Not many people like taking exams, and IELTS is no exception. However, if you know what to expect on the day and how to prepare for the test day you can make the day easier.
First of all, you will be given some guidelines from the test centre in an email before the test so you should read this email carefully. Here’s a review of some of the most important guidelines.
Arriving for your IELTS test
Proof of your identity
The most obvious one is to have proof of your identity with you. This is either your passport or identity card. If you are taking the test outside your country you will need a valid passport. A member of the staff will take a photo of you there to compare with your passport photo so you don’t need to take extra photos with you as in the past.
Make sure you attend on time
This will help you avoid the stress of being late, not knowing where to go and who to report to. All this information about the date, time and place of the examination will be in the email you are sent before the exam.
During your IELTS test
You are not allowed to take anything into the exam room with you except for your proof of identity, pencil and pen and a bottle of water in a clear plastic bottle. Your mobile phone and bag must be left outside the room. You will also be checked for any smartwatches you wear or any other similar device. Don’t worry about this, all personal belongings are guarded the whole time.
If you have questions…
Obviously, you must not speak to any other candidate in the room or ask to borrow something from him or her or even ask for an explanation.
The invigilator will explain clearly before each module where to answer. For any questions relating to the test, such as where to write your answers or if you need extra paper for rough work you should raise your hand and the invigilator will come to you.
Not feeling well?
If for any reason you’re not feeling well before or during the exam and think you may not perform well you should contact the supervisor who will direct you and then you can arrange to reschedule the test for a later date.
Keep track of time!
There is a clock on the wall to keep track of time so be careful to complete the questions within the given time. For Listening in the paper-based test, you have an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet but in Reading all the answers must be recorded on the answer sheet within the given time. Anything you write after the time is up will be crossed out and it is a shame to lose valuable marks just because you lost track of time.
Advice – before the test
On a more personal note, be sure to:
- Have a good night’s sleep before the test day. There’s no point cramming until the last minute.
- Have a hearty breakfast before you leave home as it can take several hours from the time you arrive until you leave and you cannot leave the exam room while the test is in progress.
- Make good use of the time travelling to the test centre and while waiting for your speaking interview to speak to yourself in English. Think about the common topics so your mind is thinking in English and you are ready to use the topics in any relevant questions.
So keep this advice in mind when you take the test and although it’s no fun taking a test, try to make it a positive experience and do the best you can!