I don’t know about you, but what proved to be a useful strategy with my IELTS students over the years was to always ‘OVERCALIBRATE’.

By this I mean that if a learner needed, say a band 6 in one particular skill or overall, I liked to aim for 6.5 or 7 in their preparation.

The reason is that the stress and logistics of the exam day tend to make people UNDERPERFORM, and it’s worth factoring this in in advance.

Candidates who’re used to doing the various tests separately might also find that the cognitive demands of doing the WHOLE thing in one sitting is significantly higher.

The weather, a headache, issues with the quality of an audio, or even street noises (like a truck passing by) may make them lose a point or more, through no fault of their own.

Also, it often happens that a candidate fails to achieve the required band score in just one skill (–writing, haha), and when they take the test again and get the required extra half band in it, they lose half a band in another one, and the game begins again…

There’s really no point in GAMBLING like this. 

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Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an IELTS Teacher Trainer, helping CELTA-qualified English language teachers become better at teaching SKILLS, as opposed to just testing them. 

Check out my courses here:

How to Teach IELTS Listening:

How to Teach IELTS Reading:

How to Teach IELTS Writing:

How to Teach IELTS Speaking: