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IELTS Results competition winners give actionable tips for higher score

IELTS Band 8.5 is considered quite rare, and when we come across someone who managed to score that high, we make sure to ask them questions! This is how we met Stanislav Boyko from Uzbekistan – he enrolled in the IELTS Results competition, won the first place in Academic module, and in his winner’s interview gave us a few interesting tips. Stanislav is a native Russian speaker whose overall Band score is 8.5 with two perfect 9’s in Reading and Listening. He said:

Band 9 in IELTS“I would like to describe a couple of strategies that helped me to get the perfect band 9.0 in the reading as well as in the listening tests.


The question types such as “Match the heading” or “What is the main idea of the paragraph” require skim-reading. So I decided to simplify it to the maximum and started working exclusively with Subjects of every sentence. No other words (neither predicates nor objects, let alone prepositions and conjunctions) help as much as the Subjects. This is how I managed to find correct answers within seconds and this technique had saved much of my time.

I finished my reading test in 45 minutes and then was just sitting and checking my own answers. But for the other question types I used Scan reading to find the necessary sentence, and Intensive Reading to identify the answer in this sentence.


I had plenty of multiple choice questions during my test, but I was ready for them. I had taught myself how not to get confused in this question type. The speakers tend to give the answers in the multiple choice questions – almost always in paraphrased versions. If some information is not paraphrased but given almost with the same words as in the options – it is more likely to be a distractor.

I have spent lots of time on my self study and the result is rewarding!”

We got some more great advice from Teerth, our second place winner in Academic module. Teerth lives in India and speaks Gujarati. He got the Overall Band Score of 8 (with a perfect 9 in Reading) and here are his tips:

“The most important things to be considered while preparing for the IELTS exams are time management, concentration, strategies, and PRACTICE.

In Reading try to concentrate on all the questions of the passage as much as possible, so that you don’t have to read the same passage again and again. Writing answers on the answer sheet will save some time because you don’t have to copy answers from the booklet. Try different strategies and apply whichever is best for you. Don’t panic during the exam and try to practice as many tests as you can.

In Listening underline important keywords which can help you to find the answers. Practice by listening to BBC news as their audio content is similar to IELTS recordings.

In Writing read as many model essays as you can, you will get a good idea about writing and before that try to study the formats of different essays.

In Speaking try to speak and record different sections of the Speaking test. Listen to them and identify your mistakes.

Make sure to write in neat handwriting, pronounce words properly, and add new words to your vocabulary.

Best luck to all the future test takers!”

How Shreyas got Band 8 in IELTS, and what YOU can do to get it

Band 9 in IELTSThe happy IELTS test taker this post is about, Shreyas, is a young man from India. He got an Overall IELTS Band Score of 8, with a perfect 9 in Listening. This beautiful score made him a winner of our IELTS results competition in October, and in his winner’s interview Shreyas wanted to share the following tips that can help you, too, increase your IELTS score.

“First of all let me clear the notion that IELTS is tough. It is a really simple and systematic test which can be cracked easily with good preparation. It suffices to say that by working on the weaker areas, a candidate can easily score a band of 6.5. The trickier part is to reach Band 8 and above. For this, a candidate needs to work on listening and reading sections, where the chances of scoring a 9 are very high.


Listening skills can be acquired only by practice. Listening to variety of NEWS channels from across the globe will greatly help. Avoid watching movies with subtitles. Have a piece of paper and pencil and write down unfamiliar words that you hear. This will help not only for listening, but also in the writing section where grammar is important and spelling errors will cost marks. Try variety of accents and watch popular shows where there are 3 or more speakers to improve on your listening skills.


This section requires a bit of hard work, but isn’t tough to crack. Working on vocabulary, lexical resources and spelling will prep you up. Also browsing through some important topics online or reading the local English newspaper will help you a lot in the exam. Also, I would suggest to practice by writing long essays by referring the previous question papers and getting them corrected by a professional trainer or someone who is qualified.


Speaking skills can be acquired only by practice. There are no shortcuts here. Try speaking aloud in front of a mirror. I would suggest you to record your voice and hear the recording to make note of how you speak. Continue till you feel confident about yourself and are able to speak confidently on any topic. During the last few trials, set up a timer and choose a random topic or a topic from a previous paper, and check for grammatical errors, accent, voice modulations and punctuation. This should suffice.


This skill can be easily acquired if you show acumen towards writing. Browsing newspapers will help a lot. Set up a timer and work on previous papers. This should prep you up so that a band score of 8 is within your reach.

In the end I would like to stress the fact that IELTS can be easy and fun! Good preparation will see you through the test and anyone can ace the exam without any hassles. Just work on the basics and attempt as many papers as possible. BEST OF LUCK!”



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