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IELTS advice from Band 9 achiever – Part 2, more general tips.

If you have joined IELTS-Blog today, make sure you don’t miss Part 1 of IELTS tips from Band 9 achiever. Courtesy of Debashis, here comes part 2:

5. Minimise spelling mistakes as far as possible. While individual mistakes are not catastrophic, a growing body of errors not only haemorrhages marks, it irritates the marker.

I am weak in this as I constantly use a computer spell-checker, so I googled “200 common spelling mistakes” and studied them, employing ‘memory techniques’ as necessary.

For e.g., harass and embarrass are commonly misspelled. I visualised J-Lo being allowed to bring her donkey to the Oscars (her ass : as there is only one ‘r’ in ‘her’, the correct spelling is harass). However, I was barred (two ‘r’s) from doing so, thus two r’s in “embarrass”.

Privilege is often misspelled as privilege, so I remembered “it is a privilege to have “both LEGs”, thus priviLEGe !! A trite technique, but effective.

A note from Simone: Don’t forget that both British and American versions of spelling are allowed.

6. If, like me, you have not sat for exams for a while, your level of concentration will be lower than that of a 20 year old student, so actively and consciously focus.


Further, if you use keyboards to type, using a pen / pencil in the one hour writing exam may strain your fingers, so try writing out a few pages beforehand.

7. Be fresh, have a good night’s sleep, and don’t drink too much before the exam as centres may not permit visits to facilities during exam hours. If you are naturally nervous, carry an arsenal of toffees in with you.

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