10 secrets you need to know to achieve your IELTS target!

There’s too much to learn in too little time and you’re stressed! You’ve searched the Web to find tips & tricks to help you gain your optimal IELTS score but most of the stuff you find is just confusing.

In this article, I’m going to give you the 7 secrets you need to achieve your IELTS target. Without these secrets, preparing for IELTS will make you feel like a boat lost at sea – drifting about with no particular direction. So hop aboard and I’ll take you on the journey towards IELTS success!

If you have plans to continue your studies or work abroad, usually one of the main requirements is to have IELTS certification. The IELTS test is designed to test your skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking in English. Among all the standardized English tests available, IELTS is the most popular test worldwide. Its use is very widely and recognized by educational institutions throughout the world.

At first glance, the IELTS test looks tough. But with enough practice and preparation you can get your target score with our IELTS Course!

1. Get used to listening in English.

The first test you will face is the Listening test and you only have the chance to listen to the audio once. The audio consists of various telephone conversations, or group discussions and consultations with lecturers to monologues & lecture materials. The speaking accents range from American, British and Australian to even Japanese, Turkish and other countries. Therefore, it is very important to get used to listening to English in various accents. You should listen to English whenever and wherever you can. Listen to podcasts, lectures on youtube, news…go to bed when you listen to this stuff and see if you can start dreaming in English!

2. Read the follow the instructions very carefully

In reading and listening tests, there are certain detailed instructions such as no more than one word (hint, when it says this DO NOT answer using more than one word!). In the speaking test, there is a minimum and maximum time limit where you can speak. It is very important to pay attention and follow these instructions carefully otherwise you could lose a lot of value for nothing.  

3. Learn to manage time  

Practice using the actual test time. For example, when doing a reading test, practice answering all the questions in 60 minutes. In the writing test, limit your time to the specified time limit. Remember, there is no extra time in the actual test. So make sure you can answer all of your answers before time runs out! Also no marks are deducted for wrong answers. So make sure to guess if you don’t know an answer – who knows, you might just guess right [hint: the answer is B ;-)]

4. Identify your weaknesses  

During practice, you will also definitely know, which part of your expertise is your weakness. Schedule your practice time by focusing on your weaknesses. Everyone has different weaknesses. Some are weak in listening. Some are nervous about speaking. There are also those who are not very good at putting words through writing. By recognizing your weaknesses, you can give more portions to practice covering them.  

5. Identify the most effective strategies  

In this test, candidates are racing against time. The sooner you can take the test, the better the results. Of course this requires the right and effective strategy. Learn the things that can help you do it as effectively as possible. For example in a reading test, is it better to read the entire reading first or the questions first? Use different strategies and identify the most effective strategy that you can use. In short, whichever method gives you the highest score when you take the practice test, means that it is the most suitable and effective method for you. Maintain and always remember that strategy! 

6. Get used to reading written in English  

To be able to write well, of course you have to first identify what good writing looks like. Get used to reading various literature in English. It can be in the form of essays from science magazines or online articles on technology, history, culture, and so on. Expand your vocabulary and knowledge by reading the latest news about the state of the world because the topics covered in IELTS usually cover the latest topics and the breaking news.

7. Speak English every day  

To improve your speaking skills, there is no better way than to practice it all the time. Make friends or create a community with friends who agree. Make an agreement to always use English when communicating in any form, whether by telephone, video call, or sending messages via online messaging applications such as Line and WA. When there are no friends, look up the IELTS speaking test list questions and practice answering the questions yourself. Make a commitment to practice speaking regularly, for example 30 minutes a day or 3 hours a week. Don’t stop practicing! 

8. Expand your vocabulary 

A rich vocabulary can greatly enhance your IELTS score, especially in the speaking and writing sections. Try to learn new words daily and incorporate them into your conversations and writing. Use flashcards, apps, or a vocabulary notebook to keep track of new words. Contextual learning is key, so rather than just memorizing words, understand how they are used in sentences. Try to incorporate these new words into your daily conversations or writing to get comfortable with their usage

9. Stay informed about global affairs

The IELTS test often includes content related to current global issues, especially in the speaking and writing sections. Regularly reading newspapers, watching news channels, and following credible news sources online.can provide you with a wealth of information and perspectives that you can draw upon during the test. This practice not only improves your general knowledge but also provides you with examples and case studies that can be used to enrich your essays and discussions.

10. Practice under real exam conditions

Simulating the real exam environment at home helps in managing time and stress. Allocate a quiet space where you can take full-length practice tests without interruptions, strictly adhering to the time limits for each section. This practice not only helps in building endurance but also familiarizes you with the test format. After each test, take the time to thoroughly review your answers and understand the rationale behind each question, especially where you went wrong.


In conclusion, excelling in the IELTS exam requires a multifaceted approach encompassing diligent practice, strategic preparation, and effective stress management. Remember, consistency and perseverance in your preparation will pave the way to achieving your desired IELTS score. Good luck on your journey to mastering English and succeeding in the IELTS exam!

Do you want to achieve your IELTS target?  

We just shared the 7 secrets you need to know to achieve your IELTS target. Armed with these secrets, you can take the first step on the road to achieving your IELTS dream score.

But if you want to guarantee success in your IELTS test…


If you’re tired of wasting time and money on strategies and courses that don’t work…


If you’re confused about which IELTS course to take…

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P.S If you are curious about your IELTS score, contact us to ask about our simulation tests complete with feedback for writing and speaking tests!


Anthony McCormick

IELC Managing Director

If you like this article, you might want to check out:

Tips & tricks for IELTS Writing Task 1

10 fatal mistakes that IELTS test takers make!

10 strategies you need to get a high score in IELTS Writing Task 2