The Most Important IELTS Test-Day Tips that you need to remember
So the big day is arriving. You’ve done all of your test preparation and you’re ready to tackle the IELTS. Here are the most important IELTS test-day tips that will help you reduce stress and get that band 8 score!
1. Pack your passport and snacks
It’s good to pack your bag, including your passport and snacks, the night before the test. You don’t want to be running around the morning of the test last-minute trying to find the most important document you need. Without it, you won’t be able to sit the test. Remember to do a double check of your bag in the morning. It’s also a good idea to pack some healthy snacks like fruits and nuts. There will be a break between the first part of the test (writing, reading, listening) and the speaking test. So, pack some brain food to keep you going.
2. Know where you’re going
It will give you peace of mind to plan the night before where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Check your confirmation email for the precise location and time of your test. Pre-plan your transport route and try to arrive early. This will reduce worry about being late, and also allow for any unplanned disruptions.
3. Eat a good breakfast
It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets that brain working and those neurons firing. Eating a good breakfast will help you focus on the test. Be sure to eat something brainy like eggs, grains, oats or fruit with yogurt. You shouldn’t eat anything too heavy. You don’t want to feel sleepy during the test!
4. Arrive early
You should arrive early to allow time for registration, including ID check and having your photograph taken for your test report form, checking in your personal items, and making your way to your test room. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test. (Refer to step 3).
5. The test room
Once have had your ID checked, your photograph taken and checked your personal items into a secure room, you will find your test room and wait in line to have your passport checked yet again, and depending on the test centre, you may even have your electronic fingerprint taken. You will be assigned a desk that will have your name on it. There will also be a pencil or two and an eraser. You will not be able to bring anything into the test room other than your passport and a clear bottle of water. The water bottle must be clear and must not contain any labels on it. You will also be provided with scratch paper to take notes if you need. These will be collected at the end of the test and discarded. You should listen carefully to the supervisor’s instructions. If you cannot hear or are unsure about something, raise your hand and the supervisor will assist you.
The test will begin with the writing component which lasts for 60 minutes. This is followed by the reading, also 60 minutes and then the listening which takes about 30 minutes. There will be no break between these three sections of the test. You cannot leave your seat until all papers have been collected and you have been told to leave. If you finish the test early, you must wait quietly it is over and you are told that you can leave. When you leave, you are not allowed to take any papers with you, only your passport and the water bottle you brought in. You will then be advised of the time and place of the speaking test. It could be directly following the first part of the test, or you might have to wait a few hours. In some test centres, the speaking test may be done on a different day. If you have to wait a few hours, you can leave the test centre and have something to eat or go for a walk to get some fresh air. However, be sure to be back in the building at least 30 minutes before your speaking test. There will be a waiting room where you will wait with other candidates for your name to be called.
You won’t be allowed to leave during the first or last 10 minutes of any of the test components. If you need to leave the test room to go to the bathroom, raise your hand and inform the supervisor. When you leave the room, take your passport with you. They will recheck it when you return to the room and possibly your electronic fingerprint.
8. Asking for Help
If you have a problem (for example, if you think you have been given the wrong test paper, you didn’t hear the instructions, or you feel sick) raise your hand quietly and a supervisor will attend to you. You are not allowed to speak until the supervisor comes to assist you. Supervisors can only assist you with technical problems and will not provide you with an explanation of any of the test questions.
9. After the test
Once you have finished all parts of the test, you can collect your personal items and leave the building. You will be able to access your results online 13 days after the test and you will receive your official Test Report form in the mail.
These are the most important IELTS test-day tips that you need to remember. Do you have your own test-day preparation routine? Feel free to share them with us!
By the way, best of luck! And remember to relax. You’ve got this!
Written by: Jamal