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An enjoyable way to raise your Speaking score above 7.5

Today we are delighted to share with you one way to raise your Speaking score above Band 7.5 – and enjoy while you’re working on it. This recipe was suggested by Pouya A, a native Farsi speaker from Iran, who won in our monthly IELTS results competition in May.

Band 9 in IELTSPouya scored 8.5 in Speaking thanks to… watching TV! Jokes aside, here is what he really wanted to tell everyone about his IELTS preparation:

“I personally think for up to band 7.5 of IELTS, there are enough well-known books and other resources such as great websites (including that are full of general information, writing and speaking samples and smart practical hints. So I try to write more for what has worked for me to achieve band 8 plus in both speaking and Listening modules in last two exams I took recently.

Getting over 7 in Speaking means you have to sound more natural or “native” and be grammatically accurate when you talk. What I have been doing during the past 6 years for achieving this is, in fact, following a piece of advice from a Russian friend of mine who had mastered English to a very high level by following numerous TV series.

Unlike many educated and academic people, I am not a big fan of TED talks or online podcasts of different kinds. Although they can be effective in some cases, they simply get boring quickly and it is especially difficult to find such materials that are consistent in terms of content and language.

TV series, on the other hand, are spectacular source of authentic, error-free and up-to-date English language in different genres of your choice. I suggest not to watch them with subtitles and always watch with the purpose of learning and not simply enjoying. The process can be lengthy and requires both patience and dedication, but as I have witnessed, this is a practical way that probably helps thousands of young people around the world take their English language to the next level.

This is true especially in many developed countries such as in European countries, in which young people still struggle to gain a good command of English.”

Katherine’s IELTS Writing score jumped from Band 7 to 8.5 in two weeks – here’s how.

Katherine M. is a lovely lady from Europe who needed a high IELTS score to get the maximum points for her visa application. She isn’t a typical IELTS test taker because English is her mother tongue, yet after two IELTS exams Katherine saw that her Writing score remains stuck at Band 7, despite straight 9’s in Listening, Reading and Speaking. Unfortunate? Yes. Unfixable? No!

Being the smart lady that she is, Katherine decided to seek help because it was clear that excellent command of English alone isn’t enough to get her Band 8 in writing. The first two exams she went into without preparation, but the third one she wasn’t taking any chances with. Here is what Katherine says about her third (and last!) IELTS exam:

Band 9 in IELTS“As a native English speaker, it is clear that I have some major advantages in terms of what areas I need to focus on in order to pass the General Training module of the IELTS exam. Two previous attempts had left me with three band 9’s and a band 7 in writing, I needed a minimum of 8 in each section for immigration purposes and by now, I was both frustrated and anxious.

This time, I would revise, I would learn how to pass this exam, I clearly needed to know the structure and how to avoid pitfalls. Simone Braverman’s third edition of “Ace the IELTS: How to maximise your score” helped me immensely and assisted in my transition from a Band 7 to an 8.5 in the writing section.

Thanks to simple practical guidelines, this book will help you breakdown the different types of writing questions asked. This is key to knowing how to answer in the format expected by the IELTS examiners. In just a few days, through great tips and strategies, varied scenarios, ‘smart’ words and some basic connecting structures; and with the help of concrete examples, full IELTS-like practice test and many links to web-based tests, you will most definitely improve.

Tips for both the Listening and Reading tests are very useful and will help you reach a Band 7 should you apply them through practice. The speaking section is very complete in terms of examples and scenarios although difficult for me to assess as I have no need to work on this area.

In my opinion, it intended more for lower-level English speakers. The English used is simple and the grammatical variation and sentence structure could be more complex; equally, more emphasis could be placed on the ever-so important connecting words. For me, it was an essential stepping stone to more complex publications that took me over the Band 8 level. And should you be aiming at a high Band score, it should not be used alone.

However, it rapidly builds confidence, is easy to read, is well structured and provides pocket tips that helps summarise all the essentials. Importantly, it is also affordable as there are many very expensive options out there and is therefore, a great starting point.

I used IELTS Success Formula to deepen my knowledge and undoubtedly, that is what put my band score at 8.5 along with the IELTS-Blog advice and that found on IELTS whom I also found very helpful.

Good luck to all, this exam can be conquered, that is for sure!”

Stay tuned, as we are going to share Katherine’s notes on how to write high-scoring IELTS essays and letters soon.



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