IELTS 2024: How Hard Is the Test? Assessing the Difficulty Level

Is IELTS Hard or Easy? Find out the IELTS Difficulty Level for 2024

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2024-01-24

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Is IELTS Hard or Easy

Overview

Are you preparing for the IELTS to study in English-speaking countries? Well, your experience with the IELTS test poses an important question: Is it easy or difficult?

Considering the IELTS difficulty level is vital for a variety of reasons, including personalising preparation, identifying specific obstacles, understanding the focus areas, setting expectations, and so on. However, "how hard is IELTS" is entirely dependent on individual achievement and will to learn. Some applicants may find the speaking and writing components tough, but others may find them simple.

In this blog, we will examine the exact aspects of the IELTS difficulty level 2024 while appreciating the unique character of the encounter. By knowing the dynamics of each segment and implementing efficient preparation tactics, test takers can confidently navigate the IELTS trip and determine whether it is difficult or simple.

Is IELTS Easy or Hard?

Is the IELTS test easy or hard? Well, it depends on you! Different people feel different about it. Some find it tricky, especially in listening, reading, writing, or speaking.

But if you're good at talking in English or if you practice a lot in English, it might not be so challenging for you. The IELTS test checks how well you understand and talk in English. It has different kinds of questions, making it like a puzzle with different pieces.

Some people find the exam a bit hard, while others find it is not too bad.

However, you can practice with tests and get to know the questions to make the IELTS Exam easy. Just remember, everyone's journey is different, and with some practice, you can find your way through it.

How to Prepare for IELTS – Tips to Tackle Each Section

To prepare for the IELTS exam effectively, consider the following tips:

  • Adapt your accent based on the study destination, British or American English. Utilise reputable IELTS preparation books for guidance.

  • Familiarise yourself with each segment of the IELTS test. Strengthen your letter-writing skills, encompassing both formal and informal styles.

  • Recognise that certain IELTS sections involve visual literacy (charts, graphs, etc.). Understand the question types in each section and the skills they assess.

  • Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in the tested skills. Focus on enhancing areas of weakness to improve overall performance.

  • Develop a well-organized study plan and adhere to it consistently for comprehensive preparation.

  • As the test date approaches, regularly practice with IELTS mock tests to refine your test-taking skills.

With the above tips, it is also essential to understand all the sections of the IELTS Exam. Below, you will find the tips for all sections to tackle nicely.

 

IELTS Speaking Module

The IELTS Speaking test, spanning 11-14 minutes, evaluates a candidate's English speaking proficiency. This section can pose a challenge for many test-takers, particularly those with infrequent English communication, yet it may be more manageable for those accustomed to regular English usage. The test involves three tasks presented by the examiner:

IELTS Spekaing Module

  • Task 1 - The examiner initiates discussion on general topics like hometown, family, friends, hobbies, etc.

  • Task 2 - Test-takers receive a cue card with a specific topic, allowing one minute for preparation before speaking for about two minutes.

  • Task 3 - The examiner poses questions related to the discussed topic, providing an opportunity for candidates to express ideas and communicate further.

It is essential to speak and answer questions comprehensively while avoiding deviation from the main topic to secure a good score. Utilising the 60 seconds of topic preparation wisely is crucial.

However, a common challenge in speaking tests is retelling the same story briefly, often concluding in just 50 seconds. To address this, employ different English tenses (past, present, future) and share various stories aligned with the cue card. Demonstrating rich and diverse linguistic resources is a key to success in IELTS, and the Speaking test provides an ideal platform to showcase them.

 

IELTS Reading Module

In the IELTS Reading test, you are presented with 40 questions and a 60-minute time frame to address them. Reading approximately 2000 words within this limited period can take time and effort. This segment features diverse question types designed to assess the test taker's reading capacity, with different formats for IELTS General and IELTS Academic tests.

However, IELTS difficulty level in this section may arise if English vocabulary is not well-practiced. To overcome this, immerse yourself in English books, magazines, and newspapers to enhance your vocabulary and scanning-skimming skills. 

  • Create a checklist covering various question types, including trickier ones.

  • Work from questions to the text to save time.

  • Improve reading speed by handling longer texts within the designated timeframe or by reducing time limits.

  • Whether the section is perceived as challenging or easy, underlined lines help identify relevant text portions.

  • If you encounter unfamiliar words, don't worry; try envisioning them in a different context to comprehend their meaning.

 

IELTS Writing Module

In the IELTS Writing module, test-takers are required to complete two writing tasks within a 60-minute timeframe—20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. Many students consider IELTS writing the most challenging part of the test due to the difficulty of providing comprehensive answers and meeting the word limit for each task within the allocated time.

The IELTS Writing tasks vary between the Academic and General versions. Task patterns include:

  • Writing Task 1 - Describing information presented in charts, graphs, tables, etc., or composing a letter on a given topic or subject.

  • Writing Task 2 - Crafting an argumentative essay, expressing a point of view, or addressing a problem.

Controlling timing in each part of the test poses a significant challenge for many students. Additionally, meeting the minimum word count for each task is essential. Emphasising vocabulary and paraphrasing is crucial and achievable through consistent practice and thorough preparation. 

Below, you can check the tips to manage timing in the listening section to make your IELTS Exam easy.

Writing Task 1

Relax and allocate 5 minutes to thoroughly read the question, ensuring a clear understanding of the context. Dedicate 10-12 minutes to the writing phase, encompassing all relevant details. Then, invest 2-3 minutes in reviewing the written data, meticulously checking for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Writing Task 2

Devote 5-8 minutes to devising an essay plan and structuring your thoughts. For instance, if the essay requires an argumentative or point of view approach, outline 3 to 4 points supporting and opposing the topic, connecting them with appropriate linking words such as however, although, etc. Allocate 25-30 minutes for the writing process. Finally, invest 5-8 minutes in a thorough review to identify and rectify grammatical errors.

 

IELTS Listening Module

The Listening test lasts 30 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes allotted for transferring answers to the answer sheet. It consists of four parts, demanding attentive listening before responding to the questions. 

Test-takers often find this section challenging for several reasons.

  • The recording is played only once, requiring careful attention to capture all relevant information.

  • Each section's difficulty and question types increase progressively, presented rapidly in succession, contributing to heightened tension among students.

  • Concentration issues may lead to leaving certain answers blank, adding to the complexity of the test.

However, effective time management during the exam is vital. Adequate practice is necessary to score well. To address challenges, familiarity with various accents is important through IELTS Listening. Exposure to English music or watching English movies/television shows aids in better comprehension and improved performance.

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IELTS Exam Difficulty Level

The IELTS exam evaluates proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, but the IELTS difficulty level varies among individuals.

Some may find Listening challenging, while others struggle with Reading. Similarly, a few candidates might consider Writing the most demanding aspect. In exam preparation, it is essential not to stress but to concentrate on addressing individual weaknesses.

By recognising specific areas of IELTS Easy or hard, and tailoring preparation to improve those aspects. Approaching the preparation process with a focus on improvement allows candidates to confidently navigate the IELTS exam, enhancing their performance across all skills.

The key lies in understanding personal challenges and achieving a more balanced proficiency in all test components.

Tips to Improve IELTS Exam Score

Improving your IELTS exam score requires a strategic and focused approach. Here are some valuable tips to enhance your performance across the various sections, whether the IELTS Easy or Hard.

  • Understanding the IELTS Exam Patten will help you manage your time effectively during the exam.

  • Consistent practice is key to improvement. Engage in daily activities such as reading English articles, listening to podcasts, and practising writing essays to hone your language skills.

  • Strengthen your vocabulary and grammar skills. A rich and varied vocabulary and accurate grammar usage positively impact both writing and speaking scores.

  • In the Speaking section, practice clear pronunciation and fluency. Engage in conversations in English, record yourself, and identify areas for improvement.

  • Analyse your mistakes from practice tests and learn from them. Understanding errors helps you avoid repeating them and strengthens your overall performance.

  • Practice relaxation techniques to manage test anxiety.

Conclusion

As we have explained above, how hard is IELTS Exam, is IELTS Difficult to pass. We hope this blog will be helpful for you. However, the IELTS difficulty level is subjective and varies based on individual language proficiency, preparation, and familiarity with the test format.

So, it is important to prepare strategically by including self-assessment and targeted practice. The key to success in IELTS lies in acknowledging the unique challenges posed by each section—Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening—and adopting effective strategies to overcome them.

We hope you are aware of the IELTS Difficulty level and how to prepare for it to get a good band score. However, if you are seeking guidance in your IELTS preparation, you can contact Prepare IELTS Exam (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

No, the difficulty level of the IELTS exam can vary from individual to individual. Language proficiency, preparation, and familiarity with the test format can influence perceived difficulty.

Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening sections pose unique challenges. Some test-takers may find certain sections more challenging than others based on their language skills and comfort with different tasks.

A self-assessment of your language skills, practice with sample tests, and understanding each section's specific requirements can help gauge your comfort level and potential challenges in the IELTS exam.

The difficulty level of the IELTS exam is typically stable, but updates to test content or format may occur. To stay informed, checking official IELTS resources or contacting test authorities for any anticipated changes in 2024 is advisable.

Absolutely. Strategic and focused preparation, including familiarity with the test format, targeted practice in weaker areas, and using relevant study materials, can significantly impact how challenging the IELTS exam feels for an individual.

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