How to Keep Your Focus and Concentration during the General IELTS Exams

Be Prepared (Mentally and Physically)

Let’s face it IELTS exams can be stressful. But what even more stressful is walking into an general IELTS exam unprepared knowing that you are going to do badly. So be prepared;


Make sure that you spend a significant time making yourself familiar with all of the material that you need to know, this means revising weeks or months before. (Not hours or minutes!) Knowing the material will set you in good pace for the IELTS exam. You will find it harder to let your mind wonder away into daydream when you actually know what to write.


Staying up the night before late is never a good move. Make sure that you get plenty of rest before the day of the IELTS exam. Being tired will only help you lose your concentration.

Have A Good Breakfast With Coffee!

Breakfast really is one of the most important meals of the day, especially when you have an IELTS exam. Breakfast will kick start your day keeping you energized throughout the IELTS exam. Don’t miss out on the coffee either; it has caffeine and antioxidants that improve alertness and concentration, also giving you better information retention ability.

Know the IELTS exam’s Structure, Location and Time

You need to set your mind at rest before the IELTS exam. Knowing all of the extra information that will help you have a stress free day. Make sure that you know how your general IELTS exam is structured, where it is being sat and how long you have to complete it. You want to avoid all the nasty shocks possible. This should insure that you walk into the IELTS exam room feeling calm and confident, ready to achieve your full potential.

Go To the Bathroom before Even If You Think You Don’t Need It

It seems silly, but you will be surprised by the number of people that will leave an IELTS exam midway because their body is telling them something. Bathroom breaks will just distract you from your IELTS exam. Avoid them and go beforehand. Remember, this is at least a 2.5 hour exam!

Focus On the Goal

Inside the IELTS exam room it is surprisingly easy to let your mind wonder, mainly because it is probably one of the blandest rooms you have ever been in throughout your life. However, reminding yourself why you are there and what you want to achieve can quickly send you back on track.

Don’t Get Worked Up On One Question- Move On

Sometimes you will be completely thrown by one of the questions in the general IELTS exam paper; this could cause you to lose your concentration and rhythm. However you just need to remain calm and be ready to simply move on and give the next question your best shot.

Remember It’s Just an IELTS exam. You can take it again

You have to remember that it is just an IELTS exam. If you don’t get the grade you need the first time, it’s not the end of the world! The general IELTS exams can be very stressful experiences. You might not perform as well as you had hoped but you can probably retake it, and if not life goes on. It really does I promise.

Also don’t go overboard on any concentration drinks.

To become familiar with the structure of the general IELTS exam, and for lots of practice and tips, visit join our full self-study course:

31 Responses to “How to Keep Your Focus and Concentration during the General IELTS Exams”

  1. vineetha george

    I really appreciate you for giving such a good encourangement. i think that it might be helpful for all ielts student.

    • geadmin

      Thank you for your complement. We are here to help, and we feel success when our students are confident and get the scores they need on the IELTS. Keep up the good study and let us know if you have any questions or need assistance.

  2. Mahendra Thapa

    Thank you for your great help.I am new to the blog and taking my ielts on 6th of september and i am fully hopexam.ful with ur advise that will let me have high score on my coming e

    • geadmin

      Hi Mahendra, I wish you the best of luck in your studies and upcoming exam Make sure to follow the 30 Day Study Plan to get the most effective use out of the site. I would also politely suggest trying our Task 1 and 2 Editing Services. Let us know if you have any questions.

    • geadmin

      Hi Naveen, What score do you need on the exam? Of course, it is important to study at least a couple of hours each day. Make sure you do at least several *timed IELTS practice exams before you sit the official exam. If you haven’t tried our full course ( it is a good idea to improve your scores.


    hi geadmin , i have problem with true false section ,every time i pick up wrong answer,in the same way my writing skill is too informal,pls tell me what should do me?

    • geadmin

      Hi Harinder,
      Thank you for your questions. First for T/F/NG follow the strategy given in the full course, you need to first identify if the statement is important for the topic of the passage. If it is important, it will be either T or F, this you will have to know or check. If the statement is not connected or is irrelevant to the topic and controlling idea of the passage then it will be NG, regardless whether it is T or F. I hope this makes sense.
      In regards to writing – it is okay in the General IELTS module to use informal language. However, if you want to be more formal, take a step back. I mean, write simple short formal sentences and then as you master this skill begin to write longer complex and compound sentence. Again, I hope this helps.

    • geadmin

      Hi Sampath Kumar, Thank you for your question. No, there are no negative scores for incorrect responses given in the IELTS listening section. Your raw score and your band score will be calculated from the correct answers only. Keep up the good study. Let me know if you have any other questions regarding IELTS, I am here to help.

  4. Lawrence Atere

    Hello. I am new to your site. Can you give me the the score that make up Band grades in IELTS? By this i mean the range of score corresponding to ILTS band grade, For example, if I got 30 questions right in reading, which band score does it translate to (6.5,7.5, 8.0)????. Thanks

    • geadmin

      You are very welcome Lawrence. If you have any other questions or need assistance do not hesitate to ask, we are here to help. Keep up the good study

  5. swati arora

    Hi, I am new to your site. My exam is on coming 22 Nov. I am preparing for the same but getting lots of problem in MAP questions in Listening Section.As sometimes i donot understand from where it has been started and always stuck in middle of the question…So,can you Please give me some tips over this??

    • geadmin

      Hi Swati,

      Can you point me to a specific example of the type of question you find difficult and what makes it difficult for you?

      All the best.

  6. swati arora

    Hi, These are basically the Diagram Labelling Questions and comes in Section-2.For Example: DIAGRAM OF NEW GRANGE PASSAGE TOMB, in which we have to label the items in the connection with the Pre-Lebelled items.
    So,while listening to the Audio i could not recognize the information like is it going in the same Order as numbering of the diagram or is it taking the information randomly.Hope my question is much clear to you now.Give me some tips over this section.

    • geadmin

      Hi Swati, Yes, the answers in the audio do come in order of the question numbers – they are NOT random. The information will be there as a description. Pay very close attention to prepositions (in, at, on, over etc.) Hope this helps.

  7. Abdul Jabbar Khan

    Hi, I have a couple of videos of GIELTS HELP, and found it very interesting. I am taking general training IELTS test on 13 Dec, 2014, so I have only a week to prepare from now, please suggest how should I prepare within a week of time.

  8. Abdul Jabbar Khan

    Hi, I have watched a couple of videos of GIELTS HELP on you tube, and found it very interesting. I am taking general training IELTS test on 13 Dec, 2014, so I have only a week to prepare from now, please suggest how should I prepare within a week of time.
    One more thing if I purchase the full course material through my credit card, how long will it take to deliver, keep in mind my test is on 13th Dec, 2014.

    • geadmin

      Hi Abdul,

      We have study plans available in your ‘my student account’. Focus on the key strategies and your weakest sections.

      All materials are delivered online, so access is instant after purchase!

    • geadmin

      If you do not have a credit card or PayPal, please use money order (Western Union). Paying with Western Union or Bank Transfer is EASY! The money order directions are below.

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      Let me know if you need any further assistance, I am here to help.

    • geadmin

      Hi Ankit, That is a good idea. Just make sure the breakfast is not too big because all the blood will go to your digestive system instead of your brain. It should include simple sugars like fruit sugars that are easy and quick to use for the brain. Also, make sure you do not drink too much coffee. A little coffee will keep you alert but too much can make you distracted and frustrated. – Balance is the key. Good luck on your exam.

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