IELTS preparation tips from Gayatri – Band 8 in reading and speaking

Every time I meet someone who got a high score in IELTS I ask how they did it. Here is the answer of Gayatri, who received the overall score of 7.5 with Band 8 for reading and speaking.

“Frankly speaking I didn’t study much for the exam, but the one thing I did religiously every day was check the IELTS-blog . It was my mantra for the day, the book and study material from British Council was very helpful, especially the CDs which helped me get a good score in the listening section.

I would advise everyone to read, read and read some more for the reading section. One can use newspapers, magazines, books for this purpose. Don’t forget we are not getting evaluated on our knowledge, but on how fast we can focus and answer the question within the time limit.

Another piece of advice is to practice the exam pattern, and solve IELTS-like exams regularly.

Since the writing section is quite unpredictable, it’s always better to be ready with some common topics, and practice writing your views on paper. One must always time oneself since this is the most exhaustive section of them all.

For the speaking section which is my favorite the golden rule is “Don’t look at the recording device” during the exam, just speak your heart out and the rest will fall in place.”

IELTS test in the UK – September 2010 (Academic Module)

IELTS exam in the UK was shared by H (thank you!), who sent us the following topics and questions. Here is what H remembered:

Listening test

Section 1. A person was calling a travel agent to rent a flat for a holiday.
Section 2. Two researchers were talking about their findings.
Sections 3, 4. Cant remember.

Reading test

Passage 1. Regulations regarding drivers’ licenses of foreign drivers.
Passage 2. The importance of contents of a job application.
Passage 3. The importance of flax (native plants) in New Zealand’s old habitat.

Writing test

See IELTS exam in India

Speaking test


– What is your name?
– Where do you work?
– What kind of job is it?
– Do you have friends?
– Do you think having friends is important? Why?

Cue Card

Describe a good friend of yours, please say:
– who he/she is,
– what he/she is like,
– how you met him / her and
– explain why you are still friends


– How do people make friends now?
– Do you think we meet new people differently now than in the past?



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