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Case Study: From Band 6 to Band 7.5 in 3 Weeks

Nikonian, an IELTS test taker and a photography hobbyist, says:

“I’d like to express my gratitude to your contribution on the book titled ‘Target Band 7‘. Briefly, it is a fantastic book and the best summary about how to beat IELTS I’ve ever read!”

Background

Nikonian (who asked us to use this nickname for privacy reasons) is a young man from Vietnam. Since Nikonian works full time, making room for IELTS preparation in his busy day was a challenge. Yet another challenge was raising his IELTS score from Band 6 to Band 7.

Objective

Nikonian had 3 weeks to prepare, the pressure of keeping a full time job, and a requirement of scoring Band 7 or above overall, and no less than 7 in each section (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

Strategy

Being unable to take a standard IELTS preparation course because of working long hours Nikonian decided to study on his own, using the book ‘Target Band 7‘, to achieve his goal.

Execution

Nikonian began studying 3 weeks before his IELTS exam. He was reading the book and practicing for 3 hours a day on most days.

Advantage 1: Nikonian’s Writing score increased from Band 5 to 6.5 in the first exam attempt, and from 6.5 to 7 in his second attempt (both with ‘Target Band 7’). At the same time he doesn’t think his level of English changed.

How:
He began to manage his time better, avoided writing too many words, and thus was able to make time for proofreading his work at the end of the Writing section. He learned how to convey the same number of ideas in a more compact essay. In his latest exam he had 10 minutes left after finishing both writing task 1 and task 2. This enabled him to find and correct all the spelling and grammatical errors before the examiner saw them.

Advantage 2: Nikonian’s Listening score increased from 6.5 to 7.

How:
Even though the two exams were equally difficult, in the second attempt Nikonian was able to do better, because he did not panic (in fact he was much less nervous), and because he could concentrate better. Thanks to his new awareness of distractions he was able to block them and concentrate more effectively on the recording.

In the first attempt Nikonian lost the initial 10 minutes out of 30, his panic and lack of concentration caused him to lose the easiest answers in Section 1 and Section 2. In his second attempt he was able to identify almost all of the easy answers, and as the recording progressed the clues he learned about helped him identify the answers to the more difficult questions.

Advantage 3: Nikonian’s Reading score increased from 6.5 to 7 – regardless of the fact that in his second IELTS attempt the Reading texts were much more difficult compared to the first.

How:
Amongst other methods, Nikonian used the “mapping” technique that helped him orientate better and faster in the text. He understood better the main idea of each paragraph and that enabled him to find the answers quicker – because he was looking in the right places straight away.

Results

The improvement: from Band 6.0 to 7.5
IELTS preparation case study

Nikonian wrote to Simone:

“Dear Simone,
I’d like to express my gratitude to your contribution in the book titled ‘Target Band 7’. Briefly, it is a fantastic book and that is the best summary about how to beat IELTS I’ve ever read!

Previously, I took IELTS two times, but I never got 7 for any section (ashamed!) Since I read your book, I immediately scored 7 overall, but it was not enough for me with the requirement of all bands 7 (my writing was 6.5). I took another exam on the next available date, and my overall score was 7.5 with all bands 7!

I did not attend any IELTS preparation course. I also didn’t have much time for preparation because of my full-time working commitment. I had only 3 hours per day within 3 weeks for my preparation between the last two exams.

So, I can say my knowledge of English was not much improved by that time, because the interval between exams was too short (theoretically, we can only improve 0.5 IELTS band within 10 weeks of intensive preparation course). Most of the time I just read your book. And I made it! Thank you very much.”

Case Study: Improvement in Writing From Band 6 to Band 7 in 3 Weeks

Najmeh Alyasin, a successful IELTS test taker, says

“Dear Simone,IELTS preparation case study

I have good news. I got the result of the IELTS Exam on 21 November. I made it!

Listening 7.5, Reading 7, Writing 7, Speaking 8.

Thank you so much for your book and guidance.

Regards,
Naj”

Background

Najmeh Alyasin is a nurse by profession, who needed to get Band 7 in the IELTS test to become a registered nurse, allowed to practice in Australia.

When she first took the IELTS exam (before coming to Australia) her writing score was Band 6. While living in Australia Najmeh took another 6 IELTS exams. Her writing score in the 7th attempt (in October) remained at the Band 6 level.

Najme wrote to Simone in frustration: “Now, after three years of practice and life in an English speaking country my Writing result remains 6!!! I am sitting the exam on 21 November for the 8th time in Australia! As I said before I do believe that there is something wrong with examiners!

After 3 weeks of practicing with Target Band 7 and having the writing tasks checked by the Writing Correction team, Najmeh took her IELTS exam for the 8th time, and … received Band 7 for Writing.

Objective

Najmeh needed to raise her score from Band 6 to Band 7 in the Writing test.

Strategy

By the time Najmeh took her 6th or 7th IELTS exam she understood there must be something wrong with the fact that all her preparation and practice, in addition to living 3 years in an English-speaking country, can’t help her score 6 in Writing. Najmeh was confused about the reason why her score was remaining at the Band 6 level – to the extent that she blamed the examiners for it!

She began searching online for IELTS help, and found IELTS-Blog.com. It didn’t take her long to decide to buy Target Band 7, to learn the rules of IELTS writing. She also decided to use the Writing Correction service to receive an analysis of her writing tasks, and to get suggestions on what she had to improve and how to do it.

Execution

3 weeks before her IELTS exam Najmeh bought Target Band 7 and a Writing Correction package.

Advantage 1: Najmeh learned about the correct structure on both essay and paragraph levels, which helped her improve coherence. She learned that beginning a paragraph with an example is not the best way.

Advantage 2: Najmeh learned how to sequence arguments logically, to make any essay easier to read.

Advantage 3: from the teachers’ comments Najmeh learned about her sentence formation and spelling problems ( she used to write “seperating” instead of “separating”, “bout” instead of “boat”, “instructures” instead of “instructions”, etc). Previously she had no idea about these issues, but once she began paying attention to the grammar and spelling, her writing improved significantly.

Advantage 4: Najmeh began writing consistently better reports even on complicated mixed charts (such as a pie chart and a bar graph in one task).

Results

The IELTS Score Najmeh received was

Listening 7.5, Reading 7, Writing 7, Speaking 8

Najmeh wrote to Simone:

“Dear Simone,

As I had difficulty in Writing, I just concentrated on the Writing Chapter of your book. It helped me to organise the essay in three paragraphs. Simply, I followed your instructions to identify the topics by type, and write a clear introduction, two body paragraphs and a very clear conclusion. The same goes for Task 1.

In addition, the correction service assisted me with reducing the grammar mistakes as much as possible and also corrected my spelling. I strongly recommend both e-book Target Band 7 and the Writing Correction program to students who have difficulty in writing. I do believe in them! I wish I had the e-book one year ago.

Regards,
Naj”

 

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