IELTS tips for high score from a successful candidate (Band 8)

Remember our recent competition winners? One of them, IELTS candidate from Malaysia Aikkum Heng, sent me a letter describing what he did to get the awesome Band Score of 8.0. Here goes:

I do not really have any secrets to success in IELTS. Languages is not something that we can learn and be fluent overnight. One has to learn over a long period and to be fluent and able to use a language effectively, one has to use the language constantly.

However for one who hails from a non English speaking country, but has some formal training in the English, preparation should begin at least 2 or 3 weeks before sitting for the test, preferably 3 weeks. The best preparation would be to practice the sample test papers published on IELTS-Blog website.

When writing in a test, we do not have the luxury of time. Time is limited and if we are not prepared, we panic and when this happens, we tend to make a lot of mistakes. The feeling is totally different if we have ample time to carry out a task, in this case writing the test. We do better when we are not under pressure.

No secret really, spend more time practicing the sample tests. Get yourself familiarized with the format. If we do not know the answer to one particular question, move on to the next. Write notes as you listen to the listening part.

As for the writing test which I did not do so well :

1. Write down the points of the topic
2. then arrange the points in the order we want to present
3. then elaborate on the points in the order we deemed best

And now it’s me again, Simone, asking all the high achievers out there – what are your best tips? What do you think it takes to get a high band score?

IELTS in New Zealand – July 2009 (General Training)

IELTS in New Zealand – here is what they had very recently. Huge thanks to R for remembering and sharing, we all hope you get a great score.

Listening test

Section 1: A call to a travel agency, making a reservation.
Section 2: Was related to art.
Section 3: Two students are talking about a subject they study.
Section 4: About four shopping mall aisles organization, where do you put the products.
Questions: multiple choice.

Reading test

Passage 1: About Rottem Camp, California.
Questions: True/False/Not given.

Passage 2: About Learndirect (courses?).
Questions: Fill in the gaps.

Passage 3: About art galleries.
Questions: Matching headings to paragraphs.

Passage 4: About Otzi the Iceman.
Questions: True/False/Not given and matching headings to paragraphs.

Writing test

Writing Task 1 (letter)
You have been offered a job overseas that you applied for. Write a letter to your friend who already knows about that job as well
– tell what kind of job is it
– explain why you applied for this job
– ask your friend about the country

Writing Task 2 (essay)
Some people are living in the high-rise apartments, which makes them feel lonely and unhappy. What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in apartments.
Give reasons and provide examples.

Speaking test

– Tell me about your city.
– Describe the room where you live.

Cue card
Speak about success that you experienced in your life recently, you should say
– when it happened
– what was it
– why you feel it was a success

– Talk about success:
– How does it affect peoples lives?
– How can a person become successful?
– What do you have to do?
– How long does success last?



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