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Romit’s 4 secrets to IELTS Band 8.5

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Band 8 in IELTSRomit is a 34 year-old Indian IELTS candidate, whose first language is Bengali. His remarkable IELTS score (Overall Band 8.5 with a perfect 9 in Reading) was the reason we ‘met’ – he sent his IELTS results to participate in our monthly competition, and won. When we asked Romit to share his secret to success, it turned out there was more than just one – “Start early, be determined, know yourself and have confidence” are the rules that should guide you in your IELTS preparation, he said.

Here is what Romit suggested in his winner’s interview:

“First of all, I think it is very important to start preparing early for IELTS. I used to practice for a minimum of 1 hour every day for 3 months. There are numerous online materials for IELTS preparation available and test seekers should look to exploit them, especially for Reading and Listening modules.

Secondly, I feel that focus is very important. One should have fire in their bellies and an urge to perform well. Dedication, determination and discipline are extremely important. Otherwise you cannot separate yourself from the crowd.

Thirdly, it is also important to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses for each module. For example, I felt I needed more practice and tips for the Writing tasks and so put more time and effort towards it. I referred to many materials online to understand the requirements of a good score in the Writing module and tried to write accordingly in the test.

Fourthly, for the Speaking test, it is not only your speaking skills that are evaluated by the examiner, but also your body language, facial expressions and attitude. So I took extra care to get these aspects right. One has to look confident and positive during the Speaking test. It is good to listen to a lot of videos available online, listen to people who speak well, focus on grammar and pronunciation and converse as much as possible in English to iron out any issues that might be there.

Lastly, for the Listening and Reading modules, there are certain techniques that are employed for every section and which are very well explained and captured in the British Council training materials. One should go through them, understand the intricacies and implement them in the exams.”

You can get Band 9 in Reading, but only 6.5 in Writing – here is why

Today we would like you to meed Mayank V, who lives in Punjab, India. He prepared for IELTS by himself, and learned an important lesson in the process, that may be valuable for you, too.

Mayank found out (the hard way) that you can score the perfect 9 in one sub-test, but in another your score can be rather low. This comes as a surprise to many IELTS candidates, because they assume that a good score in one sub-test automatically means they will score well overall.

So don’t be fooled by a perfect 9 in Reading or Listening – spend a lot of time practicing in Writing and Speaking as well.

And here is Mayank’s story, in his own words:

“Living in a non-English speaking country and preparing for an IELTS exam on your own is something considered very difficult by some. Although I had a month to prepare, I utilised that time as efficiently as I could and finally achieved an overall band score of 8.

I took IELTS in November. I was really nervous before the exam, and the only method that worked for me to relax was befriending a fellow candidate before the test. I reached the exam venue about 2 hours in advance and many candidates were there already. I looked around and started talking to one of the candidates. That helped me to cool down as well as get my confidence back.

To begin with, I scored 6.5 in Writing; my not-so-good handwriting may be responsible for that, or perhaps I wasn’t used to writing in a formal systematic manner because of too much online chatting. I was able to achieve this score only because of the sample essays on IELTS-Blog.com, that helped me to form a structure for my essays and also provided me with various methods to write cohesive essays. So I recommend that you read as much essays on this website as you can and write at least 2 essays and 2 reports daily!

Then, I scored 8.5 in Listening and 8.5 in Speaking as well. I was able to achieve this score only because of English language movies and TV shows. I’ve always loved Hollywood movies and I used to watch them first with subtitles, then without. After I registered for the IELTS test, I increased the number of episodes I watched every week of my favourite TV shows and also the number of movies. I also started watching BBC world news as it kept me updated about the latest happenings all around the world and improved my listening and speaking skills all around.

In Reading I scored 9 bands all because of practice. I practiced reading tests daily and also used to read English newspapers, which also helped me enrich my vocabulary, which is crucial for a better score.

To sum up, the only way to achieve your desired score is to be dedicated and concentrated. Practice daily, speak daily, even start thinking in English. Use it when you are talking to friends or even your dog, if you have one.”

 

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