Subscribe hereRSS of via RSS or via email Help


Your best IELTS study partner

Maryna’s advice for IELTS test takers to follow her path to Band 9

Band 9 in IELTS is not impossible – however, it’s quite rare. Even though thousands of IELTS candidates visit our website every month, we don’t get to see people who scored the perfect 9 in IELTS very often. Luckily, we met Maryna Teplova, an educator from Ukraine, through our monthly IELTS results competition, and in her winner’s interview she had some great tips for everyone:

Band 9 in IELTS“My basic recipe for success is if you want to master a subject, start teaching it! Of course, it takes a lot of time to achieve proficiency level, especially if you are a non-native speaker like me. Yet, for me, taking IELTS this year was a matter of professional necessity, as well as a proof of my proficiency. As an educator in ELT sphere, I’ve trained a lot of students who received high scores in IELTS Academic.

On a more practical note, my advice to the prospective candidates who are going to take IELTS is simple: surround yourself with as much academic level English as possible, on a regular basis, especially in the 2-3 months preceding the actual exam. For this, I always recommend my students (and do it myself, ‘walk the talk’, so to say) to watch 15-25-minute TED talks on the topics found in IELTS, for instance, Education, Environment, Technology, Health, etc. Then, during the class, I give students the opportunity to report on the talk of their choice, highlighting the academic-level vocabulary and identifying the key ideas. In this way, TED gives us a powerful foundation, and allows practicing reading (in the form of easily available transcripts), listening and speaking. Furthermore, you can also combine all these activities with an engaging follow-up writing task, choosing the essay which is aligned with the topic of the TED talk.

The reason I am such a strong adherent of TED is because I believe in the value of fundamental exploration of a topic, its key vocabulary, ideas before we start putting anything down on paper. Reading newspaper materials, watching TED talks, listening to podcasts on major media websites – all this should create the foundation (through passive language practice) for the productive stage, that is, speaking and writing on a given topic. Of course, all this should be done concurrently with doing practice tests (reading and listening, in particular) regularly as this is also a must on your way to success. In Russian, there is a good expression for that, which can roughly be translated as “hitting your hand” in an activity, it means to become so experienced and used to it that your hands do it almost automatically. So, you should ‘hit’ a lot of practice tests to acquire that inner feeling of confidence and composure that will serve you well during the exam. Just don’t forget to keep track of your progress, marking the scores every time you do a test. Later, as you look back at your notes, you will see the increase in the number of the correct answers, as well as the impressive amount of testing completed, which will be an additional boost and motivator before the exam.

I hope each aspiring learner visiting will find my advice helpful and will benefit from it!”

Maryna Teplova,
Assistant Professor at the English Department, Dnipropetrovsk National University.

IELTS Results competition winners in May 2016

May brought us 14 winners who received great IELTS results ranging from Overall Band 7.5 to an amazing Band 9! This is a very diverse group of people – they come from 8 countries and speak 11 different languages. Their achievements prove beyond any doubt that no matter where you come from, no matter what language you speak, you CAN get a great score in IELTS, if you work hard for it!

With great pleasure and pride we present the successful test takers:

Academic Module – 1st placeBand 9 in IELTS

  • Maryna Teplova from Ukraine, Band 9

Academic Module – 2nd place

  • Epitakaduwe Nambuwasam from Sri Lanka, Band 8.5
  • Koyesha Mukherjee from India, Band 8.5
  • Hassan Saad Ifti from Bangladesh, Band 8.5

Academic Module – 3rd place

  • Pierpaolo Casamassima from Italy, Band 8
  • Harpreet Kaur from India, Band 8
  • Phyo Wai Thaung from Myanmar, Band 8
  • Pouya Aghaseyedabolghasem from Iran, Band 8
  • Megha Mehan from India, Band 8
  • Tanvi Gandhi from India, Band 8
  • Sherif Makkawy from Egypt, Band 8

General Training Module – 1st place

  • Melissa Taizun Patheria from India, Band 8.5

General Training Module – 2nd place

  • Ellisa Hasanali Khoja from India, Band 8

General Training Module – 3rd place

  • Harjot Singh from India, Band 7.5

Congratulations to the winners! A day like this should be remembered – and so we are sending your certificates of achievement to your emails. Your IELTS results will be displayed in the IELTS-Blog hall of fame – please feel free to show off to your friends!

The big question on everyone’s mind now is “How did they do it?”, but only our winners can answer it. All we know is that Melissa used our practice tests to prepare, Sherif bought our IELTS Success Formula book, and Megha used our Writing Correction service – but we could learn so much more from the actual advice of our winners, things they learned while preparing for their exams! So we look forward to hearing the stories of how they studied, and what techniques 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.



  • Top 25 IELTS Blogs Winner Award
  • Best Australian Blogs 2014 Competition - People's Choice Winner


Online course

Site Search

New Services

Latest Posts: