How to defeat the time constraints in IELTS test!

Discussion in 'IELTS Forum' started by glad., Sep 24, 2008.

  1. glad.

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    Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:27 pm Post subject: How to defeat the time constraints in IELTS test!

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    How to defeat the time constraints in IELTS test!

    In the IELTS test, time is your enemy. Candidates who have taken the test and did not perform as well as they had hoped often complain that they were unable to give all the answers in the Listening Test because the tape was too fast, and that they ran out of time in the Reading Test.

    To begin with, do not worry if you do not finish the tests. Remember, the test is designed to measure candidates over a range of scores from 0 to 9 (0 indicates the test was not attempted). Candidates whose English is near perfect can expect to score 9, but even native English-speaking people would be unlikely to complete every Listening Test answer perfectly or finish the Reading Test a long time before the examination ends. Remember, the test is meant to be challenging.

    The IELTS test measures many aspects of your English ability including the speed at which you listen, read, write, speak, and think in English. Your personal speed is not something which changes a great deal from day to day, but does change considerably over a longer period of time, as a direct result of practice in working with the English language.

    Your personal speed and ability in the 5 areas previously mentioned is pretty well fixed at any given time. The official IELTS Band Scores you receive are extremely accurate, since each test is trialled extensively to achieve standardised results for candidates at all English levels. Nonetheless, there are certainly many things you can do, before and on the day of the test, to help maximise the use of your time and give yourself the best chance of success.

    Consider the following situation: although a racing car cannot go faster than its maximum speed, the race can still be won, and its maximum speed maintained for longer, if an expert driver is at the wheel. An expert racing car driver will:

    ? ? spend a great deal of time practising at the wheel before race day
    ? ? visit the track so that he or she knows where to go and what to expect
    ? ? get enough sleep before the day of the big race
    ? ? eat a good breakfast on race day morning;
    ? ? check his or her watch constantly to monitor the car?s progress
    ? ? keep moving along the track and not get stuck on a bad corner
    ? ? breathe long and deeply to relax and keep the oxygen going to the brain
    ? ? drink water (but not too much!) when the car is at the pit-stop.

    The Listening, Reading, and Writing Tests are given in that order, and are usually held on a single morning. The combined length of those three tests is 2 hours and 30 minutes. (The Speaking Test is conducted at an appointed time in the afternoon.) Only one short break is given between the Reading and Writing Tests, so you need to be at your best for a long period of time, which is why you must sleep and eat well before the test. The hints and guidelines in this book should help you achieve your ?maximum speed?. The more effort you put in, the faster your personal speed will be on the day. INCREASE YOUR SENTENCE READING SPEED
    The faster and more accurately you read, the more questions you will be able to answer. In all the tests, the instructions, the example, and the questions themselves need to be read quickly, and must be well understood in order for you to have more time to find the answers. It pays to increase your overall reading speed.

    To increase your reading speed, you must learn to read in groups of words that form logical units of thought within sentences. Look at the following sentence:

    Britain has been a popular choice for thousands of international students over many years

    Notice how you can think of the sentence as being made up of 3 main parts:

    1. Britain has been a popular choice (What and where?)

    2. ? for thousands of international students (Who for?)

    3. ? over many years. (When?)

    Note also, that in this case (and many others) all the phrases answer wh/how questions. It may be helpful at first to think of wh/how questions when trying to read in phrases.

    If you read each word in a sentence one at a time, you will read very slowly and most likely misunderstand the meaning of much of what you read. So read your sentences in phrases by considering all the words of a phrase as a single unit.

    Notice how much quicker it is to read the sentence, and how the meaning of what you say is more clear. Practise reading in phrases everyday. Look ahead on the page as you read, and always aim to find logical places in the sentences where phrases begin and end. Note also that there is often more than one solution as to where the logical breaks between phrases occur within sentences.

    Read faster by reading words in groups that form logical units of thought

    DEVELOP A MEMORY FOR ENGLISH
    In the Reading Test, it pays to remember as much as you can of what you have just read, but at least the words can be read again. However, in the Listening Test you cannot go back, and the tape is only played once. If the answer comes before the keyword/phrase, your memory of what you have just heard is even more important. Nevertheless, the answer usually follows the keywords/phrases that you hear, and is close in time to the main keyword/phrase you are listening for.

    To improve your ?English memory?, try the following exercise. Using the pause button on the tape recorder, repeat the sentences spoken in the passages on the audio cassette tape that comes with this book, gradually increasing the length of what you repeat. Do not worry about repeating the exact words. Simply aim to remember more of what you have heard.

    I agree that time costraint is a big problem. I think one can handle listening test if they can hear without any tension. Even If you miss one or two points, keep listening without getting diatracted. Because once you think about something else, you will miss out everything that comes behind it. So you will end up loosing may be 10 answers for missing only 2 answers.
    So stay cool while listening.

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  2. Guest

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    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:14 am Post subject:

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    Thank you for those advises, I've started to estudy for the IELTS, and I've seen that the reading is my weak part. I'll try these !!!
  3. shawrav.

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    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:45 pm Post subject:

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    Thanks for your advice. Yes, time is enemy for IELTS Test. Can you suggest me about speed reading and speed listening. Actually i'm facing some problem on Vocabulary and writing. Can u suggest me how can I improve my Vocabulary?

    Somebody telling me that i should memorize new words. But Is it an efficient way? But without memorizing how can i learn new words. Please suggest me.
  4. ieltskhor.

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    Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:33 pm Post subject: English sentences

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    For learning vocabulary that is better that, you focus on sentences not just words uniquely. When you learn and memorize words in sentences body you can found their best placement on the sentences as well you have to know that every word have different meanings at the different places and this is one reasons that it?s better that you put in practice on English sentences.

    Go ahead and do not give up!



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  5. Nathan

    Nathan Guest

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    Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:21 pm Post subject:

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    I dunno where I've read those tips before. Mayb in EDITED Preparation Book . I"m not sure . If someone would like to read more about those sort of tips I suggest ya should buy that book.
  6. ozlover.

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    Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:24 pm Post subject: 101

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    Yes i think that 101 or 202 books are very good spatially for learning strategies.
  7. Guest

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    IELTS Reading tips

    In the Reading section time management is very important. No matter what happens you can not get "stuck" on one question or one passage for too long.

    To avoid that, in the beginning of the test divide the time.
    Example: if you have 3 passages with questions, divide the 60 minutes that you have into 3 parts - but not just equal parts. The passages are of various difficulty, so first look at them, to the most difficult assign 25 min, to the least difficult assign 15 and you will have 20 minutes left for the last passage.
    Write the time when you should stop answering each passage's questions, so that you'll know when it is time to move on - write it in the booklet.

    This system will make sure you don't use all the time on just one passage. It is also easier to watch time in chunks of 15-20-25 minutes than in a much bigger chunk of 60 minutes.

    When you practice at home, don't just answer the questions, practice in copying your answers to Answer Sheet. If you don't have the official form (some books have it, some don't), never mind - just get a piece of paper and draw your own Answer sheet (40 spaces for answers is all you need).
    The reason you should practice the copying because it too takes time and you can copy the answers in the wrong way if not used to paying attention.

    Good luck guys, I hope you'll get a great score!
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: IELTS Reading tips

    I agree that time limitation is a huge hitch. I believe one can handle listening test if they can hear without any stress. Even If you miss 2 or 3 points, keep listening without getting abstracted. Because once you think about something else, you will miss out everything that comes behind it. So you will end up loosing may be many answers for missing only 2 answers. So stay calm while listening.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Finding more time in teh Listening exam.

    I have another tip for time in the IELTS listening exam.

    There are 4 parts to the listening exam and the first 3 parts are split. So you are given approximately 20 seconds to read and prepare for 5 questions before you listen. You are then given another 20 seconds (approx.) to read and prepare for the remaining questions in that part.

    You should use this time carefully.
    - Make sure you know the instruction for these questions - how many words can you write etc.
    - Read the questions and underline the key words
    - Think about what kind of answer you are expecting (think about information and grammar)

    Then listen and answer.

    At the end of each part (ie. 10 questions) you are given about 30 seconds to check your answers. If you had any problems quickly go back and check that answer now. Then quickly move onto the next part of the test. You can use this time to look at the next set of questions and prepare. This is in addition to the 20 seconds preparation time you will be given.

    So you can actually make use of this checking time to give you more time to prepare. This is especially important for part 4. Unfortunately this part isn't split and you have only 20 to 30 seconds to prepare for all 10 questions. So get ahead on this section.

    I hope this helps and good luck

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