Questions we often get asked about the IELTS test include "is it possible for me to improve my IELTS score?" and "how can I improve my IELTS test score?" Their are a few points to note in answer to these questions.
One approach many candidates take is to simply keep taking the IELTS test over and over again. This will not only cost you a lot of money, but will most likely not improve your results!
The first thing you need to do to get a better score is to improve your English skills. Remember IELTS is a test of English language proficiency, so to get a high score you need to work on all skill areas - reading, writing, listening and speaking.
If you have already sat the test, look at your report and see which areas were identified as your weakest. These are the ones you need to work on.
Another point to consider is how you prepared last time for the test. Did you prepare enough? Preparation is vital for each component of the IELTS test. What about your performance on test day? How did you handle the test conditions?
Remember the 6 P's - Prior Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. If you plan and prepare sufficiently, you should perform well.
You need to consider these points in order to improve your score next time.
Of course you may consider taking a course to address your areas of weakness and improve your score. Whether it is your first IELTS test or perhaps you have sat the test before, many students find that taking a course is vital to achieve a higher score.
Ms Tan from China got a writing score of 6 before she completed an IELTS writing course, her weakest area. After her course she sat the IELTS Writing test again. This time she got a band score of 8, which is 2 bands higher than her original score - a fantastic result and one which she most likely would not have achieved without specific guidance and practice.
Here's another example of an IELTS test candidate. Cindy, a teacher from Switzerland had sat the IELTS four times over a period of two years and the last three times received 7.5 at the Speaking component of the test. However, to be able to become a teacher in Australia and to increase her chances of being awarded a Skilled Visa to stay in Australia permanently, she needed 8.0 in the Speaking test. She was desperate so she enrolled in an IELTS Speaking course. She says " each week I had two lessons of an hour each through Skype. Not only did my teacher help me identify the areas I needed to work on to improve my score, but she also did a great job in helping me raise my confidence about this test. I must admit that I was honestly scared of sitting the test again, I had built a huge mental barrier. My teacher was able to help me change my approach to the test. I was then able to sit the test feeling relaxed and confident in my abilities, and this enabled me to show my full potential at an IELTS Speaking test for the very first time. I would highly recommend the course to anyone who needs to enhance their IELTS speaking score. I jumped from 7.5 to 8.5! I had 7.5 at the Speaking component of the test in May before the course, and made this massive jump to 8.5 in July, which is only two months later. It's just fantastic, I honestly still can't believe it!"
So yes, it is possible to improve your score and you can read many more examples about other people who improved their IELTS score here.
So, rather than just repeating the IELTS test over and over again, try getting some tuition or completing an IELTS course that focuses on your weaknesses so that you can improve your skills in that particular area.
Understand how the IELTS test works and what your score means. Then practice, practice, practice. Read these useful tips on how to succeed in the IELTS Reading test and the IELTS Writing test.
If you identify your weaknesses and work hard to improve those areas, prepare adequately for the test and the test conditions, then you will perform well and get a better score.
Good luck in your test and don't forget the 6 P's!