Significance of Time Management for the IELTS Exam

Significance of Time Management for the IELTS Exam

PI - Prepare IELTS


ielts time management


Whether you aim to study abroad, work in an English-speaking country, or assess your English skills, taking the IELTS is essential. A vital yet often overlooked aspect of IELTS preparation is time management. Many students struggle with managing their time during the exam, leading to lower scores.

This blog examines how effective time management can significantly impact your success in the IELTS exam and offers strategies for managing your time in each section: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

Proper time management ensures you can showcase your skills within the strict time limits, reducing stress and maximising performance. By following these strategies, you can enhance your chances of achieving your desired IELTS score.

Why it is Important to Manage Time in IELTS

Time management is paramount when taking the IELTS exam for several reasons. Each section of the test, Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking, comes with its unique set of time constraints. Let’s check why it is vital to manage time in all four sections of the IELTS exam.  

  • In the Listening section, candidates are required to listen to audio recordings and answer questions based on what they hear. The catch is that the audio is played only once. This makes IELTS listening time management critical because missing a part of the audio or falling behind can lead to incorrect answers and a lower score. Therefore, when candidates manage their time well, they can stay focused, actively listen, and respond accurately. 

  • The Reading section presents multiple passages and corresponding questions, so candidates must allocate their time efficiently across these passages to read, comprehend, and answer questions. Proper time management in IELTS reading allows test-takers to budget their minutes per passage and ensures they have time to review their answers. 

  • In the Writing section, there are two tasks: Task 1 (Report Writing) and Task 2 (Essay Writing). Therefore, proper IELTS time management is crucial here as well. Candidates need time to brainstorm, plan, write, and review their essays because poor time management can result in rushed essays that lack coherence and depth, affecting the quality of their responses. 

  • While less time-pressured than the other sections, the Speaking section still requires efficient time utilisation. Candidates have a limited amount of time to respond to prompts and questions from the examiner. Therefore, IELTS speaking time management is pivotal to ensure that candidates can express themselves coherently within the allotted time, allowing them to convey their thoughts clearly and confidently. 

Time Allotted for Each Section of IELTS

Here is the distribution of time allotted to each section of the IELTS exam.  

IELTS Section Time Allotted


Approximately 30 minutes


60 minutes

Writing (Task 1)

20 minutes

Writing (Task 2)

40 minutes


11-14 minutes (approximately)



Tips and Strategies For IELTS Time Management

Effective time management is crucial for success in the IELTS exam. Here are some valuable tips and strategies to help you manage your time efficiently during the test:


Skim and scan in reading

In the reading section, use the "skim and scan" technique. Quickly skim through the passage to get an idea of the content, then scan for specific details mentioned in the questions. This approach can save you time compared to reading the entire passage in detail.


Set time limits

Set strict time limits for each section and stick to them when practising. This simulates the real test conditions and helps you develop a sense of how much time to allocate to different tasks within each section.


Prioritising high-value tasks

In IELTS, some questions or tasks carry more marks than others. Time management helps you identify and prioritise these high-value tasks, wherein by allocating more time and effort to tasks with greater point potential, you can maximise your overall score. 


Highlight or underline key information

In both the reading and listening sections, use your provided pen and question paper to underline or highlight important keywords and information. This can help you locate answers more quickly.


Attempt every question

If you're stuck on a question, make an informed guess. In IELTS, there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so it's better to guess than to leave a question unanswered.


Practice makes perfect

Last but not least, time management is a skill that can be honed through practice. Practising mock IELTS test helps you become familiar with the time constraints of each section. 


Read instructions carefully

In the rush to complete tasks, candidates often overlook important instructions. Make it a habit to read instructions carefully; this can save you from unnecessary mistakes and time wastage.


Allocate specific time for each task

In the writing section, allocate time wisely. Spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. It's essential to have enough time for planning, writing, and reviewing your essays. For other sections as well, divide the number of questions with time and spend time on each question accordingly. 


Review and proofread

Always review your answers or essays for errors or missed points in the last. In the writing section, proofreading can make a significant difference in the quality of your response.


In conclusion, time management is a critical component of IELTS exam preparation. It ensures that you can showcase your English language skills within the strict time limits to the best of your ability. By practising time management strategies and allocating your time wisely, you can reduce stress, maximise your performance, and increase your chances of achieving the IELTS score you need for your academic or professional goals. So, remember, in the world of IELTS, time is of the essence!

So, if you are appearing for the IELTS exam and want to plan your time for the test strategically, we recommend you sign up for our IELTS Courses designed by our experts. If you need further guidance, please contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors. Our team of education experts is dedicated to assisting you in the best possible way for the IELTS exam. You can also get a one-on-one counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at or call us at +91 9773398388.


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