Canadian Immigration News

Tips to Study for the IELTS

5 minute read
International students looking to study in Canada should be aware of the required English language proficiency test. The IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is a widely used test to determine an individual's English language skills and abilities.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Mar 31, 2023
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International students looking to study in Canada should be aware of the required English language proficiency test. The IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is a widely used test to determine an individual's English language skills and abilities. Canadian educational institutions will require your test scores as a part of your application for admission. This requirement is essential because while studying in Canada, all of your course instruction and written assignments will be presented in English. To be successful at an English-speaking school, you should be able to guarantee that you have a substantial understanding of the language. Passing the IELTS is, therefore, a necessary step for international students to attend and study at a college or university in Canada. There are many ways to prepare for this test, and here we have compiled some of the best ways to ensure success on the IELTS.

Understand the Components of the Test

The IELTS has four components that you must pass. Become very familiar with what each of these includes, what is expected of you, and your time constraints. Take the time to review practice tests to get an idea of what kind of questions you should expect on the test. You can only study well if you know what you need to learn.

The test consists of Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking components. You will need to work on your English language skills in each category to succeed on the IELTS.

Take Practice Tests to Understand Your Study Needs

You might assume that you should wait to take a practice test until you feel ready to attempt the IELTS. Instead, consider beginning your study process with a practice test. This way, you can determine where your strengths lie and where you need to improve your skills. It is a good idea to track what you need to work on specifically to set attainable study goals. Practice tests will also help you become familiar with the time constraints in a practical way. These will help you feel more prepared when you take the actual test.

It would be helpful if you went into your IELTS with a final score in mind that you are aiming for. Determining your skill level by taking practice tests can help you select a realistic score to aim for and develop a plan to achieve those scores.

Integrate IELTS Practice into Your Life

You can study from many traditional IELTS study books and guides. Those can be helpful, but one of the best ways to prepare for the IELTS is to incorporate English into your daily life. There is no exact way to do this; the goal is to become increasingly familiar and comfortable with the language. Below we have included some tips to help you study for each component of the IELTS.


A great way to prepare for the listening portion of the test is to listen to the English language in various ways and formats. You can listen to music and watch films or television shows. Absorbing different variations of English in casual conversation or lyrical music can help you strengthen your ability to listen and comprehend several language uses. You can start by watching or listening with accompanying English subtitles or lyrics. You can practice making out each sentence and its meaning and then shift to listening without the supporting text. Another way to enhance your listening skills is to multitask while listening. Moving some of your focus away from completely listening can help you gain skills in efficiently listening and comprehending without as much effort.


If you can read and understand a complete novel in English, that is a great way to aim for success in the reading component of the IELTS. Regarding reading, you should absorb the written English language daily. A great way to do this is by reading the newspaper. You can find an online English newspaper, magazine, or blog and read new articles every day. Exploring a variety of written content can prepare you for reading English at varying skill levels for different audiences and purposes. It will also introduce you to new words and phrases you can use moving forward.


When practicing your writing skills, it is vital to expand your vocabulary. You can do this by learning synonyms for words you already know. You can also improve your English writing skills by practicing grammar. Even with an extensive vocabulary, clarity can get lost if you lack the correct grammar. You can practice your writing by communicating with other people in English via text or email. Each time you write, you should think about the purpose of your message and determine if you have communicated it successfully. By working to build clear and direct sentences, you can practice communicating effectively with the written English language.


Speaking English is best practiced by simply speaking English. It would be best if you aimed to have more conversations with other people in English to become very familiar with how to respond clearly in spoken interactions. You can also practice speaking when you are by yourself by narrating your day and talking out loud so that you can hear yourself say different words and sentences. A good idea for your speaking practice is to record yourself talking and listen back to it later. Consider how your English sounds from a listener's perspective and determine what factors of speaking you need to work on. You can also explore options for mock speaking tests to prepare yourself further.

General IELTS Tips

  • Be prepared on the day of your test. Schedule it early and determine exactly what you should expect on that day to reduce stress and keep yourself focused.
  • Take some time to think about your answers. You should have completed multiple practice tests, so you should be aware of how much time you have. You don't need to rush.
  • Avoid using words that you aren't sure of. Sticking to the words you are confident and comfortable with is best. If you second-guess a particular word's use, find a way to work around it.
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