IELTS mock tests are as old as the IELTS itself. They provide test takers with a hands-on experience of the IELTS exam before the actual test. At first glance you might think that there is nothing complex about these tests but in reality, there are factors that differentiate a good IELTS mock test from a not very good one. These factors are so important that if not taken into consideration, may lead to losing money, wasting time and missing the chance at achieving the desired band score in the IELTS exam.
1- Full Length IELTS Mock Tests
IELTS mock tests should be full-length. This means that they should have the same number of questions as the actual IELTS exam. They should also include all four IELTS skills. These are listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. An IELTS mock test is only reliable and helpful when it has the same format, structure and timing as the actual IELTS exam.
2- IELTS Mock Tests with Genuine IELTS Questions
IELTS questions are developed by IDP and the British Council (https://ielts.britishcouncil.org/). These questions are prepared according to strict guidelines and are written by test writers who are certified by the British Council. These questions can objectively evaluate candidates level of English, regardless of their backgrounds. Producing such questions is not an easy task and therefore you should only take IELTS mock tests with genuine IELTS questions.
3- Certified IELTS Examiners
What you expect from an IELTS mock test is reliable results. This is only possible when your tests are evaluated by certified IELTS examiners. IELTS examiners have rigorous evaluation criteria which is unique to the IELTS test and cannot be met by other examiners. Therefore, if you are looking for a test result which closely predicts your IELTS band score, make sure that your IELTS mock tests are evaluated by certified IELTS examiners.
4- Analytical Report
Perhaps the most important feature of a good IELTS mock test is the analytical report. IELTS mock tests are much more than only a band score report. They show a test taker their flaws, their weaknesses and their strengths. Using the data from the analytical report, you’ll clearly know what you’ll have to do to improve your band score and be more prepared for your next mock test. So make sure that the IELTS mock test that you take comes with an analytical report.
5- Question By Question Report
Some IELTS mock tests come with only several pages of reports without clearly telling you which ones of your answers were wrong and what were the correct answers. This type of report considerably limits the efficiency of the mock test. Instead, you should take IELTS mock tests that come with a question by question report, giving you the chance to review all of the questions and your answers and lets you understand why each one of your answers was incorrect.
6- Fast Results
One key feature that a good IELTS mock test should have is fast results. Test takers want to know their band score and get their reports as soon as possible so they’ll have time to review their answers and work on their mistakes. In other words, the sooner you receive your report, the more time you’ll have to improve based on your performance on that test. So remember to take this into consideration when registering for an IELTS mock test.
Hopefully with some research, you can find a test center that offers IELTS mock tests which have all 6 features we just introduced. However, if such IELTS mock tests are out of your reach or you are looking for a more suitable option, you could consider taking online IELTS mock tests.
Online IELTS mock tests are gaining popularity quite rapidly and are becoming the next trend in IELTS preparation. These tests offer unique features that are unattainable by classical mock tests offered in test centers. They are far more flexible than their in-center counterparts, candidates can take them on their own computers from anywhere in the world and can access high quality mock tests where there are no high quality tests offered in test centers.
One well-known online IELTS mock tests provider which has been around since 2015 is the “takeIELTS.net” website. Their tests meet all 6 criteria that we mentioned previously and are therefore very popular among test takers.
I hope that this article helps you achieve your desired band score in your upcoming IELTS exam. For more information about IELTS, check out their official website.