The IELTS exam is one of the most widely recognized certifications you can get to prove your knowledge of the English language. The credibility of this certification is mainly due to the fact that this is an exam that covers all areas of proficiency in English. There are four general sections on the exam - reading, listening, writing, and speaking.\u00a0 This means that after you complete the exam your results will show your overall grasp of all aspects of the English language. As IELTS is a very serious assessment, which requires a lot of preparation we\u2019ve compiled a list of 16 beneficial practices which can help you during your studies for the exam. Listening One of the best ways to prepare for the listening section of the exam is to actually practice listening. This could be in the form of talking to a long-distance friend over the phone, listening to radio shows and podcasts, or even audio books. This will help you get acquainted with the flow and intonation of the English language. Practice extracting information from audio samples. The purpose of the listening tasks during an IELTS exam is to assess the amount of information you can get from an audio source. This is why it is very helpful to try and note down details and important information while you are listening to English speakers so that you are better prepared for the questions on the actual exam. Reading There is no guarantee what kind of text you\u2019re going to get on your IELTS exam, so one of the best ways to prepare is to go through a collection of different types of texts so that you become familiar with their structure. Find some interesting examples from different media - a newspaper article, a scientific journal, a piece of fiction. The more texts you explore, the better prepared you will be for the reading section on your exam. Annotate! This is one of the most important skills the IELTS exam is trying to assess. When you start reading your selection of texts, try annotating important details as you go by. This will help you with extracting the valuable information, and the faster you can do that, the easier it will be for you to answer the question s on the exam. Writing The writing part of the exam is one of the more complicated to prepare for, as all you can do is write. The best way to polish your writing in English is to write and edit your essays. One of the best ways to improve your grammar, sentence structure and writing style is to keep writing and have someone correct your essays. We know writing can be a tedious and tiring process, so the other thing you can do to prepare for the writing section of the IELTS exam, except for writing, is to read example essays. This can help you a lot, as you will see examples of the way essays are structured, the way information is presented, and the type of argumentation the IELTS exam requires. Speaking The most common mistake students make during the speaking section of the exam is being laconic. While speaking in a synthesized manner is usually a virtue, during the IELTS exam you have to prove the variety of your vocabulary, so whenever you are answering questions, even the simple introductory ones, try to include some more details in your sentences. Try and beat the pressure! While we understand why the speaking section may make you nervous, you should do your best to not panic. Answering promptly and without interruptions is one of the biggest indications that you are fluent in a language. This is why you should try and think of this as a normal conversation, which flows easily. The IELTS exam is one of the best ways to prove your proficiency in English. However, it takes some preparation. Study hard, and follow these tips to make sure you get the best possible score on your exam!