How To Pass IELTS in 2023

Are you wondering how to pass IELTS exams?

If so, you just landed on the right blog post.

There are a lot of opportunities for work and study in other countries all over the world. When you try to apply for any of these positions, you may be required to take an IELTS.

This is added to a list of other possible requirements like travel documents, identification documents, VISA and some cash. In this article, we shall explore IELTS and how you can pass it in 2022.


What is IELTS?

ielts website

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. This is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language.

These countries include Australia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Ireland, Canada, Barbados, The Bahamas, Malta, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and New Zealand.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IELTS Australia, International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges; and Cambridge English.

Since it is an internationally accredited test, it is the widely used to test a person’s English-speaking credentials.

The test can only be attempted by people that are 16 and above.


What are the IELTS tests for and how are they graded?

The tests are used to test your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.

This is assessed during the test and is assigned a grade on a scale of 1-9.

These grades give you a picture of how well you understand the English language.

According to the website, the different test grades can be explained as shown below:

  • Score 0: This means that the person did not take the test and there is no basis of reference to identify the language skill of the user.


  • Score 1: Here, you are scored as a non-user. This basically means that you have no ability to use the language except for a few isolated words.


  • Score 2: Here, you are identified as an intermittent user. This means that you face difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.


  • Score 3: Here, you are referred to as an extremely limited user. This means that you understand general meanings in familiar situations coupled with frequent breakdowns in communication.


  • Score 4: At this stage, you are a limited user. Here, you are not able to use any complex English language.  There is a tendency to show problems in understanding and expression with over reliance on familiar situations.


  • Score 5: Here, you are a tagged as a modest user. You have a partial command of the language and can cope with overall meanings in most situations with the likelihood to make mistakes. You can also handle basic communication in your field.


  • Score 6: The score signifies a competent user. It shows that you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can also use and understand a fairly complex language, especially in familiar situations.


  • Score 7: Here, you are identified as a good user. This means that you have operational command of the language with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. You are also deemed to generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.


  • Score 8: Here, you are a very good user. This means that you have full operational command of the language with only occasional inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You misunderstand some things that are unfamiliar. However, you handle yourself well in a complex and detailed argument.


  • Score 9: This is the highest possible score attainable on the test. This identifies you as an expert user of the language. You have full operational command of the language. You also speak fluent and accurate English which shows perfect understanding.


Just like most grading systems, it’s descending in order. This means the higher your Score, the better you have performed in the test and the better you are at interpreting and speaking the English language.


How are the IELTS tests structured?

When you are asked to take an IELTS test, it is usually to test your English credentials for when you are migrating, studying and working in an English native speaking country.

Every application process for any of the activities shall set an acceptable IELTS score for all its candidates.

This shall be the criteria upon which you are evaluated for entry into the native English-speaking countries.

The tests are developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of the English language proficiency.

To ensure that standards are met, language specialists from countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The UK and the USA develop the test together.

All listening, reading and writing sections of the IELTS are completed on the same day without any breaks.

The speaking section can be completed over the course if a week before or after the other tests with the total test time being 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The test covers four sections that include:

a) Listening.

This test lasts 30 minutes. You have to listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write answers to the questions asked.

Keep in mind that you should maintain the proper grammar and spelling as they can easily make you lose marks.

The recordings include: a conversation between two people in an everyday social context, a monologue set in an everyday social context, a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context and a monologue on an academic subject.

This test includes questions targeting areas including multiple choice, matching, plan, map ad diagram labelling, form, note, table flow-chart, summary completion, sentence completion and short answer questions


b) Reading.

This section is split into two tests. They are academic reading and general training reading.

We shall explore what you need to pass both of these tests.

1. Academic reading

Here, you are provided with three long passages which range from descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical.

They are usually taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. The test lasts 60 minutes long with 40 questions to be attempted.

They include multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s claims/ views, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, diagram label completion, summary, note, table and flow-chart completion.

All the questions asked are in the order the passages are written.

You are required to transfer all your answers to an answer sheet during this time.

Keep in mind that poor spelling and grammar are penalized.

2. General training reading.

Here, you are provided with three texts. You are set to complete 40 questions within 60 minutes.

The questions are chosen from the following types: multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/ claims, matching features, matching information, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, note completion, table completion, diagram label competition, short answer questions and summary completion.

The first section of this test contains text relevant to basic linguistic survival in English mainly about retrieving and providing general information.

The second section focuses on workplace context. The third section involves general reading with a more complex structure.

The emphasis is on a descriptive and instructive level as opposed to argumentative texts relevant to a wide range of test takers.

Just like the academic reading test, you are required to transfer all your answers to the answer sheet with good spelling and grammar for better marks.


c) Writing.

The writing section of the test contains general training writing and academic writing.

1. Academic writing.

Here, you are provided with two writing tasks that are to be completed within 60 minutes.

The topics selected are of general interest to, and suitable for test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

For the first task, you are provided with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe and summarize the information in your own words.

For the second test, you are provided with an argument, point of view or problem.

You are then required to write an essay. All tests must be written using a formal style.

The responses are assessed on task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource (range of vocabulary), grammatical range and accuracy.


2. General training writing.

Here, you are provided with two writing tasks that are to be completed within 60 minutes. The topics are of general interest.

For the first task, you are presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation.

It can be personal, semi-formal or formal in style. For the second task, you are asked to write an essay in response to a particular point of view, argument or problem.

The essay can be personal in style. The answers are written in the answer booklet.

Notes or bullets are not acceptable answers.

The answers are marked and assessed basing on task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource (range of vocabulary) grammatical range and accuracy.


d) Speaking.

The test is slated to last 11 – 14 minutes. This section assesses your use of spoken English and consists of an oral interview between you and an examiner.

All the speaking tests are recorded. The test has three parts to it. The first part covers the introduction and interview.

You get to interact with the examiner after a brief introduction. This section mainly focuses on your ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences by answering a range of variable questions.

The second part covers the “long turn”. This basically means that you a given a task card with a certain topic.


You are allowed to make notes on the topic within a minute and then discuss it before the examiner can ask you some follow up questions.

This helps you focus on your ability to speak at length on a certain topic. Over the course of the discussion, you might have to draw from your own experience.

For the third part of the test, you shall be asked more questions about the topic in the second part. This gives you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas on the topic at hand.

It greatly focuses on your ability to express and justify opinions and to analyze issues.

It is important for you to improve your vocabulary, grammatical range and accuracy, fluency and coherence and pronunciation of words.


How Much Does the IELTS Cost?

The price depends on the exam center. However, the test fee ranges between $140 – $310 depending on the place.

According to the IELTS website, you can find various test centers wherever you are globally.


How to Pass IELTS?

As mentioned above, you have to pass the four sections of the IELTS tests for you to get a good score.

Basing on the average English requirements of various organizations worldwide, you are better off aiming at a minimum IELTS score of 7.

There are various ways for you to pass the IELTS test.

The best advice so far is summarized below:

1. Find a good tutor.

This is a very important aspect for you to pass the test. There are very many IELTS certified tutors around the world.

The best thing for you to do is to sign up with any of them to improve your chances of passing the test.

You can find some of these tutors online.


2. Listen to a podcast.

There are various podcasts that are designed for learning English. Search for them online and make it a point to get at least 10 minutes worth of podcast time.

You can also listen to podcasts regarding different topics like investment, news, entertainment etc. This improves your range of vocabulary.


3. Read a lot of English based articles.

To improve your general reading, it is advisable for you to read as much English content as you can.

Do not limit yourself to a single topic. Read about every new thing you can get your hands on to improve your vocabulary.


4. Learn the IELTS listening tasks.

The listening tests are designed to check your comprehension of the English language.

These tasks can also be completed on the IELTS website. All you have to do is take a progress check.


5. Take practice tests.

When you visit the IELTS official website, you shall find practice tests. These tests are known as IELTS progress checks.

They are marked online and are designed to test your progress as you prepare for the actual IELTS test.

You should take these practice tests as much as you can since they are free.

They can give you an idea of how prepared you are for the test.


6. Take live English classes.

When you sign up with a tutoring service, you can get access to live English classes.

You are advised to get access to as many live English classes.

They give you a chance to learn pronunciations, expand your vocabulary and learn comprehension.

There are various English tutoring schools online including E2, My IELTS tutor, The IELTS tutor among others.

You can also check out several videos that have been prepared for English learning on YouTube. You can use these videos in case you don’t have access to tutors.


7. Understand synonyms.

For the reading test, it is important for you to understand synonyms. Synonyms are two words that can be interchangeably be used in a context.

These words give you a better understanding of the English language.

Learning synonyms give you a better chance of passing the writing and reading tests.


8. Improve your grammar.

It is very important to read and write when practicing for the IELTS. This gives you an opportunity to learn how to actively improve your grammar in all situations as it is necessary for you to pass the reading and writing tests.


9. Learn how to structure your writing and get feedback.

For the writing test, you have to write as much as you possibly can. It’s advisable if you can get an article or blog written so that you can get feedback from your readers.

This can also be done by writing an essay for an English teacher to review and give you feedback on.

By doing this, you can get to know the areas you need to improve on to get the best essay.


10. Read the IELTS guidelines on how to write a good essay.

The IELTS website gives you a downloadable version of guidelines that show you what they expect to see in your writing essay.

They show you the specific points you have to make to get a better score.


11. Reading aloud to train your pronunciation.

This works when you do not have someone to practice with. This trick is also used when training yourself to speak in a group of people.

You can do this whenever you are alone in the bathroom, in the car or any other place you’re comfortable.


12. Practicing with someone.

For speaking, it is advisable to find a practising mate. This gives you an opportunity to practice your speaking skills as often as possible.

This works best if you speak with someone that is better than you in English.

That way, you can easily be corrected whenever you go wrong.


13. Plan ahead.

The most important thing is to give yourself enough time to prepare for the test.

Just like any other exam, you need to dedicate a lot of time to learning everything you have to in order to score highly on the test.

You can also check out this video by IELTS experts Jay and Mark as they share some top 2022 test tips, help you set your goals, and direct you to some of our most popular free resources.


Conclusion: How to Pass IELTS in 2023

It is important for you to get an average score of 7.0 on your IELTS test. This puts you in an acceptable range of English speakers with a high probability of making it into your desired scholarship or work opportunity.

All you have to do is prepare adequately, make time for podcasts and practice sessions and get a tutor.

This gives you a great start to passing the test.

I hope you found my article on how to pass IELTS helpful.

Now I would like to hear from you.

What challenges are you facing as regards to preparing for your IELTS?

Let me know in the comment section below.

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