What Should I Do the Night Before the IELTS Exam?

As most people who have taken the IELTS will tell you, preparing for the IELTS exam often requires weeks of taking practice tests, learning test-taking techniques, studying grammar rules, and undergoing mock interviews.

However, despite all of these, if you allow the jitters to get to you the night before or have not taken steps to ensure your actual test day goes well, you might fall short of your goals.

If you are about to take the IELTS soon, read on to learn some practical tips on what to do the night or day before your IELTS exam.

1. Allow yourself time to relax

Prepping for a major exam like the IELTS is very stressful, especially since your future plans may be riding on your results. However, just like other big tests, it does not help to keep studying late into the night. Instead, the night before the IELTS test, allow yourself some time to relax, and if you can, treat yourself to a delicious meal and do something to help relieve some of the stress.

Nonetheless, if you have to go over some of your IELTS strategies, do this much earlier in the day. The evening should be focused on relaxation and rest so that you will not be so stressed on test day.

2. Stay in English mode

Relaxation, however, does not mean you should take a break from English. Since you want to be able to recall your grammar and vocabulary the next day, your break the night before should still involve English somehow.

If you opt to watch a TV show or movie, ensure it is an enjoyable English program. And if you decide to have dinner with a friend, converse as much as possible in English to keep you focused on the language.

3. Prepare what you will wear

Similar to preparing for a job interview or other important event, it is always good to select what you want to wear and iron them the evening before. It will save you much time the following morning, allowing you to get to the venue on time.
However, keep in mind that many IELTS venues are very cold. So it makes sense to wear something warm or bring a jacket. It is easier to remove extra layers of clothing before the start of the test than to find yourself shivering throughout. Feeling cold as you sit the test may make you want to use the bathroom more, severely hurting your chances of scoring well.

4. Ensure your ID is in your wallet or bag

Unlike exams at school, the IELTS centre will provide the paper and pencils needed for the test. So the only thing you need to sit the exam is the identification card you used to register for the IELTS, whether that is your passport or government ID.
Unfortunately, some test takers are so focused on prepping for the test that they forget their ID. The test administrators, however, are very strict about this rule and do not permit test takers to use another ID. So unless you want to forfeit the exam and allow weeks of preparation to go to waste, make sure your ID is in your wallet or bag before you sleep on the night before your IELTS exam.

5. Have a travel plan in mind

Something you should go over in your mind, albeit briefly, is how you will get to the testing venue. Some test takers do poorly in their IELTS exam because they had difficulty arriving early due to traffic, there was a lack of parking, or they were unfamiliar with the area.

Even worse, if you are actually late you will not be allowed into the IELTS test as this will disturb other tests takers. For the speaking test, again it's possible you won't be able to take it if you miss your slot.  And if you are allowed to take it past your time, it doesn't give the examiner a good first impression if you have come late or made them have to wait.
Though the test centre will send you a map of the testing venue, it helps to do an ocular inspection a day or so prior and go over your travel plan the day or evening before your IELTS test.

6. Go to bed earlier than your usual time

For some people, their idea of relaxing the evening before includes going to bed at their usual time. Doing so, however, may result in a lack of sleep because of anxiety, even if you normally sleep early.

Despite doing your best to stay calm the whole evening, there is still a big chance you will end up thinking about your upcoming test once you get into bed. Some people worry about their weakest IELTS module, while others might be more concerned about how they will get to the venue or what they will do after the test is over. But such thoughts are natural.
Thus, to ensure you get enough rest, it is best to sleep a little earlier than usual, perhaps 30 minutes to an hour earlier, to compensate for the many minutes you may spend thinking about what will happen the following day.

Wrapping it up

Though IELTS practice should begin many weeks prior, rest and test day preparations the night before your IELTS exam are also important. So consider these suggestions to ensure you perform at your best when you take the IELTS exam.

Don't hesitate

Take your IELTS expertise to the
next level!

Created with