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Self study CAN get you Band 8 in IELTS

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Today we would like to share two success stories of 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.”

A 42 year-old businessman scores Band 7.5 in IELTS after just two weeks of study

Today’s post is dedicated to the success story of Manoj De Zoysa, a 42-year-old businessman from Sri Lanka. Like most of us, Manoj was busy with his family life and work, perhaps even busier (because he has a company to run). He thought he would never have to take another exam in his life, when suddenly he found out he had to take the IELTS test.

Manoj is a native Sinhalese speaker. He needed to get Band 6.5 in Academic IELTS, and even though he had only 17 days to prepare, he overshot his target and got a Band 7.5!

Below is his story – in his own words:

Band 8 in IELTS“My name is Manoj De Zoysa, I am from Sri Lanka, a businessman 42 years of age, married with two sons. It’s been almost 22 years since I last sat for an exam and never thought that the necessity would arrive for me to sit another exam for the rest of my life, but ended up sitting for the Academic IELTS exam and achieving the following results:

Listening -7.5
Reading – 8.5
Writing – 6.5
Speaking – 7.0

Overall band – 7.5

There were only 17 days to go for the next exam date when I was told to take up IELTS and I thought of taking up the challenge to get the required overall Academic band of 6.5. I used www.IELTS-BLOG.COM to get to know the structure of the test and what needed to be done to get the required score.

I was confident about getting 6.5+ for speaking and listening as I associate with an English speaking business community and friends, but in the meantime needed to get familiar with the British accent. So I did a couple of listening tests on my own and whenever I missed out on an answer, I left it out and concentrated on the conversation which continued in order not miss any more answers. At the speaking test I was interviewed by a British gentleman, to whom I always responded in a friendly but a well mannered way.

My handwriting is awful and though I had the knowledge and capability of taking up any essay topic and understanding drafts and charts, the fact of someone not being able to understand my writing always worried me. I got hold of some past topics and drafts from the IELTS-BLOG and started writing, I also got an English tutor to correct my handwriting mistakes and overcame it partly.

I normally read a lot of English newspapers but once I went through a past Academic reading test I found it to be very tough and I knew the only way out is to get some tips on how to handle it and then keep on practicing. The skimming and scanning method helped me a lot and always found out that the whole passage need not be read.

I am thankful to the IELTS-BLOG, from where I gained very useful tips to achieve this score.”



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