The IELTS exam is challenging even for candidates who have several months to prepare for it, and if for some reason, you don’t have months to master the tests, there are still ways that can help you get ready in less than a month and bring out the best in you.

If you only have one month to prepare for your IELTS exam, you need to use every single hour of this time to engage with English. Use every opportunity to speak, listen, read and write in English. You need to be very careful about the selection of IELTS resources and services and avoid reading books that are suitable for learners with much time.

To help you get this done and become prepared for your IELTS test in less than a month, I have listed here some essential resources and services that you should absolutely use. I should remind you that if you have several months to prepare, these might not be the best option for you.

Learn about the IELTS test format

It is critical that you use become very familiar with the IELTS exam and learn how to approach each section of the test. First of all, you should decide which type of IELTS test are you going to take: Academic, General Training, UKVI.

Next, you should understand the test and read pieces of advice and tips that will help you with it. The best reference that you can use to do this is the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS. In this book you can learn about the test format, know the question types in each IELTS skill and access exercises from every question type. Besides, this book comes with audio samples for the listening test and videos of the speaking test which can get you acquainted with the exam’s atmosphere.

Review sample IELTS questions

One of the resources you can use very early in your preparation is sample IELTS questions. Using this practice material enables you to experience the various types of tasks you will be asked to undertake, train yourself under timed conditions and review your answers and double check them with model answers.

IELTS sample questions give you a more detailed insight into the exam and its various question types and get you ready to continue to the more sophisticated resources that I will introduce later.

The official IELTS website is the best place that you can access sample IELTS questions free of charge.

Practice with previous IELTS tests

In lack of time, nothing can prepare you better for the IELTS test than past IELTS exams. These are real IELTS exams that IDP and the British Council have developed and held in previous IELTS tests.

By answering these questions, you can get familiar with various topics and questions that are usually asked in the IELTS exam so you can have an estimate of what you will face on your test day. The best resource for these tests is a book series published by the Cambridge University Press. This is a 14-books series, with the last one titled “IELTS 14 with answers “. You can start with the latest one and go back to the previous titles. Each Book contains four IELTS practice tests with answer keys and audio transcripts.

Take IELTS Mock tests

Now that you have practices enough IELTS questions and have answered many sample tests, it is time to see if you are ready to take the IELTS exam and if not, what else needs to be done to get you there.

IELTS mock tests are the best tools that assess your readiness for the IELTS exam. IELTS mock tests are very similar to the IELTS exam in terms of question types, difficulty, timing and scoring. Therefore, by taking an IELTS mock test, you’ll know the band score that you will get in the actual IELTS exam with a high level of certainty.

More importantly, IELTS mock tests come with reports that can show you how well you did on the test and what are your weaknesses and flaws, so you can work on them and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes on the actual IELTS exam.

The best place to take an IELTS mock test is the “takeIELTS.net” website. Their online IELTS mock tests are closest exams to the IELTS, and they provide you with a detailed test report that clearly identifies your mistakes and offers tips and techniques from IELTS examiners that will help you improve in your next mock test.

Stay hopeful

If you take the steps I mentioned above, you will most likely be at your maximum potential to take the IELTS exam. Remember that a large part of staying hopeful is dreaming big. The part that most people forget is to take small, valuable steps as often as possible towards making their goals come to life.

Author's Bio: 

Johnny Fortune is an eternal student of life. Always looking for the next big thing in learning and knowledge.