IELTS Study Partners. Why you need one.


Why do I need a study partner, I like working alone.

For lots of people studying should be done alone in a quiet room with a book, at a desk and with a pen and paper. This view is fine, but in order to maximise your study time, sometimes working with a partner or group will allow you to remember and focus on a much wider range of material and be exposed to a different vocabulary and techniques.

Why should I choose to work with someone else?

We bounce our ideas off other people, we live and work with other people and we share our ideas with other people. They look at things in different ways and can often show us ways of doing things that we didn’t realise. It might just be that your study partner shows you something you need on your IELTS exam, this could be how to answer an essay in a certain way or a language structure to use.

Who should I choose to work with?

Anyone who you get on well with do just fine, even if their English isn’t as good as yours. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you won’t learn English properly if you work with someone who doesn’t speak perfect English. Lots and lots of English learners spend all of their time listening to ‘perfect’ English and they still make lots of mistakes. A word of warning however, don’t study with your friends, these are the people who make you laugh and you enjoy being with, if you try to use them as a study partner the chance are that you’ll just do what you always do with them – have a good time.

What tasks could we do together?

  • Take one section of a reading exam (like one from the back of this book) and do it together in 20 minutes. Then compare and discuss your answers before you check the answers together.
  • Both (or all of you) do the same reading exam on your own then meet up to discuss it. Make sure you talk about what you thought was right and wrong before you check them.
  • Do different exam papers and get your study partner or partners to correct it for you using the answers, while you do the same for them. Don’t forget to talk about why the answers are right or wrong.

Any more tips?

Yes. Set a regular time and day to study together. Study in a place where you feel comfortable and can talk without distractions. If this is a café or a bar then that’s fine, remember that libraries are good places to study on your own, they don’t always allow you to have conversations. Make sure you both have clear goals about what you want to achieve. Be supportive and remind others to be supportive as well. Explain what parts of the exam you are worried about.

I still don’t think it’s a good idea…

Working with other people will make you more motivated because you won’t want to let them (or yourself) down. Hopefully this will help you study faster and with a greater focus which should result in a better result in your IELTS reading test – which is what you wanted in the first place.


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