How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS Exam

How Much Time is Required to Prepare IELTS

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2024-01-20

How Much Time is Required to Prepare IELTS

Overview

Preparing for the IELTS can be easy or challenging depending on the skill set or level of English proficiency. It requires sufficient time and following a strategic approach. So, how much time does it take to prepare for IELTS - every IELTS student has this question in mind.

The proper time is needed to cover the complete syllabus for all four sections and practice different types of questions to give the best performance during the exam. 

In this regard, the blog shares insights on how much time is required to prepare for IELTS while providing a preparation timetable and tips for mastering the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking modules. If you have registered for the IELTS 2024, read this blog and consider the insights shared in it to enhance the effectiveness of your preparation strategy.

How Much Time Does it Take to Prepare for IELTS?

The time required to prepare for IELTS varies from person to person, depending on their existing language skills and familiarity with the IELTS test format. 

According to the survey, approximately 77% of IELTS instructors believe that the optimal IELTS Exam preparation time should range between 6 to 8 weeks or 30 days. If you dedicatedly prepare for the IELTS exam in this timeframe, you can effectively cover all test modules.

Moreover, 65% of IELTS trainers recommend test takers prepare for approximately 3 to 4 hours each day, including weekends.

IELTS Exam Preparation time for Listening

In the IELTS Listening module, there will be a total of 40 questions across four sections. Each section will carry 10 questions. The complexity of listening tasks progressively increases from one section to the next. The entire listening test takes approximately 40 minutes.

  • In Section 1, you will engage in a dialogue between two individuals discussing a general topic. 

  • In Section 2, you will listen to a monologue covering a general event. It is crucial to focus on extracting factual information during this segment.

  • Section 3 introduces dialogues involving two or more speakers conversing about academic subjects or events. In this section, it is imperative to take note of both the speakers' opinions and factual information.

  • In the final section, Section 4, you will listen to a lecture or a talk delivered by a speaker on an academic topic. 

 

How to prepare for IELTS Listening?

Here are some effective strategies for IELTS Listening to enhance your preparation:

  • Develop efficient note-taking techniques to capture key information during the listening passages. Focus on essential details and keywords that will aid you in answering questions later.

  • Train yourself to differentiate between similar sounds, especially in sections where specific details matter. This skill is crucial for accurately answering questions related to spelling or distinguishing between similar-sounding words.

  • Improve the ability to multitask by listening for information while reading and analysing questions. This skill is vital in sections where you need to answer questions while the recording is ongoing.

IELTS Exam Preparation time for Reading

The reading section comprises 40 questions and requires one hour to complete. 

  • The IELTS general training syllabus mainly focuses on everyday English usage. To prepare yourself for this, delve into newspapers, handbooks, and advertisements. Moreover, immerse yourself in books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and similar resources for academic IELTS preparation.

  • Question Types are common in general and academic tests, such as multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, matching headings and information, sentence completion, and more. Familiarity with these question formats is crucial for effective preparation and successful performance in the IELTS reading section.

 

How to prepare for IELTS Reading?

Here are tips to help you prepare effectively for the IELTS Reading section.

  • Skimming and scanning are essential skills for quickly extracting information from passages. Practice skimming to get a quick overview of the text, identifying main ideas and headings. Scanning involves rapidly searching for specific details, such as names, numbers, or keywords. 

  • Engage in regular vocabulary-building exercises and expose yourself to various academic texts. Pay attention to synonyms and antonyms, as they often play a significant role in question types, such as matching headings or completing sentences.

  • Understand the various question types in the Reading section, such as multiple-choice, matching, true/false/not given, and sentence completion.

  • Allocate specific time limits for each reading passage and question set during your practice sessions to ensure that you have sufficient time to read the passages, answer questions, and check your responses.

IELTS Exam Preparation time for Writing

The writing component comprises two distinct text types, and the entire test duration is 60 minutes. Test-takers are generally recommended to allocate a minimum of 40 minutes for the second task, given its complexity, and dedicate 20 minutes to task one.

  • For the initial writing task, candidates are presented with symbolic information and must express their understanding in 150 words. This task serves as a brief introduction to the writing section.

  • The second writing task, more extensive and challenging than the first, necessitates expressing ideas on a given topic within a 250-word limit. A clear presentation of points supported by examples is crucial for success in this task.

 

How to prepare for IELTS Writing?

Here are the tips to prepare for the IELTS Writing section.

  • The Writing section includes two tasks: Task 1 and Task 2. Understand each task type's specific requirements and expectations, as they have distinct structures and purposes.

  • Improve the habit of planning your writing before you start. Spend a few minutes outlining your ideas and organising your thoughts.

  • Focus on coherence and cohesion in your writing. Use logical paragraph structures, link ideas with appropriate transitions, and ensure a smooth flow of information throughout your essay.

  • Pay attention to grammar accuracy and complexity. Use a range of sentence structures to showcase your language proficiency.

IELTS Exam Preparation time for Speaking

The IELTS speaking section extends over a 15-minute duration. It involves an interview between the test-taker and the IELTS examiner, structured into three parts.

  • In the initial part, the test-taker responds to a variety of questions related to family, work, study, experiences, interests, and more.

  • Moving to the second part, the test-taker is presented with a task card and is granted the autonomy to choose a topic to discuss for 2 minutes. To complete the second task, the examiner poses additional questions on one or two related topics.

  • The final segment, lasting for 5 minutes, constitutes the third part. In this phase, the test-taker addresses questions connected to the chosen topic in part 2 but is required to present their responses more abstractly.

 

How to prepare for IELTS Speaking?

Here are the best tips to prepare effectively for the IELTS Speaking section.

  • Engage in regular speaking practice tests to become more comfortable expressing yourself in English and improve your fluency.

  • Record your speaking practice sessions and listen to them crucially. Pay attention to your pronunciation, intonation, and fluency.

  • Be well-versed in common IELTS Speaking topics. Practice discussing personal experiences, opinions, and abstract ideas related to themes like education, technology, travel, and more.

  • Work on your pronunciation and intonation. Pay attention to word stress, sentence rhythm, and the natural flow of spoken English.

 

How Much Time is Required Every day to Prepare for IELTS?

The amount of time required daily to prepare for the IELTS exam is approximately 3 to 4 hours. This time frame allows for a balanced and consistent approach to cover all sections of the test, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

However, if you have less time to prepare for the exam, then you should spend more hours daily. For example, if you have less than 30 days, then you should spend at least 5-6 hours in your IELTS Exam Preparation. But, if you have enough time, like one month or more than one month, then preparing 3 to 4 hours daily is enough for good preparation. 

Moreover, candidates who want to prepare an advanced level of English should add an extra 15 days to their IELTS Exam preparation time. In addition, candidates need to customise their study schedules based on their strengths and weaknesses. 

Minimum Time Required to Prepare for IELTS

The recommended minimum IELTS Exam preparation time is typically 4 months, although some individuals may opt for a longer timeframe, such as 6 months. There is no official mandate regarding the minimum duration for IELTS preparation.

The duration of preparation varies among test-takers. Some find that 15 days are sufficient, while others may extend their preparation period. This discrepancy is influenced by the individual's existing skills and knowledge.

For those with a moderate level of English proficiency, a well-rounded 5-month plan might be considered adequate for IELTS preparation. Conversely, individuals with an advanced command of the English language might find that a month or two is ample time to prepare for the exam. 

 

Is One Month Enough to Prepare for IELTS Exam?

As mentioned above, there is no definitive answer to the question of how much time is required for IELTS preparation. There is no fixed guideline indicating whether 1 month or 6 months is the appropriate duration. 

The IELTS Exam preparation time entirely depends on the individual's level of understanding. There are four modules in the IELTS test, and it is crucial to have at least a foundational understanding of each module.

 

Advantages of the IELTS Study Plan

Creating and following a well-structured IELTS study plan offers several advantages for test-takers. A well-structured IELTS Study plan helps -

  • Goal Setting

  • Time Management

  • Targeted Practice

  • Consistency

  • Monitoring Progress

  • Stress Reduction

  • Familiarity with Exam Format

  • Enhanced Time Efficiency

  • Adaptability

  • Improved Study Motivation

IELTS Preparation Time for Retake

If your initial IELTS score falls short of your expectations, considering an IELTS retake might be necessary. It is important to note that the question patterns will remain consistent when you reapply for the IELTS exam.

A reflective process is crucial for those who scored below 6 on their last IELTS attempt before deciding on a retake. Addressing the following questions can guide your decision:

  • What mistakes were made in the previous exam?

  • In which modules did you encounter difficulties?

  • What was your overall strategy, if any?

  • Did you engage in mock tests as part of your preparation?

  • How effectively did you manage your time during the exam?

Identifying the weaknesses from your prior attempt is essential before starting an IELTS retake.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the time required to prepare for the IELTS exam varies for each individual. The optimal preparation period depends on factors such as current language proficiency, familiarity with the test format, and personal study habits. Still, we have provided an average time required to prepare for IELTS and all 4 sections' preparation tips. Focusing on your strengths and weaknesses and incorporating regular practice will help you prepare for the exam on time. 

We hope you enjoyed reading the blog. However, if you are looking for guidance in your IELTS preparation, you can contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors for further guidance. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best guidance in the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388.

FAQs

The time required for IELTS preparation varies, but a recommended period is around 3 to 4 hours per day for 6 to 8 weeks.

While it is possible, a shorter preparation period may be intense. It is advisable to customise your study plan based on individual needs, focusing on consistent practice.

Although there is no official minimum, experts often suggest a 6 to 8-week preparation period. The duration depends on factors like proficiency level and target band score.

Create a study plan, allocate time to each test section, and regularly assess your progress. Practice time management during mock tests to simulate real exam conditions.

A balanced approach is recommended, allocating time to all four sections (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). However, focus on areas of weakness while maintaining regular practice across all modules.

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