My students are always asking me how to improve their IELTS score. The best answer is: you must improve your English in general to improve your IELTS score. But here are 6 things you can do right now to improve your score, note that 4 of them are daily habits which will also improve your general English skills.
Learn the IELTS test format. Do you need Academic or General English? Do you know how long each skill test is and how many questions or tasks it contains? Do you know how many different types of questions there are for each and how to answer each of those question types?
Make a list of the most common topics found in IELTS listening, reading, writing, and speaking tests. Focus your study on those topics and learn as much vocabulary as possible for each of them. Try to also learn and use a wide range of collocations for each topic on your list.
Practicing the IELTS writing test is not enough. You must read on a daily basis and make sure you are reading a wide range of articles. Read about current affairs, history, science, geography, and nature. Animals and the environment are common reading topics so be prepared for them.
I ask all my students to write a daily journal as part of their homework. It trains your brain to put ideas in your head onto paper. Practice this every day so when the test day comes, your brain is ready, and you will find it easy to think and write in English.
The best way to improve your listening skills is by watching lectures on YouTube or listen to a podcast every day. Again, don't just do the listening test over and over again, it is not enough. You must listen to a wide range of topics from different voices and accents. TED TALKS is a great source of academic style lecture to listen to.
The marking criteria tell you exactly what the examiners want from you. Learn what these requirements are and make sure you have done all the things they ask for in your writing and speaking tests.