This post is basically a common mistake alert. As you know I’m receiving many emails from IELTS test takers and they tell me about their exams, what went right, what went wrong, and we analyze the situation and what should have been done differently. And here is a point regarding the latest exam. As you know it was identical in many countries and apparently many people had the same problems, because they weren’t mentally prepared. Assumption # 1 People assumed that Task 1 in the Academic IELTS will be a chart or a graph – and when they were given a diagram, it came as a complete shock. As a result, it took them longer to get their heads around the task and they spent over 30 minutes only thinking what they are going to write in their reports. Then it’s a chain accident – if the first task takes you longer, you don’t have enough time for your essay and you are stressed, so the performance goes down the drain. This could have been easily solved by practicing beforehand. Guys, when you practice – don’t choose just graphs, prepare for diagrams as well, it’s important to be prepared for whatever they throw at you and not things you think are likely to appear. If you’re under time pressure and have only a week to study – that’s fine, do just one or two diagrams, but at least try yourself at it.
Assumption # 2 I don’t know why, but people assume that IELTS questions never repeat – when this blog is a proof to the fact that they do, and quite often. I’ve got an email from a student that said: “You know what is really ironic? I saw my speaking question the night before my exam on IELTS Material, but thought I will never get the same question and didn’t practice it.” Do yourself a favor – go through the list of recent exams and familiarize yourself with the latest questions. The best chances to get the same questions as before are, of course, in the Speaking test, however in the Writing test we too have seen that the questions were repeated over time. And above everything else – good luck with your preparation and I wish you an easy exam!