way of finding out what a text, or part of a text is about, and once you know the general subject, it's easier to read for detail. Scanning is the most efficient way of locating the information you need to answer exam questions.

It's important to underline or highlight key words or phrases in the questions. This helps you to focus on the Information you need to find in the text.

Writing Tip

Make good use of modal verbs to frame your ideas.


1) "will" to state your intention: In this essay I will outline three measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of violent behavior.

2) emphatic modal verbs such as "must" and "should" to express a necessity: In my view, the government must bear some of this responsibility.

3) "can" and "could" to make suggestions: Firstly, the government can ensure that its policies take the interests of children into account.

4) "would" to indicate the consequences of implementing a suggestion: This would ensure that the particular circumstances of each case are properly identified and taken into account.

Speaking Tip

In the IELTS Speaking exam you will be judged on your use of vocabulary. Having a good vocabulary is not just about knowing lots of words and phrases. You have to know how to use them. If you use slang in the exam, it might sound inappropriate.

Equally, some words that are extremely formal or old-fashioned are not often used in speaking, and might also sound inappropriate.