Achieve IELTS Success: How to Stay Motivated During Your Study Journey

by | Mar 26, 2023 | Focus on IELTS

Staying motivated during your IELTS preparation can be challenging, but it’s essential for success. Here are some tips to help you maintain your motivation:

1. Set clear goals

When setting clear goals for your IELTS preparation, it’s essential to focus on two primary aspects: test dates and band scores. These goals should be specific and tailored to your individual needs, whether you’re taking the IELTS for immigration or study purposes.

Test Dates

Select a test date that gives you enough time to prepare thoroughly and consistently, keeping in mind your current English proficiency and availability. Registering for a specific test date will create a sense of urgency, motivating you to prioritize your IELTS preparation and make steady progress.

For example, register for a test date on August 1, 2023, to ensure you have ample time to prepare and improve your skills.

Band Score

Determine the required band score based on the needs of the institution, organization, or country you’re applying to. It’s important to aim for the necessary score rather than striving for an excessively high score that may not be essential for your application.

For example, if the university or immigration program you’re applying to requires a minimum overall band score of 6.5, set your goal at 6.5 instead of aiming for a significantly higher score, such as 7.5 or 8. This realistic target will help you stay motivated and focused on what is truly required for your specific situation.

By setting clear goals that include specific test dates and band scores, you’ll create a roadmap for success in your IELTS journey. These attainable objectives will help you maintain motivation, avoid feeling overwhelmed, and ensure that your efforts are directed toward the most relevant aspects of your IELTS preparation.

2. Create a study plan

Develop a study schedule that outlines the specific tasks you need to complete each day or week. Make it as detailed as possible, and include a mix of reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises. Be realistic about the time you can allocate and your current proficiency level.

Here are a few exercise examples that you can include in your study plan:

Reading exercises: Read articles, news stories, and academic texts to improve your reading comprehension skills. Start with easier materials and gradually work your way up to more challenging texts. Practice reading comprehension and test-taking strategies by completing timed reading tests from the Cambridge IELTS 1-17 books.

Writing exercises: Practice writing essays, reports (Academic Writing Task 1), and letters (Genera Training Writing Task 1) to develop your writing skills. Use a variety of writing prompts from Cambridge IELTS 1-17 books and focus on grammar, vocabulary, and organization. Additionally, participate in writing practice sessions with instructors to receive feedback and improve your skills.

Speaking exercises: Practice speaking with a partner, tutor, or language exchange partner. Record your voice and listen to it to identify areas for improvement in your pronunciation, intonation, and fluency. Practice speaking exercises with instructors to gain confidence and improve your communication skills.

Listening exercises: Listen to podcasts, news broadcasts, and videos to improve your listening skills. Focus on understanding the main ideas and identifying key information. Practice listening comprehension and test-taking strategies by completing timed listening tests from the Cambridge IELTS 1-17 books.

Vocabulary exercises: Use flashcards or apps to learn new words and review frequently. Learn new words from the Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS book, and review frequently. Practice using new words in sentences and context to reinforce your understanding.

Grammar exercises: Practice grammar exercises such as fill-in-the-blank or sentence completion activities. Use grammar resources to study the rules and practice applying them. Complete grammar exercises from the Cambridge Grammar for IELTS book to improve your understanding of English grammar.

Remember to tailor your study plan to your personal strengths and weaknesses, and adjust it as needed to stay motivated and engaged in your studies. By including a mix of exercises from each of these six categories, you can develop a well-rounded study plan that will help you achieve IELTS success.

3. Establish a routine

Consistency is key when preparing for the IELTS exam. Set aside dedicated study time each day, ideally at the same time, to create a routine that works for you. This will help you build positive study habits and keep you on track.

For example, you may decide to dedicate 1.5 hours of studying every day from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The amount of time you allocate depends on your current level of English, the band score you aim to achieve, and the deadline you have to achieve your score. Make sure to have a quiet, comfortable, and well-lit space to study in. Turn off or silence any distractions, such as your phone, during your study sessions.

4. Find study partners

Connect with others who are also preparing for the IELTS exam. Study partners can provide valuable support, motivation, and feedback. You can practice speaking and listening skills together and share tips and resources.

Join an IELTS study group in your local area or online. Websites like or Facebook groups can help you find other IELTS candidates near you. Alternatively, reach out to friends or acquaintances who are also preparing for the IELTS exam and suggest forming a study group or practicing together regularly.

5. Stay positive

Maintain a positive attitude throughout your preparation. Remind yourself of your progress and the reasons you want to achieve your target score. Visualize yourself succeeding and reaching your goals.

Create a motivation board or a list of reasons why you want to achieve your target IELTS score. Some examples could be:

  • To study abroad at a prestigious university
  • To qualify for a work visa in an English-speaking country
  • To improve your career prospects

Whenever you feel discouraged, look at your motivation board or list to remind yourself why you’re working hard.

6. Seek feedback

Get feedback from teachers, tutors, or peers on your progress. This can help you identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to address them, boosting your confidence and motivation.

Share your writing samples with a tutor, teacher, or your study partner, and ask for specific feedback on grammar, vocabulary, structure, and coherence. For speaking practice, record yourself and ask your study partner, teacher, or tutor to provide feedback on pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, and coherence. Take the feedback into account and work on the areas that need improvement.

7. Reward yourself

Celebrate your achievements and milestones along the way. Reward yourself for completing tasks, improving your skills, or reaching milestones. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Set small rewards for achieving milestones during your preparation. For example:

  • If you complete all your study tasks for the week, treat yourself to your favorite dessert or watch a movie.
  • If you reach a sub-goal, such as improving your speaking skills or achieving a higher practice test score, celebrate with a day off from studying or a fun activity with friends or family.

By rewarding yourself for your hard work, you’ll be more motivated to stay on track and continue making progress.

8. Stay healthy

Take care of your physical and mental well-being during your IELTS preparation.

Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, such as a 30-minute walk or jogging three times a week. Additionally, make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and try relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to help manage stress.

9. Use engaging materials

Keep your study materials diverse and interesting. Look for authentic resources, such as news articles, podcasts, videos, and books that relate to your interests. This will make your study sessions more enjoyable and help maintain your motivation.

Choose resources that are interesting and relevant to you. For example:

  • If you’re interested in technology, read articles from Wired or watch videos from popular tech YouTube channels.
  • If you love travel, read travel blogs or listen to travel podcasts in English.
  • If you’re a fan of movies, watch English-language films with subtitles to practice listening skills.

By using materials that you enjoy, your study sessions will be more engaging and enjoyable.

10. Keep track of your progress

Regularly assess your progress by taking practice tests or completing exercises. This will help you see your improvements over time and give you a sense of accomplishment, further motivating you to reach your target score.

Create a progress log to record your practice test scores, speaking and writing exercises, and any other relevant assessments. For example, you can use a spreadsheet to track the following:

  • Date of the practice test
  • Overall score and individual scores for reading, writing, speaking, and listening
  • Areas that need improvement
  • Goals for the next practice test

Review your progress log regularly to see how far you’ve come and to identify areas that require additional focus. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to continue working towards your target score.

Remember, persistence and determination are essential for success in any challenging endeavor, including IELTS preparation. Stay focused on your goals and remind yourself why achieving them is important to you.



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