IELTS preparation: The single mistake that ruins everything

If you don’t stop making this mistake like most candidates, you will continue taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam while also wasting money on tutorials and time on preparation.

The mistake is: focusing on the exam rules more than the rules of the language.

Don’t get this wrong. The rules are very important—and you should learn them—but examiners grade your proficiency, not your knowledge of exam rules.

Imagine knowing all the general rules (e.g. i. Always say ‘why’ before the examiner asks. ii. Do not support a point and oppose it later. iii. Do not leave your seat to avoid cancellation, etc.) but you don’t know the difference between ‘behind’ and ‘at the back of’, or that ‘scarce’ is not pronounced ‘skahs’ but has an /e/ sound (as in ‘egg’) embedded in it.

Your guess is as good as mine.

For the purpose of clarity, IELTS rules are limited but your knowledge of the English language should not.

Please invest your time in learning grammar and oral English to understand nuances of expressions because you only say, write or understand what you know, and that’s what gives you low or high band scores.

In summary, only candidates who are proficient in English language pass IELTS with flying colours. And, for the record, you can sit the exam once and excel.

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