General hints                                 

1. Choose a realistic and achievable goal Follow a regular study plan

2. Increase your personal speed

3. Increase your sentence reading speed

4. Develop a memory for English ♦ During the test

5. Manage your time carefully

- Listening: Listen once, answer the questions as you listen. Don’t transfer answers while listening. You are given 10 minutes to do this.

- Reading: Keep an eye on the time

6. The golden rule of IELTS: “Always give the monkey exactly what he wants”.

- Know the type of information the test asks you to give.

- Know what you have to do with the information

7. Read the instructions carefully

8. Always look at the example

9. Use question keywords/phrases to find the answers

♦ Check before the end of the test

10. Do not forget to make logical guesses

11. Check your answers are grammatically correct

12. Give one answer only

13. Check your spelling

14. Make sure your answers are easy to read


15.    Be ready to listen :
“Section 1 , Section 2 Be prepared and ready to listen for the instructions
-         listen for details (who, where, what...)                                                                  
-      check where to questions are located on the pages                                                      *
16.    Learn to predict
Pay attention to types of question tasks
-           Use four skills at once:
        read the instructions and questions
        listen for general information
        listen for specific information
        write the answers as you listen for the answers to the questions that follow,
17.    Work out the word variables (Predicting the variable words to listen for)
18.    Notice the answers are often stressed and repeated
19.    Know when to move on to the next question
           Be aware of the content of the next question as you listen for the answer to the current question.
          Listen for the question topic keywords/phrases, any marker words/phrases, and the changes in the speaker’s inflection or pitch, to help you recognise when the questions change. Once you recognise the question topic has changed, it is time to move on to the next question.
-         And now (we will)...                       - Now tell me,...
-         Next, I’d like to ...                          - Finally, can you tell us         ...
-         Right, so the first thing                   - To start with ...
-         Before I move on to ...                    - I ‘d like now to move on to ...
-         One more thing...                            -  And what about...?
-         Well, that’s about it, except for
20.      Look at other questions for the answer (in some cases)
21.      Listen for the speaker changing his/her mind
22.      Use shorthand for speedy writing

1.      Be prepared and try to relax
2.      Be willing to talk, and be positive
3.      Answer questions simply, but in detail
4.      Introduction:
           Requirements: - introduce yourself in a relaxed, friendly manner
-          produce basic information about yourself simply, accurately, and as fluently as possible
-            present yourself as a person who is willing to talk and has interesting things to say about himself or herself.
           What to do
-    Show the examiner you are confident by smiling and looking him or her in the eye.
-    When the examiner shakes your hand return his or her handshake firmly.
-    Answer the questions you are asked as clearly and in as much detail as possible.
-    Show that you are in control by talking freely about yourself and your past.
-    Make sure you have practised enough before the test so that the past tenses you use are accurately formed and appropriate
           and what not to do

- Do not tell the examiner that you are nervous, or blink your eyes and move about too much.

- Do not shake hands with the examiner as if your extended hand were a cold wet fish.

- Do not cut the conversation short with answers of only one word, or very short answers.

- Do not wait for another question if you know that the examiner wants you to keep talking.

- Don’t be afraid to correct yourself if you make a grammatical mistake, but fluency is more important than grammar at this time.
           Suggested words and phrases
Good morning/ afternoon.                               Pleased to meet you.
I’m very well, thank you. And you?               What exactly would you like to know?
As you can see from my CV...                        The reason I’m taking the test is
because ...
Perhaps I can begin by telling you about...     Would you like to know about...?
Recently, I’ve been studying/working at...     Before that I studied/worked at...
I’ve been studying English now for ...At the  moment I’m studying/working at...
Have I answered your question?                     Is there anything else you wish to
5.      Extended discourse
-           talk at some length about a given topic, and if appropriate, present your opinions, or give formal, objective points of view.
-           Explain, describe or narrate what is happening or has happened regarding the topic.
-              Show yourself willing to discuss the topic, even if you know very little about it, in which case you will need to talk around the topic.
           What to do
-           Organise your reply by first commenting on the topic given.
-           Then think of at least two main aspects of the topic that are worth discussing.
-          Explain that you will discuss each aspect in turn before you begin your talk in earnest, (formally and objectively is best).
-          Try to talk around a difficult topic by guessing, using “maybe”, “perhaps”, etc. It is much better than saying nothing!
           And what not to do
-          Do not say that you cannot talk about the topic, or that you’ve never thought about it.
-          Do not worry if you do not understand a question/topic. Ask the examiner to repeat it.
-          Do not digress too much. Keep to the topic; otherwise it will appear as though you do not understand what the question topic is.
-          Do not wait for questions - show that you are capable of discussing the topic without being prompted by the examiner.

Could you please rephrase that question / topic? I’m not exactly sure what you mean...
-         I’m not exactly sure how to answer that question, but (perhaps) ...
-         That’s a rather difficult question, but (maybe) ...
-         I’m sorry, but I don’t know much about... However, it might be possible that ...
-          Maybe I can answer your question by telling you about a personal experience I had.
-         That’s an interesting question ... Let me see. Well, I suppose that...
-         Well, I think there are 2 (or 3 or more) reasons: First,... Second,....
-          In my opinion there are three ways of looking at it: First of all,.... Next,.... Then,...
-         Have I given you enough information?      - Would you like me to tell you more
-         Is that all you ‘d like to know?                   - I’m afraid that’s about as much as I
-         I think that’s about it.                                  - I can’t think of anything else right
6.     Conclusion
          What to do
-          Relax and remain in control right up until the moment you leave the interview room.
-            Shake hands confidently, if it is appropriate, and thank the examiner for his or her time.
-         Remember that last impressions can be just as important as first impressions.
-          Simply say: “Thank you very much for your time. I enjoyed talking with you. Goodbye... or a similar concluding sentence or two of your own.
          What not to do
-          Do not tell the examiner how relieved you are the test is over, and there is no need to comment on your performance!
-          Do not overdo your friendliness at the end. Be glad you did your best, smile and leave the room.
-          Do not ask the examiner for your Band Score. He or she is unable to give you that information.

Thế Anh Nguyễn.