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Self study CAN get you Band 8 in IELTS

Today we would like to share two success stories of IELTS-Blog.com readers who prepared on their own for the exam.

First we’d like you to meet Ward from Jordan. He is a young 18 year-old fellow, a native Arabic speaker, who came across our website because his mom recommended it. Apparently Laila (Ward’s mom) has been saving the exam updates we send regularly to our readers. She was very diligent and didn’t miss one update since 2009 – there were 1414 updates in her special folder!

Ward got an Overall Band Score of 7.5 with 8.5 in Reading and won our monthly IELTS results competition. In his winner’s interview he said:

“Following my Mom’s suggestion I used some tests from IELTS blog and practiced. I read some of band 8 writing samples and reading passages which was very useful and enabled me to score 8.5 in reading. In turn, I advise IELTS candidates to do some practice using this blog before sitting for the test.”

The other success story belongs to Bahram, a 26 year-old Iranian, who speaks Farsi from birth. He scored 8.0 Overall in IELTS with an amazing 9 in Reading. Here is a short summary of his own preparation and his advice to other test takers:

Band 8 in IELTS“I have had some formal English training during my childhood but my achievement came through self study. I strongly believe scoring band 8 in IELTS exam is not an overnight achievement. one should use extensive English media (books, music, movies) constantly.

My greatest stronghold was in Reading with band 9, I suggest that everyone uses 2 techniques, namely skimming and scanning. Skimming is reading quickly for general understanding and Scanning is looking for specific information within the text. Another helpful tip would be to underline key words in the test. It can help organize the text and save a great deal of time.

As for the Listening module concentration is the most important key to success. Do not lose your attention even for a second! Pay close attention to correct spelling of words. Read the questions carefully and decide which type of word goes in the spaces. At the end of each section you have 30 seconds to check your answers. Use this short pause wisely to make any corrections.

I think the Speaking part was the most challenging for me. Try to speak to a teacher or mentor long before the exam to gain enough confidence for the real test. Try to say more by adding details as much as possible when answering questions. Be aware that when you make a mistake, you can make things worse by spending too much time correcting yourself; the best thing to do is to move on quickly.

And finally for the Writing test, my best advice is to THINK and PLAN before doing anything else. If you start writing without paying close attention to the question, you may end up losing a lot of marks. It is also very important to check your writing for grammatical errors, set aside a sufficient amount of time aside to revise and make corrections.

I would like to thank IELTS-Blog for the useful articles and tips and for offering me the chance to help other students achieve 8+ band score.”

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