5 Tips for staying motivated when preparing for the IELTS
Preparing for the IELTS can be daunting. It takes time, commitment and a strong will to stay motivated. If you’re feeling down or struggling with staying motivated when preparing for the IELTS, here are 5 tips that can help you.
1. Break it Down & Set Goals
We often lose motivation when we feel the task is too big or too hard. We get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and then feel deflated.
It’s important that when facing a task as big as preparing for the IELTS test, that you break it down into manageable bits. You can break your preparation into weeks and set a goal for each week. For example, one week just focus on writing task 1. You can break this down even smaller into daily goals. For example, if you are taking the IELTS general, you can spend one or two days on each type of letter (formal, semi-formal or informal). If you are taking IELTS academic, you can spend a day on each type of graph or chart.
Then, the next week, focus just on writing task 2. And do the same for reading and listening. When you have completed a goal are able to tick a task off of your list, you will feel a sense of achievement and see your progress. This approach will go a long way toward helping you stay motivated when preparing for the IELTS.
2. Take Breaks
Although you are probably on a time limit, it’s important that you take breaks. You don’t want to burn out. Plus, you will begin to lose motivation if all you do is study. So, set a daily goal and when you finish it, take a break. Go for a walk, watch a movie, spend time with your friends or family, or just chill. You’ve earned it!
Staying active will also play a huge role in helping you stay motivated when preparing for the IELTS. Try to include some exercise in your breaks. Moving the body helps the brain stay active. It will reduce stress by activating your happy hormones and also help you to feel refreshed for the next day of study.
3. Find the Right Resources
Another thing that may cause some anxiety for test-taker is the number of resources out there related to IELTS test preparation. The key is to find the right materials to support your study. Having the right resources will help you stay motivated because you know that you are being guided correctly and are on the right track. Support is necessary during this time, so a good teacher or tutor to give you the right kind of feedback will help keep your motivation levels high.
Believe it or not, failure can actually be a good thing. It’s an opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes. If you find yourself not getting the scores you expect, then ask an expert for advice or feedback. Don’t let failure be your excuse for not staying motivated when preparing for IELTS.
Knowing where, how and why you went wrong is a chance to improve your skills. For example, if your writing score is low, find out why. Is it related to grammar, vocabulary, structure or flow? If it’s grammar, what kind of grammar mistakes are you making? This gives you a chance to focus on your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
5. Eat and Sleep well
This one sounds obvious, but when we don’t get enough sleep or aren’t eating a healthy diet, our motivation suffers because we are tired and our brains are not working to their best ability.
Plenty of rest and proper nutrition will help you stay motivated when preparing for the IELTS. Some people like to stay up late into the night studying. Many people even find it easier to study at night. Just make sure that you are snacking well to keep your energy levels up and that you get around 8 hours of sleep.
Sleep and food will keep you motivated!
Written by: Jamal Abilmona