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Taking IELTS on short notice? Roshni from Pakistan (Band 8.5) shares tips:

Roshni Haye is a lovely lady in her 20s, from Pakistan (she speaks Urdu as a first language). Her IELTS score – Band 8.5 – put her in the spotlight and gave everyone the opportunity to learn from her experience.

Here is what Roshni thinks can help other test takers to raise their IELTS score:

Band 9 in IELTS“I would say familiarising oneself with the paper pattern is a highly essential practice. It was of immense help to me as I had to sit the IELTS examination on a short notice. In this manner, you are able to focus all your energy on what is required of you and practice for it much more efficiently.

Secondly, for the Speaking component, it is crucial for the candidate to remember that their ability to hold up a conversation fluently, is what counts the most. For this, rehearsing either on your own or with a friend, is recommended. Once your fluency improves, your chances of scoring a higher band do as well. However, one must remember that grammar and vocabulary are to be taken into account, too.

Reading and Writing require practice, just as everything else does. So investing in IELTS past papers is of great help. Time yourself and practice as many past papers as you possibly can. This will give you a good understanding of what may be asked of you in the exam, and will build up your speed. Also, reading those passages will further polish your comprehension skills.

For Writing, it is imperative to remember to not deviate from the topic, avoid repetition, and to sound coherent throughout the piece. The points you want to elaborate upon should be lucid in your mind when you start out. Again, practice is of the essence.

Lastly, for the Listening exam, listen to previous recordings or sample recordings available online and see how well you catch on with the accents that may be used. Then listen to a variety of clips or perhaps watch videos or a movie without subtitles and try to catch on (if you feel like you require it).

During the exam, read the questions carefully so you know where every answer goes, when the recording plays and follow the instructions carefully.”

Two strategies help Vietnamese student achieve IELTS Band 9 in Reading and Listening

Thành Đỗ Hữu is originally from Vietnam, but currently lives and studies in Australia. His Overall IELTS Band Score is 8, with two straight 9’s in Listening and Reading. When we asked what would his advice be to other test takers working to achieve similar results, he said:

“Basically, you need to do a practice test, then try to give a reasonable explanation for every single mistake that you made or problems that you have. It can be a group of mistakes/difficulties, for example something like trouble with choosing headings, leading to a huge amount of time consumed for just a few questions, etc. You need to come up with solutions for that problem, I googled my problems and found several good solutions online, most of which worked. Be selective though, try and find what works for you as everyone is different.

For the Reading: time your practice for each test and speed it way up, try to finish the first section in 12-14 minutes, the second in 15-18 min, and the last one in less than 25 min. I got around 10 minutes to go back and check my answers in the end, and was able to make one crucial correction (which could have cost me half a band). Also, try to summarise every paragraph that you read in just a few words, this will help you immensely in understanding the whole passage and make it easier to find answers.

Finally, if you’re looking to get a high score in reading, you must improve your vocabulary a lot. Tricks and tips can only get you so far, you need real ability to score high. To score above 8.5 you shouldn’t have more than 1 new word for each paragraph.

For the Listening: To be able to listen well you should be able to pronounce your words correctly, otherwise you will have a lot of trouble. My way of fixing my vocabulary and pronunciation was to watch TV shows with subtitles, and write down every single word that I mispronounce, as well as new words, with their pronunciation, meaning, and example, and review the list every single day (this is necessary or else you will forget most of them in 24 hours). It may sound like a lot of work, but nothing worth having comes easy.

After being able to score above 8 in practice tests consistently, you can focus solely on test taking skills. To go from Band 8 in my previous test to Band 9, I fixed my plural/singular form problems (by checking and listening for plural form in every expected noun in answers) and multiple choice questions with massive amount of info to read by spending time reading and preparing ahead. I was preparing for my third task, when the recording was waiting for everyone to prepare for the second, this had to be complemented by fast reading skill as well.”



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