Today, I have a bit of a special lesson for you. We’re going to look at thetest.
Now, before I begin, I have to tell you that I will be speaking a little bit faster than usual because this is for IELTS test-takers. You need to get used to faster speed English, more natural speed English. But for everybody else, keep watching. It’s still a good practice, still lots of vocabulary to learn, lots of things to learn.
So, more specifically, we’re going to be looking at IELTS time management. Now, many people tell me… I’ve had many students come and tell me the biggest problem they had taking the IELTS test was that they ran out of time. They didn’t know how to manage their time, and that’s why they lost a lot of points. Okay? So, today, I’m going to help you fix that a little bit. There’s lots to talk about. Let’s get started.
Two things we have to worry about: mind and body. Okay? First, let’s talk about the body. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they go to take the test on test day is they’re exhausted. They’re just not mentally ready to take the test. It’s a long test, it’s a difficult test, and it’s a test in English; not your native tongue. Obviously, right?
So, what do you do? Very, very important. The night before… The night before the test, don’t study. If you don’t know it then, you won’t know it the next day. So, the night before the test, go to sleep early, get a full eight hours of solid sleep, wake up early, do whatever you need to do in the morning, go to the test center relaxed. Okay? Very, very important. You need as much brain power as you can get on test day.
Speaking of waking up in the morning on test day, make sure that you eat properly. Don’t go to the test hungry. Your stomach does a lot of your thinking for you when you’re not prepared. If you’re hungry, you’re thinking about your stomach; not about the English. Okay? Eat. Eat properly. Carbohydrates, proteins. Avoid coffee and sugar. But if you have to have a coffee in the morning to wake up, like I do, have it at least an hour, an hour and a half, two hours before the test. Don’t go into the test room with a cup of a coffee in your hand. Well, you can’t anyway, but don’t go into the test center with a cup of coffee in your hand. Get it all out of the way early. Okay. So this is still body.
During the test, when you have a few extra seconds, maybe between sections, between questions, in the listening section, etcetera, close your eyes. Breathe. Just calm yourself down, relax. Remember, at the end of the day, if you didn’t do well on the test today, you take it again next week or the week after that. You can do it again. Relax. Close your eyes. If they’re burning, close them, relax. Get a little bit of energy back, move on.
Same idea, if you have a chance, stretch. Don’t be afraid to waste-if you want to call it that-take a minute of your time to stretch. Arms up, do whatever you have to do. Don’t get up and walk around. I don’t think they’ll be very happy about that, but as much as you can, stretch. Legs, arms, neck, whatever you need to do. A strong, healthy body helps you do better on a test. It actually helps you save time, believe it or not. Okay, this is one thing.
Most importantly, your mind. We need to train your mind. It’s not all about English. Okay? The IELTS test, the TOEFL test, etcetera, these are called standardized tests. It means they’re always going to be the same structure. They’re always going to be about the same time, the same set up, the same types of questions. Okay? Know them.
So, how we… Do we train your body? Practice. I cannot stress this enough. Practice, practice, practice every single day. What do you practice? Excuse me. Practice your listening and speaking as much as you can. The easiest thing to practice is your listening. Okay? TV, music videos, YouTube, internet. Like, English is everywhere. Very, very easy to practice your listening. Okay?