Practice Smarter， Not Harder
Many students delay the test preparation process because they dread the awful amounts of practice time they think necessary to succeed on the test. We have refined an effective method that will take you only a fraction of the time. There are a number of “obstacles” in your way on the IELTS. Among these are answering questions， finishing in time， and mastering test-taking strategies. All must be executed on the day of the test at peak performance， or your score will suffer. The IELTS is a mental marathon that has a large impact on your future. Just like a marathon runner， it is important to work your way up to the full challenge. So first you just worry about questions， and then time， and finally strategy：
1. Find a good source for IELTS practice tests. These must be OFFICIAL IELTS tests， or they will be of little use. The best source for these is official practice tests from IELTS. A link to a source of official practice tests is included in the appendix.
2. If you are willing to make a larger time investment （or if you want to really “learn” the material， a time consuming but ultimately valuable endeavor）， consider buying one of the better study guides on the market. Again， do NOT use their practice tests， just the study guide.
3. Take a practice test with no time constraints， with all study helps “open book.” Take your time with questions and focus on applying the strategies.
4. Take another test， this time with time constraints， with all study helps “open book.”
5. Take a final practice test with no open material and time limits.
If you have time to take more practice tests， just repeat step 5. By gradually exposing yourself to the full rigors of the test environment， you will condition your mind to the stress of test day and maximize your success.