1. Know the test format
IELTS test format is the same for academic and general types, but it is slightly different in paper-based tests compared to computer-delivered tests.
For both types of tests, 4 recordings are played for 30 minutes, each having 10 questions. You have time to read the questions before each recording. Make yourself familiar with what is being asked and look for the answers when the recordings play. Keep in mind that the recordings will be played just once!
The first two recordings have everyday social contexts, set in a conversation and a monologue format, respectively. But the second two recordings have academic contexts.
There are headings throughout the answer sheet that will help you recognize the next question’s topic to match what you hear with the text in front of you.
There are varieties of types when it comes to questions such as multiple-choice, matching, labelling and completion, so it is imperative to practice each type before sitting the IELTS exam.
In the paper-based test, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet at the end of the recordings. But you have only 2 minutes to review your answers in a computer-delivered test. Use this time to double-check your answers and fill out the questions you missed.
Each correct answer is awarded 1 mark, and there is no negative mark for wrong answers. Spelling and grammar must also be correct; otherwise, you lose the mark for that answer.