It’s the day before your exam.
You haven’t studied at all.
You can’t speak a single word of English.
You aren’t even old enough to take the test.
You haven’t even been born yet.
But you’ve scheduled your test and it is tomorrow.
What should you do to be best prepared?
Read on to learn how to can ace the test despite all the problems listed above.
If you want to both improve your English and feel comfortable, I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!
Learn more about my new Patreon service here and my writing corrections here.
Step 1: Review your Notes/Worksheets
Remember all those IELTS notes that you took? It’s not time to burn them yet. You can do that the day after the test.
First you should read them. Read them directly before you go to bed so that they are tattooed onto your brain.
When you wake up in the morning, read them again. You don’t have to read them too carefully. Just breeze through them a couple of times so that they are part of your short-term memory.
This always made a huge difference for me when I was taking tests in University. Reviewing is such an important step – more important than learning it the first time – but most students neglect it.
You already did the hard work sitting in some boring IELTS class next to smelly students, took the notes – now is the easy part, just review them!
Step 2: Get a Good Night’s Sleep for the First Time in Your Life
I know your passion in life is aimlessly scrolling through Facebook late at night. Believe me, I know that all too well.
Smash your phone to bits and throw it in the toilet. You can fish it out tomorrow and take it to the Apple store for a full refund.
Ignore your friends no matter how bad the emergency. Lock your door and don’t let in your family. Give them some money for a hotel or something.
Go to sleep early or knock yourself unconscious if you have to.
Make sure that you don’t have any nightmares. Dream of your future success.
Put back together the phone that you just smashed and set an alarm (and a backup alarm).
Step 3: Eat
Wake up and eat breakfast. Some countries have supersitiions about the foods you should eat before a test.
For example in Vietnam, many people won’t eat eggs on the day of a test because the are shaped like a zero (0).
Follow whatever superstition your country believes in. It’s probably not true, but why risk it?
Have something healthy that promotes brain functioning like a banana, broccoli, nuts, or dark chocolate.
Make sure that you shower and brush your teeth thoroughly. There is nothing that will hurt your score on IELTS more than having bad breath or bad body odor.
Step 4: The Easy Part (Taking the Test)
Show up for the test.
Remember to bring your ID. Show up a bit early so that you feel comfortable and have some time to make yourself nervous/anxious.
It really helps to visualise the result that you want. Don’t focus on your score.
Visualise doing well on the listening, reading quickly, speaking well, and writing a masterpiece. Make sure that you imagine something specific.
Step 5: After the Test
When you get your results back, there’s a very good chance that you will be disappointed. Most students are and that’s why IELTS is such a big business.
You need to have realistic expectations about taking the test again.
How far are you from your score? If you are half a band away, you might not need much more preparation. Read more about how long it will take here.
If you are 1 band or more away, then you probably need to improve your English, not study IELTS. Read more about why here.
Finally, make a realistic study plan that you will be able to stick to – an unrealistic one is only going to result in you giving up later on!
Best of luck!
Comment below – how was your IELTS test? Anything interesting/funny/horrifying happen on test day?