How to pass the IELTS exam? Why so many fail

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Hello and Good morning, with this post I would like to talk about, “How to pass the IELTS exam, and why so many fail” the test the 1st time.


Why is it, that so many fail the IELTS exam the 1st time ?

Good question right? Well the answer is a bit complex.


  • First I would say that it depends on the country where you live. In case, you live in an Asian country, like Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand etc. your first language is NOT English. Nor is your 2nd language English. This is only the case in Hong Kong, India and Philippines. Here many people have a basic understanding of English, and their 2nd language is English. Some speak/understand more, others less, really depending on your education, the city you live in, and some other factors of course.


  • OK, so Let’s say you are in a REVIEW center, where they try to teach and review English to take the IELTS exam.  You are sitting in a classroom “again” and studying hard. Right? Well I hope so, since if you fail, you have to pay again. The test fee is around $ 200 to take the exam, and if you fail, you have to pay the same amount again.

( Please get back to me, if it’s not in your country/situation, it is here in the Philippines)

As far as my information goes, more then 50% fail the test, and have to take it again.


So here is (what I believe) WHY so many fail


I believe that the most important factor on passing the IELTS test is: HOW much time are you spending outside the classroom or review center SPEAKING / TALKING and WRITING in English?


  • How many conversations did you have this or last week in English? And I mean conversation, not just a simple “Hello, how are you… Oh, I am great, how are you?” So if you don’t engage in a meaningful lengthy “talk” then how can you truly learn to COMPREHEND English.












  • Most of us, have a mother tongue. It’s the language we learned since we where born. As a baby, all you hear is that language. Then you start to speak in that language, and the older you get better, right. So we also THINK in that language, and we associate everything in that language. We FEEL in it too. If you have been hearing, and speaking that one language basically all your life, you are also THINKING in that one language and you will have to TRANSLATE from that one into any other language. That is sometimes hard.


  • Most do not spend enough time in doing more then they have to! As soon as they leave the class, they start to immediately speak their native tongue. That is just not enough! And that’s why so many fail in their 1st attempt. They don’t understand that the TEST will really challenge their skills in the English language. If you do not spend time outside the classroom reviewing, and I mean LISTENING, WRITING, HEARING and SPEAKING English, the chances are you will fail the test the 1st time around, and maybe even a 2nd time.


  • YES it is not easy to pass, it’s not meant to be. Why should it be easy? Others do pass the test the 1st time. To some I did talk. Well, it was the same for all of those who passed the 1st time, like my wife, who also passed it the 1st time. The ANSWER: STUDY, STUDY STUDY ! Simple is it not?


Well it’s also a MIND game. Mind over matter. Some have no problem studying for hours and hours, while others don’t like it. But who said studying should be FUN? Well that depends on WHO you ask. A NERD, no disrespect, will give you a very different answer then the one who loves sports and arts.

  • If YOU have to pass that test, because maybe just maybe, you or your family can not afford to take it again, then you will pass, because you will focus and study really hard, since you know you can not fail.


  • By the way, my wife passed the test with a 7.5 score. WHY? Her father insisted that she has to learn and study English on a daily basis for hours! Her father was a teacher. Was this dedication? You tell me.


  • Others, who have failed the IELTS test 4 times, and I have met one person personally, just don’t want to pass it. No extra effort is being put into passing the test. I wonder why?


If you really WANT and NEED to pass the IELTS test, then just study, learn and practice in any way you can English. SPEAK where ever you can. LISTEN and engage in any English conversation at any moment you can. Listen and watch English movies on TV or your PC. And WRITE as much as possible in English to get fluent in writing conversations.


  • Funny that the person who failed 4 times the IELTS test, told me his problem are his writing abilities. When I introduced the NYC English app to him, he was still not interested, because he did not even TRY to learn more! And that’s why he failed so many times.


  • I am sure you heard these words before: Practice makes perfect. YES it really does matter. If you would spend at  least 1-2 hours more, every day in learning and studying the English language with NYC English, have fun while learning, then how can you not pass the IELTS test. You will, since all six components are being applied for you to learn. There are no guarantees in live, but if practice make perfect, all you have to do is spend time with NYC and PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE.



I am only trying to get one point across. While so many pass the IELTS test, many more fail, because they just don’t have the means of practicing. Books alone will just not motivate some, while others look for motivation anywhere they can find it. IF you fail the test and you have to repeat it again, you will not also lose money, around 200 $, which is approximately the price for 7 months of NYC, but you will also lose TIME ! Time being a much more valuable resource!



Because two of the nurses that I send to Germany also failed their B2 test, which is similar/like the IELTS test, but in German ( German is not yet included in NYC- But will be in June/July 2018! ) they were set back by around 6 months, since only NOW they really understood that they had to study hard. There were also other personal factors involved why it took them much longer to take the test for the 2nd time. They did pass the 2nd time, but they lost approx. 6 month, which equals to loosing 6 month in salaries in Germany. So they theoretically lost about 10-12,000 Euros. Not exactly a small amount. Time = Money.

GOOD NEWS: The 3rd nurse is now in Berlin, Germany! Good luck Cherry Lou.


Please do understand that passing the IELTS test /exam requires not only learning and studying but DEDICATION. You have to be able to learn “outside” the normal facilities, like a classroom or private tutor. NYC English gives you more than 900 themes to listen to, and learn real US English. You can listen to the lessons over and over again, until you have it. Which in return will give you the confidence to pass the exam.


Thank you!


Please do leave a comment on this site, or just let me know what YOU think and what your experience was or is with the IELTS test.

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