Top 5 Things About IELTS Exam that People Fear – and Ways to Overcome Them


Any exam brings fears of various kinds to most candidates. It is important to have a sound strategy, appropriate cope up mechanism and extensive preparation, to lower the pre-exam adrenaline rush, if not completely avoid the exam stress.

The international standardized test for English level proficiency, IELTS (International English Language Testing Scheme), comes with numerous intimidating aspects which undermine a candidate’s confidence and abilities. It is important to beat this intimidation, stress and pressure to perform to achieve the desired band score. However, the first step is to recognize your fears and then find ways to overcome them.

1Following are the common fears that IELTS exam candidates have experienced:


While in the listening module if you skipped a particular part, answering the questions precisely would not be possible. Not only that, the following questions will be affected too, since it’ll take time for you to get back on track.

How to overcome:

The key here is concentration, stay attentive while the audio is being played. If you are undermined by the examination stress, there is greater probability that you’ll mess up your listening section. Hence, avoid unnecessary hassle, trust your capabilities and calmly make necessary notes and jot down the key words from the audio.


Since, there isn’t any prescribed list of topics to prepare; the most fearsome situation for the applicants is encountered in this section. The students, who haven’t been doing a lot of practice for the writing phase, face the daunting state of lack of relevant knowledge concerning the topic.

How to overcome:

While preparation and practice are the two important things that will help you out in overcoming this situation in the exam, knowing that it is more important how accurately you write rather that what you write, as expertise in the particular topic is not what examiner’s basic requirement is. Read a lot of essays with sample answers to get an idea on what you have to write and hence, you would be able to absorb others’ ideas in your mind.


Students, while attempting the reading and writing module, often complain of lack of time. Reading and answering three different comprehensive passages require advanced practice coupled with time management skills.

How to overcome:

Under any circumstance, don’t dwell upon a single question to such an extent that due to shortage of time, other questions remain unanswered. Encircle the questions you can’t find answers for, and leave them for the end. Give a second round of scanning for those questions, if you have time to spare. Trust your instincts and answer the questions you happen to not find an answer for. Remember, reading module is the game you can win only with acute time management techniques, divide the time in the very beginning and stick to the strategy no matter what.

In writing section, segregate the time for planning, writing and checking. Prepare the framework and word bank of your article beforehand so that it takes less time for you to write.


Many a times, during interaction with the examiner, candidates go blank in the cue card section. Candidates feel frightened since they have little or no time to think and answer. Entertaining this problem can bring your desired IELTS score down.

How to overcome:

This concern can just be tackled through confidence. The speaking test actually starts a day before the actual examination. This basically means, you need to practice speaking English; talk to anyone you can. In the hour leading up to your interview, find applicants of other nationalities to chat in English. As an alternative, speak to yourself in English about anything and everything. Another thing to be kept in mind is, don’t get nervous about being recorded. Recording is not done to evaluate examinee but actually examiner.


Other than the points mentioned above, another major question that pops up before the IELTS speaking test is; What if they say the wrong thing.

How to overcome:

The misapprehension to be cleared, there is no right or wrong thing. As long as you are speaking grammatically error free and your fluency is not an issue, you can score a high band score.

Fears are productive, as long as you put in efforts to overcome them. Don’t let absurd fear of the unknown hinder your way to success.


Originally posted 2018-03-12 12:15:30.


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