Top 5 Myths About The Test

Chris Pell. There are SO many myths about the IELTS test that we simply don’t have enough time to go through them all. So today, I am bringing you a quick list of the 5 most common we typically hear and of course, some advice to help you avoid falling into the trap. Now before we begin, it’s important to understand the reason why we are doing this in the first place.

It’s quite simple really. In order to become successful (i.e. pass the IELTS test), you must be able to identify what’s ‘real’ versus what’s not. In other words… Save yourself wasting time on things that don’t matter and instead, focus on the areas that DO matter, getting you one step closer to that Band 7+. Make sense?

Let’s get started…
Myth #1- "High-level vocabulary will get me a high score”.
Not necessarily. Because when we look at the actual marking criteria, it also talks about accuracy. There's no point using fancy vocabulary if it means you make lots of mistakes.  As you can see, it’s not just about adding complex vocabulary from a list, it’s also about how to use it.

Myth #2 - "I need an in-depth knowledge of all the topics”.
This one is very common. But once again, when we look at the marking criteria, ‘knowledge’ does not feature. Remember: the IELTS test is not an IQ test or a knowledge test. So relax about knowing everything and instead, focus on developing your skills.

Myth #3- "I need an English accent”.
This is absolutely NOT true. When the marking criteria refers to 'pronunciation', what it actually means is... Speaking in clear English, in your own accent.

Myth #4- "The test is subjective”.
You may hear people say that taking the test in some countries is easier than in others. Or maybe that one test centre in your country gives better scores than another. Hmmm, again, not true. What’s happening here is trying to blame someone or something else as a way of distraction. Just focus on yourself and get your skills to the level they need to be at. Forget about things that are not in your control. And last but not least… (This is quite funny actually).

Myth #5- "Greeting the examiner is very important”.
Just like the barista at Starbucks or the cashier at your local supermarket… The examiner does NOT care how you greet them! All they care about is the marking criteria. Once again, this comes from people trying to boost their scores without actually doing the hard work required to pass the IELTS test.

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