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What you could learn from Thanh-Tam and Vindya (Band 8+ in IELTS)

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Today we would like you to meet two lovely people who got truly enviable scores in IELTS – Band 8 or above. You may remember Thanh-Tam and Vindya as the winners of our IELTS results competition in April. Luckily they chose to share their secrets of success with everyone, and here is what you can learn from their experience.

Band 8 in IELTSThanh-Tam is 36 years old, lives in Vietnam and speaks Vietnamese, he got Band 8 in IELTS. Thanh-Tam’s advice on getting a higher score is:


It is a good idea to have daily training, using materials with a British or Australian accent. The programmes with transcripts such as ABC News and BBC Learning English are precious.


Exam skills such as scanning and skimming may help you reach a certain level, but higher scores require a large enough vocabulary, so please spend time reading academic texts on a regular basis. National Geographic can also be an example.


Two principles are key: having a personal coach and knowing how to win the race against time. Forty minutes for Task 2 and 20 minutes for Task 1 are so short that unrehearsed candidates may embarrass themselves easily.


Most of the questions are predictable, so preparation does make your answers more productive. And pronunciation training can be found on YouTube.

Vindya is a 35 year old lady from Sri Lanka, a native Singhalese speaker. She attributes her success (Band 8.5) to guided practicing:

“I’d like to mention I was greatly benefited by I purchased ‘Ace the IELTS’ book first and understood the technique. Then I used the writing correction services twice and after that it was all about practicing. I couldn’t do it on a daily basis as I am a full-time working mum, so I had to manage my time. I practiced all exam parts at least twice to thrice a week and that’s how I achieved this score. I would recommend anyone to purchase the writing correction services as that came very handy. Then its all about practice.”

IELTS Results competition winners in April 2015

What a great feeling it is to finally reveal the 16 winners who received the best IELTS results in April. Coming from 10 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

  • Nnamdi Peter Gbajie from Nigeria, Band 8.5
  • Hamidreza Kheirian from Iran, Band 8.5

Academic Module – 2nd place

  • Bob Lumen Ignigo from India, Band 8
  • Cristian Rojas Vargas from Chile, Band 8
  • Thanh Tam Nguyen from Vietnam, Band 8
  • Sergio Amaro Antunes Teixeia from Portugal, Band 8
  • Faisal Ayman Mohamed Elshamy from Egypt, Band 8

Academic Module – 3rd place

  • Mashaer Siddig Abdelgader from Sudan, Band 7.5
  • Ifeanyi Austine Ihebom from Nigeria, Band 7.5
  • Sam Sader from the Palestinian Territories, Band 7.5
  • Mohammad Rafiq Wani from India, Band 7.5

General Training Module – 1st place

  • Vindya Himalshani Wijayaweera from Sri Lanka, Band 8.5
  • Lakshmikanth Chandrashekhar Rao Jadhav from India, Band 8.5

General Training Module – 2nd place

  • Chakradhar Reddy Gadi from India, Band 8
  • Roshana Rasheed Ali from Sri Lanka, Band 8
  • Balasubramani Narayanaswamy from India, Band 8

Congratulations, everyone! To show our appreciation to the winners we are sending their certificates of achievement to their 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 family and friends!

We should really find out how these lovely people were able to score so well. All we know at the moment is that some of the winners used our books. Thanh Tam Nguyen (Band 8) and Mashaer Siddig Abdelgader (Band 7.5) used the book Target Band 7, and Vindya Himalshani Wijayaweera (Band 8.5) and Balasubramani Narayanaswamy (Band 8) used the 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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