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IELTS tips that helped Donmarl get Band 8.0

Our latest winner, an IELTS candidate from the Philippines, Donmarl Camua explains what he did to achieve Band 8.0 in his Academic exam.


Coming from the Philippines, a country where English is the second official language, I do certainly have some advantage in taking the IELTS. However, in IELTS – just like in any exam – preparation is always the key.

I may be fluent in English, but if I didn’t take time to do homework, attend a class or do online exercises, I may not have the score that I need for my Immigration Application.

If you want to get high scores, dedicate enough time to studying.


Prior to taking the exam:

I did some research. I searched and downloaded reviewers and e-books on the Internet. I gathered all the reviewers I could find. I made sure that I do at least one reviewer a day.

I subscribed to the I thank the creators of this website, because it helped me a lot during my review. The “overview of IELTS Exams” shared by blog subscribers, helped me plan what to practice.

I took a review class sponsored by the test center, the IDP Philippines, to get tips from the actual examiners. We were given some tips on what the examiners look at in the written exams. We were taught how to do skimming and scanning in the Reading exams.

Again, if you want to be successful in IELTS, make time to prepare.

And when you prepare, prepare to WIN.

Simone says: I would like to ask all the people reading this post – if you achieved Band score 7 and up in IELTS and have tips to share – please click here and let me know.

Free IELTS Listening tests for your exam preparation

Today I have more free Listening resources for you. I’ve had several requests this week to find and publish links to some Listening practice tests. This is the list I’ve compiled, feel free to let me know if you’ve found additional resources – every little bit helps.

1. Here you will find a short listening sample (mp3) with 5 questions, the correct answers are provided too. Click here to proceed to the test.

2. This test was prepared by the British Council, and I think it’s great. There are four Listening sections, just like in a real IELTS exam. You can take this test under real exam conditions (without breaks between sections) or in a practice mode – start and stop the audio as many times as you like while you’re working on your listening skills. Note: if you are going to do this under real exam conditions download and print all the question files and the blank answer sheet for your answers, and also save audio files for the four sections on your computer before beginning the test.

Click here to go to Section 1

Click here to go to Section 2

Click here to go to Section 3

Click here to go to Section 4

The question types you will see are Notes completion, Table completion, Information matching and Multiple choice, and the accent types are English and American.

On each Listening Section page you can download the questions in PDF format, or simply read them off the screen. The audio can also be downloaded from the same Section page, or you could listen to it online, if you’re on a fast internet connection.

Download a blank answer sheet here

Download the correct answers here

3. Another useful piece of software is the IELTS Listening Conqueror 2.0.

It’s a program that you need to download and install on your computer (some will see this as a downside). It allows you to run 4 full listening tests for free (there are many more in the full version but it costs some money), and the transcript is displayed as you listen, sentence by sentence.

You also have the option of typing as you listen (they call it the method of dictation). The speed is adjustable and you can set the software to repeat every phrase as many times as you like. I have tried it, the quality of the recordings is not bad and the software is pretty easy to use.

The file size is 7 Mbytes, not an issue for any broadband users, people with dial-up will have to take a coffee break while the file is downloading.

That’s all for today, enjoy!



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