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IELTS personal experience

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Just wanted to share my personal experience with the IELTS and hope it might help in some sort of way!


After coming on this site, i must admit i was worried about the test after hearing about other people's bad experiences.. Luckily i have passed with the results i needed but did find the IELTS test to be quite stressful (in particular the long day with no break in between listening, reading and writing and then the long wait to find out the results) BUT having said that i really do feel for anyone who does not get the results they need because i don't think anyone can predict how they've done and to go through all that and find out you weren't successful must be horrible!!


but here are some personal tips:



quickly glance through the text in the allocated time to give you an idea of what sort of answers you will need to fill the gaps.

Remember you have the answer sheet to transfer your answers to at the end of the test so if you hear more than one possible answer, jot it down anyway and then you can make the decision afterwards as to which one you want to put down.

I found that each section of the listening test became faster as it went on so be prepared for that as it can be a bit of a shock as you find you're writing things down quicker too.

Be careful because some of the questions, you can write up to TWO WORDS and i know one of our sections related to student university accommodation - on the tape the person said A LAMP or A DISHWASHER and that is what i wrote down... i managed to get a 9 on my listening. When i spoke to some people afterwards some of them had only put DISHWASHER or LAMP and got lower scores.. not sure if this is the reason but it's worth bearing in mind..



This can be a bit tricky as there is lots of text to read on different subjects.

Something that worked for me was scanning through one bit of text at a time and then trying to answer the set of questions for that particular text..

Again, something that can trick you is the TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN statements... the not given part can cause some confusion.. all it comes down to is whether the text mentions it or not..

The paragraph headings can also be a problem and this is the part i found the most difficult and i think it's because you know you are pushed for time. Again, just think about it really simply and not as a trick. Match the ones you know first and then determine the others with the information you have..



The first thing i had to do was look at a factory production process (displayed in pictures) and i had to look at the pictures and write it out into a process. They allocate you 20 minutes for this and there were 16 pictures so alot to write in 20 minutes. However, definitely manageable as long as you don't dwell on each picture too much. By the look of things, they tend to do something visual for the first part of the writing test (diagrams, maps etc)


The next bit is worth the most points and you have 40minutes to write it so make sure you spend the most time and effort on this bit..

Generally, it is going to be about a subject that aids discussion and requires you to use your own opinion.

Mine was about whether i thought secondary school pupils should learn a range of subjects or only a narrow range of subjects leading to a particular career. I then had to say why i thought it and give a personal experience to support it.

With questions like this, it is good to choose which one you favour, but still mention the other option.

E.g. i thought secondary pupils should learn a range of range of subjects so i gave a number of reasons why i thought this then said however, i can understand why a narrow range of subjects could be beneficial and then give an advantage. Then go back to your chosen answer and give it more weight by talking about it positively. Use words such as yet, on the other hand, conversely... It is always good to give a disadvantage of your chosen answer too as it shows you are thinking about it in a different light and considering all options... Then use your personal experience to back up your opinion.



This was the part i was most worried about as i was nervous about being recorded and having to talk to an interviewer. However, it was not way near as bad as i expected and the more i got talking, the more relaxed i became.

I thought i was going to have to think of lots to say to fill up my time but the interviewer kept throwing in lots of questions so there was never a quiet moment.

Be prepared for the interviewer to ask you questions on what you have just said to him. He asked me about weather in this country and i walked myself right into a question about global warming because i mentioned it (big mistake) this is probably why i got an 8.5 rather than a 9 like my other sections, not that i'm complaining! so make sure whatever you say, you're happy to elaborate on it :-)


Some of the questions are very random (e.g. do i think children should learn to swim at an early age?, was i encourage to be creative at an early age?, why do i think children should be encouraged to be creative?, discussion about neighbours etc)


Having said that, it is amazing what you come up with on the spot and i found myself talking about things i would never have imagined.


Most of all, do the practice test because they just give you that idea of what to expect if nothing else.


and good luck!!!

IELTS 24/9/11: overall 9. ANMAC skills assessment submitted 17/11/11 - successful outcome 16/3/12.. EOI lodged: 03/07/12. TRA successful outcome (partner skills) 30/08/12.. 189 invite received 01/10/12 applied: 22.10.12, Visa granted 21.02.13!!

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Hi dani

this is a great post i just wish my oh could of seen this before his test last Saturday hopefully it will help others on here to get higher scores.

Thanks sporty

Vetassess Submitted 24/07/2011, Skills Assessment booked 24/09/2011, Passed 5/10/2011, IELTS PASSED 4th attempt 01/2012, 176 Visa submitted 22/1/2012,CO Assigned 31/1/2012,PCC 20/2/2012, Meds 16/2/2012 Finalised 29/2/2012, Visa Granted 1/3/2012, Arrived in Adelaide 16/11/2012 :cool:

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