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How hard is IELTS – How to overcome the challenges of the IELTS exam

08 February, 2024 By Priyal Kakaye, IMS India

How hard is the IELTS exam? Is it easy to crack? It is the biggest concern for candidates aiming to clear the IELTS test on their first attempt and move abroad for opportunities. However, the answer to the question – how hard is IELTS – depends entirely on the candidates and how they appear in the exam. 

Several people might have shared their worries about attempting the exam and obtaining a desirable score as a non-native English speaker. However, even if you start your preparation from scratch with proper practice and a coherent study approach, cracking IELTS won’t be a challenge. Begin by creating a study plan that suits your learning style. Throughout the preparation process, the goal is to remain focused and disciplined.

IELTS (the International English Language Testing System) is a well-known proficiency test that assesses the English language skills of non-native speakers all over the world. Many educational institutions, immigration authorities, and employers consider IELTS an eligibility criterion for candidates who wish to move abroad for educational, work, or residency purposes.  

How hard is IELTS – The top challenges and their solutions

  • Challenge: Time management problem

Solution: Develop a strategic study plan

Each candidate pondering about how hard is IELTS always gets stuck on one critical problem – that of time management. One of the biggest challenges faced by IELTS candidates is the struggle with time constraints during preparation. Creating a well-structured study plan is key to overcoming this challenge. 

Break down your study sessions into manageable segments, focusing on each test section. During the practice, make sure you start counting how much time you need to solve each question. Develop strategic techniques for allocating time to each question or task, ensuring you complete the test within the designated time frame. Prioritise questions based on the difficulty level and allocate additional time for revision and review. This will also make it easier to manage your time during the exam.

  • Challenge: Speaking Anxiety

Solution: Practice and more practice

The speaking section of the IELTS exam often induces anxiety, even among the most self-assured candidates. Overcome this challenge by immersing yourself in English conversations. Engage with language exchange partners, practice with your family & friends, participate in online discussion forums, or practice speaking in front of a mirror. This will help you in overcoming your fears, and you will have control over your speaking anxiety. The more you engage in deliberate practice, the more confident you’ll get.

  • Challenge: Writing difficulty 

Solution: Seek Constructive Feedback

IELTS writing presents its own set of challenges while answering questions, from time constraints to structuring coherent arguments. For this problem, you can solve different types of mocks. 

Seek feedback from teachers, language exchange partners, or online writing communities to refine your writing skills. Actively incorporate constructive criticism into your practice essays to enhance your proficiency.

You can also read our blog on the IELTS Writing Task 2 and how to ace it to improve your score.

  • Challenge: Vocabulary Overload

Solution: Contextual Learning

While a rich vocabulary is very important, rote memorisation of word lists falls short. Practice contextual learning by reading English newspapers, articles, blogs, and academic texts. Understanding words in context not only aids retention but also enhances comprehension skills and gives you control over your language. This will help you to grow your IELTS score.

  • Challenge: Listening Fatigue

Solution: Diversify Your Listening Material

Many people experience listening fatigue, particularly when exposed to diverse accents and rapid speech patterns.

Take advantage of a variety of listening materials, such as podcasts, TED Talks, movies, and TV shows, to prepare for exams. Exposure to various accents of videos or audio content and speaking styles will refine your auditory skills.

7 tips you must know while taking IELTS

  • Think positively on exam day and exude confidence:

Cultivate a positive mindset and practice mindful self-talk to boost confidence and performance. This will help you overcome your exam anxiety as well. 

  • Don’t overthink during your IELTS exam: 

With multiple sections comprising the test, it is common for you to experience stress, anxiety, and apprehension. While scoring well on the IELTS is not easy, it isn’t difficult to ace.

Remember that cracking the IELTS test requires dedication, preparation, and a focused mindset. If you seek additional support for your preparation, consider leveraging resources like Venturi for exclusive prep materials and guidance. Venturi has small batches with targeted preparation to help you overcome your shortcomings. Moreover, they ensure that you will be prepared to sit for IELTS with as little as 20 hours of dedicated prep.

  • Stop being a perfectionist: 

Striving for perfection can hamper your progress. Focus on clarity and coherence in your exam rather than fixating on perfection. 

  • Do not spend too much time on one question:

Prioritise time management through the entire test by allocating time for each question. If you don’t know a question, move on to the next one.  Don’t waste your time thinking about that particular question. Take advantage of the test’s flexibility to navigate between questions efficiently. 

  • Be constantly reading, actively listening & speaking in English:  

To be a language expert in all four sections of the IELTS exam, practice articulating your thoughts fluently, coherently, and accurately. Focus on developing a diverse vocabulary and mastering grammatical structures to convey your ideas effectively. 

  • Seeking Support and Guidance from others 

Throughout your IELTS preparation journey, don’t hesitate to seek support and guidance from experienced mentors, teachers, and language experts. Participate in workshops, seminars, and online forums to gain valuable insights, strategies, and best practices for success. Collaborate with other candidates and study groups to share resources, exchange feedback, and motivate each other toward excellence.

  • Take your IELTS preparation seriously: 

Recognise the importance of the IELTS test and commit to thorough preparation to familiarise yourself with the format and content. Try to meditate two days before the test, allowing you time to rest and recharge before the exam to optimize your performance.

Don’t hesitate to seek support and guidance throughout your IELTS preparation journey. Instead of worrying about how hard is IELTS, try joining a coaching program such as Venturi , the flagbearer for IELTS preparation courses for professionals and students. As an emerging leader in test preparation, we take pride in maintaining high success rates. Our multiple consultancies and coaching centres nationwide strive to facilitate the best training for our candidates in any corner of the country. 

We have assisted thousands of students in achieving their dream careers by securing high scores in IELTS through quality preparation, and if you’re looking for the same, fill out the form below, and our team will contact you soon.

Fill the form here – 20-hour IELTS coaching program