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What did they do differently to achieve Band 8+?

Today’s post is about two IELTS test takers who aren’t any different from many of our readers. The reason they are in the spotlight today is their IELTS scores – Vasileios got an Overall Band 8.5 and Nadya Band 8 (remarkably, they both had straight 9’s in Reading and Listening). When they won in our monthly IELTS results competition in January, we asked them the big question – why they did so well in IELTS, and here is what we learned.

Band 8 in IELTSVasileios lives in Greece and his first language is Greek. He attributed his success to the following:

“I believe that what helped me the most was the fact that I always timed my practice tests and my essays, and I completed them on the official answer sheets that were used during the exam, which I downloaded here. Other than that it is a matter of knowledge and the ability to write and comprehend.”

Nadya lives in Russia and her mother tongue is Russian. She believes that immersing yourself in English, practicing as hard as you can and getting enough sleep does the trick:

“This was my second IELTS exam. First time I got Overall Band 7.0, now – 8.0. A huge part of this success goes to my English school, but I’ve also spent many hours preparing on my own. So my number one advice for all test takers is – don’t be afraid, you can do it even without paying to a teacher!

All you have to do is to surround yourself with English. You need to google something related to your job? Google it in English and read the corresponding Wikipedia article in English instead of your native language. Want to read a book? English, please. Listening to the music? You know what to do. You’re extremely tired and want to watch the new season of ‘Game of Thrones’ to relax? Guess what – watch it in English! Subtitles will help, if you have trouble with accents.

Another tip is to start with the hardest part for you and practice like crazy. For me it was writing. I wrote one essay every day, I got familiar with all the possible question types. Practice is really the key. Write, show it to somebody who can point out your mistakes, correct the essay, and write again next week. Same topic, different essay, most probably you will achieve a better quality of writing.

Finally, let me say it again. The examiner is not your enemy, never was and never will be. Their goal is to assess your knowledge rather than give you a lower mark. So try to see them as your friend, especially in the Speaking section.

And yes, give yourself full 8 hours of sleep the night before the test. Good luck!”

IELTS Results competition winners in January 2017

They say “In every end there is also a beginning”, and these words carry deep meaning. A good IELTS score means the end of preparation and uncertainty, and the beginning of a new, better life. Today we would like to congratulate 9 IELTS test takers who had a very good beginning to 2017. Their year started with IELTS Band 7, 7.5, 8 or 8.5 which made them the envy of their friends, and the pride of their families.

Let’s put our hands together for the highest IELTS scorers of January 2017:

Academic Module – 1st placeBand 8.5 in IELTS

  • Vasileios Vlachakis from Greece, Band 8.5

Academic Module – 2nd place

  • Anurag Bhattacharjee from India, Band 8
  • Nadezda Borisova from Russia, Band 8

Academic Module – 3rd place

  • Ajay Kumar Jha from India, Band 7.5
  • Jeena Rajan from India, Band 7.5
  • Kristine Mccaslin from the Philippines, Band 7.5

General Training Module – 1st place

  • Moses Olumide Ogunsola from Nigeria, Band 8.5

General Training Module – 2nd place

  • Hikkaduwa De Silva from Sri Lanka, Band 7.5
  • Kalpesh Kumar Chheladiya from India, Band 7.5

Congratulations to the winners! As a token of our appreciation we are sending your certificates of achievement to your emails. Winning IELTS results will be displayed in the IELTS-Blog hall of fame – so if you won, please feel free to show them off to your friends!

If you are wondering how these people were able to achieve such wonderful results, you’re not alone – many of our readers email us and ask this question. This is why we always contact the winners and ask for their tips and advice for other test takers. Anything they share we post on, so everyone can use the same technique and get a better score in their own exam this month.

P.S. IELTS results competition runs every month, and everyone is welcome to participate. Learn how to enroll here.



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