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How Sujish got Band 8 in IELTS (and you can, too!)

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Sujish is a 31 year-old native Malayalam speaker from India. He got an overall Band 8 in IELTS (with an amazing 9 in Listening) and became one of the winners in our IELTS results competition in March. Here are a few things that Sujish did and recommends that you do to gain a higher score in IELTS:

ListeningBand 8 in IELTS

Listening was never a problem, except for handling the tension in the first few minutes of the test. I am a regular viewer of English movies and English TV series. However, I practiced for the test before the exam to gain experience with the kind of questions that may be given.

While watching the movies, sometimes I used to switch on the subtitles in order to clearly understand the conversation. I never felt any difficulties with understanding the monologues on TV (for example the Discovery channel and National Geographic).


I am a regular reader of English newspapers. This helped me to complete the reading test before the allowed time. During the exam, I read the questions first and then went to read the paragraphs; this helped me identify the area where the answers to the questions reside.


The only difficult part in this sub-test was handling the tension during the interview. I was able to achieve this by having a friendly talk with my IELTS examiner for a few minutes before starting the exam.

I used the tips from the textbook “Ace the IELTS” and deliberately used some phrases that I learned after registering for the exam. Moreover, I got a friend to interview me at least once every two days through Skype. He used Speaking questions from website.


Writing is the difficult part of the test for me since I am a software engineer and I have not written anything on the paper after my graduation. My handwriting is the worst I have ever seen. I was expecting a higher mark for Writing and I confirmed it by sending the same answer to the IELTS-Blog writing correction service, where I got Band 7.5. Hence I have given this section for revaluation.

IELTS-blog helped me a lot in writing. I have subscribed to this site and used to practice almost all the questions for writing and speaking which they sent to my personal email. I also read all the band 8 essays from this site and used their paid essay correction service a few times. In addition to that I referred to the textbook “Ace the IELTS”.

Update: Sujish asked the IELTS test centre to re-evaluate his Writing section, and as a result his score went up from 6.5 to 7.
Congratulations to Sujish on getting the score he really deserves!

IELTS Results competition winners in March 2014

What a great feeling it is to finally reveal the 12 winners who received the best IELTS results in March. Coming from 6 different countries this is a truly international group of high achievers, with one thing in common – no score is below Band 7.5!

And the winners are:

Academic Module – 1st placeBand 9 in IELTS

  • Maruf Damilola Mustapha from Nigeria, Band 8.5
  • Krishna Kishore Neelamraju from India, Band 8.5

Academic Module – 2nd place

  • Mohamed Eltarabolsy from Egypt, Band 8

Academic Module – 3rd place

  • Vishal Vudayagiri Ramakrishna from India, Band 7.5
  • Zaigham Khalid from Pakistan, Band 7.5
  • Sandeep Kumar Mishra from India, Band 7.5
  • Ghaida Aljaroudi from Lebanon, Band 7.5

General Training Module – 1st place

  • Kunal Rajan Gandhi from India, Band 8.5
  • Mingzhu Yu from China, Band 8.5

General Training Module – 2nd place

  • Sujish Thekkumkudy from India, Band 8
  • Sindhukrishna Murthy from India, Band 8

General Training Module – 3rd place

  • Arpita Patel from India, Band 7.5

Congratulations! We applaud the winners and send your certificates of achievement to your emails – make this day a little bit special. Your IELTS results will be displayed in the IELTS-Blog hall of fame – please feel free to show off to your friends!

We should really find out how these lovely people were able to score so well. All we know at the moment is that Krishna Neelamraju ( Band 8.5 ) used these practice tests, and Sindhukrishna Murthy ( Band 8 ) used our book “Ace the IELTS”. But we definitely need to know more!

Hope to hear from the winners the stories of how they prepared and studied, and what helped them achieve success in IELTS. Anything they wish to share will be posted on IELTS-Blog without delay, 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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