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Time Management Skills to Complete IELTS Exam on Time

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20 Jan 2018

 

Time Management Skills to Complete IELTS Exam on Time

IELTS is an exam strictly conducted in the specified time duration of 2 hrs 40 mins. For this reason, time management skill is of utmost importance. If you have already appeared in IELTS before or any of your friends has given this exam earlier, you must have the idea how crucial time is for getting good band score in IELTS.

With lack of time management skills, candidates are often found saying this:

 

I couldn’t transfer my reading answers on time

Describing a bar graph takes a lot of time

I was left with hardly 10 minutes to solve the last reading passage

It looks impossible to read questions in the 1 min time during listening test

I was feeling lack of time when thinking for ideas to explain in essay

 

The above statements are very common when the candidate does not manage time properly.

 

In the exam, you can see the timer projected on a big screen. This is where you can keep on looking while attempting the test.

 

So, let us see how you can manage your 2 hrs 40 mins time effectively in order to complete all the questions on time and do well in all the modules.

 

Time Management in Listening Test

 

You will be given 1 min time to read a set of questions, for example, first 4 or 5 questions in section 1 or 10 questions in section 4.

 

This 1 min time you have to utilize to read the assigned set of questions, for sure. But if you still have few seconds left, you can have an eye on the other questions as well. For this, you need to be very much focussed and read the questions quickly. While you read, you should underline keywords too which you can look for while listening to audio.

 

If you try to thoroughly understand every question, it won’t be possible in 1 min. Hence, just quickly go through the questions by having just an overview of them.

 

At the time you transfer your listening answers from your question paper in the given 10 mins, you should do it fast but at the same time write carefully to avoid spelling mistakes.

 

Time Management in Reading Test

 

You will be badly in need of time while attempting reading test. This is because you are going to have 1 hour to solve 40 questions in total which are divided into 3 sections. So, you have to carefully read the passages in every section in order to write the answers correctly and this requires effective time management skill.

 

Reading Pitfalls

 

Let me talk about the pitfalls which can affect the way you manage the time to answer the questions.

 

  • If you read the passages casually, finding answers will be difficult and you will be consuming more time while finding the answers as well as while reading the passages again and again.
  • If you got stuck on a particular question and trying hard to solve it, you would lose out time on other questions and then you might be doing the questions hurriedly, leading to incorrect answers.
  • If you read slowly, without with a focused approach or you do not pay attention to understand something significant from the paragraphs, you will not be able to do the questions correctly and within the time.
  • If you devote more time in 1 section, you will be left with less time to read the other passages and to solve the pending questions.

 

Reading Strategies

To avoid all these pitfalls, you can solve the reading questions with good reading strategy.

 

Reading Strategy 1

 

Following is one of the time management strategies in reading test that you may adopt:

 

Reading Section 1(around 13 Q):    20 mins

Rapid reading of questions:           1 min

Skimming the passage:                  9 min    (Skimming: Reading passage)

Scanning the passage:                   9 min    (Scanning: Finding answers)

Transfer answers:                           1 min

 

Above is the reading strategy you may follow for solving one section, consisting of around 13 questions, in maximum 20 mins.

 

However, if you have two small passages in one section, you may follow below strategy:

 

Reading Strategy 2

 

Reading Section 1(around 13 Q):    20 mins
a. Reading passage 1 (around 6 Q):    10 mins

Rapid reading of questions:                1 min

Skimming the passage:                       4 min

Scanning the passage:                        4 min

Transfer answers:                                1 min

 

b. Reading passage 2 (around 7 Q):    10 mins

Rapid reading of questions:                1 min

Skimming the passage:                       4 min

Scanning the passage:                        4 min

Transfer answers:                                1 min

 

Thus, by completing a reading section in 20 mins, you can solve all the 40 questions on time i.e. 60 mins.

 

However, you should try to complete the first 2 sections as soon as possible so that you are left with few more mins to solve 3rd section which is comparatively lengthy and difficult.

 

Time Management in Writing Test

 

You need patience for writing test but at the same time, you need to think fast for ideas and write fast in 1 hour time. Whether you are appearing in Academic or General Training, you will find two writing tasks viz. Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.

 

You have 20 mins for Writing Task 1 while 40 mins for Writing Task 2. Let us discuss how you can manage time here in order to complete both the tasks on time.

 

Strategy for Writing Task 1

 

This task is report writing in case of IELTS Academic. You get a diagram which you will describe by highlighting its important features in 20 mins time which you can divide as follows:

 

Read the question to get used to the diagram – 2 mins

Analyse the diagram to get important insights – 3 mins

Write Introduction, Body paragraphs and Conclusion – 13 mins

Review for grammar or punctuation errors – 2 mins

 

Writing Task 1 is a letter in case of IELTS General Training. You would get a formal, semi-formal or informal letter to be written in 20 mins time which you can divide as follows:

 

Read the question to understand the purpose and requirements of letter – 1 mins

Think of ideas to be explained in the letter – 2 mins

Write Introduction, Body paragraphs and Conclusion – 15 mins

Review for grammar or punctuation errors – 2 mins

 

Strategy for Writing Task 2

 

This task is an essay for both IELTS Academic and General Training for which you get 40 mins and you can divide this time as follows:

 

Read the question to understand the topic, tasks, think how to structure it & whether to give opinion or not – 5 mins

Think of ideas to be explained in the body pararaphs – 5 mins

Write Introduction, body paragraphs and Conclusion – 25 mins

Review for grammar or punctuation errors – 5 mins

 

You may develop and use other time management strategies which make you feel comfortable while attempting test but keep in mind that it would help only if you implement it practically and for that, you must practice mock tests in order to get the feel of the time constraint during the exam.

 

 

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