Retaking test

Resitting the IELTS Test (Part 2)

If you are yet to achieve your IELTS goals and need to retake the test, you’ve come to the right place. In the previous part, we looked at the importance of being in a positive frame of mind and discovering all there is to know about the test pattern and marking scheme.  

Read on to find out what more you could do to avoid disappointment when you resit IELTS.

4. Identify areas that need improvement

There is little sense in retaking IELTS without first honing your language skills and improving your ability to use strategies and time effectively. And such improvement is only possible if you identify what went wrong in your previous attempt. Dissect your performance – for instance, think about where you lost time or identify which task types bamboozled you – and you should have all the answers. If targeted feedback is what you’re looking for, you could opt for the official IELTS practice test, IELTS Progress Check. That way, you will get to practise in timed conditions, and receive an official feedback report and indicative band scores afterwards.

5. Set realistic goals

To avoid disappointment, it is extremely important that you remain realistic throughout your IELTS journey, setting yourself attainable goals. Before you have another shot at passing the test, think whether you would want to prepare on your own or seek professional help (e.g. enrol on a preparatory course, get regular feedback from an IELTS expert). It is absolutely imperative that you make an informed decision at this stage so that you don’t falter. If there is a massive difference between your previous IELTS scores and the scores you require, it is best to enlist the help of a trained expert. They can tell you how exactly you would be able to build your test skills and improve your language ability. By assessing your current level of English, they can also determine how long you may have to prepare in order to pass IELTS. Remember, if you don’t make a significant effort to improve your English and/or test skills before retaking IELTS, your scores are unlikely to improve. So, stop feeling frustrated, pull your socks up and set your sights on getting those elusive IELTS scores you need.

Resitting the IELTS Test (Part 1)

IELTS is the world’s most popular English-language test for work, study, and migration, which is trusted by over 11,000 organisations worldwide. With high stakes riding on the results, how you fare in the test pretty much decides the sort of opportunities that are likely to come your way soon after.

Failing to get the IELTS scores you require the first time round is not the end of the world, though: you can apply to sit the test again as soon as you feel up to the task. In this series, we’ve put together some useful suggestions for anyone planning to retake IELTS.   

1. Be in the right frame of mind

In an ideal world, we would pass every test we take at the very first attempt. However, in real life things do not always go according to plan. It is only natural that our confidence takes a hit on such occasions. Don’t feel pressured to make another attempt straight away. Instead, come to terms with what has happened, give yourself enough time to feel relaxed and buoyant, and only then should you sit IELTS again.  

2. Read up on the test format

It is said that familiarity breeds contempt, but as far as language tests go, having a thorough knowledge of the test format boosts your confidence and helps you perform to the best of your ability. So, devour every bit of information you can find about the format of IELTS. Also, knowing the various task types in advance will allow you time to practise the ones you find tricky.  

3. Improve your understanding of marking

No matter how good your English is, understanding how your language skills are going to be assessed is enormously important before you take a test. See to it that you read and understand the IELTS band descriptors so that you know how Examiners award a band score for each of the four criteria in Writing and Speaking. You can find the public version of the IELTS band descriptors here. Similarly, find out how Listening and Reading scores are calculated.

You can find more handy tips for resitting IELTS in the next part, so do read it without fail.

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