Stress is one of the major factors why people sometimes fail in the IELTS. A healthy dose of anxiety is all well and good, but a level of stress that sends you to panic mode can’t be good for your health – and your score.
Here are some tips that would help you manage your anxiety in the IELTS
1. Be in control. You can do this by finding out as much as you can about the IELTS. This is not limited to the test prep stuff you’re already doing. Knowing how to answer questions correctly is important, but so is how to get to the venue of the test. Here are some things you may want to find out.
- When and where your Speaking Exam is. Remember that the Speaking test is not usually taken with the other four subtests so the date and venue may be different.
- When and where the IELTS exam is. These are important so you can plan your travel. What time do you have to be there? Would you need to leave home early? What form of transportation can you take? The administrators of the test are quite strict with time so make sure you’re not late. Be on time, not just in time. If you have never been to place where the test is, it may be a good idea to visit it before the test, just to get a feel of how to get there.
- What things you can bring. Exam administrators will only allow certain things inside the testing hall. Everything else would be deposited in a baggage counter. Make sure that you don’t bring anything unnecessary.
2. Give yourself time to breath. If you’ve been preparing for the exam for ages, then maybe it’s time to take a break. A day for the exam, drop the books and relax. Eat well, do something fun (but not so taxing), and go to bed early to prepare for the next day. This would do more for your psyche that cramming.
3. Simulate the test. Your test prep should include simulating actual test environment – from how the house rules are laid out to how the exams are administered. This means putting your phone on silence and generally declaring yourself a hermit for three hours while you answer Listening, Reading, and Writing exams without breaks. This also means having to deal with a really cold room (the IELTS are held in hotels and those who have cold intolerance would probably be in trouble – wear a jacket!). The more to get used to the environment and the manner the exam is done, the easier it is for you to adapt.
Remember: Your examination is a performance indicator of your language skills, and in every performance, stress is an ever-existing factor. Too much stress, though, can spell tragedy for your test results. So: know the ins and outs of the test, prepare well, and breath.