IELTS Preparation tips from Charissa, Band 8.0 in Academic IELTS

Today I’d like to share some IELTS preparation tips from Charissa Maniti, one of our competition winners (Band 8 in Academic IELTS). Here is what she would like you to know:

“IELTS is one important key in opening doors for great opportunities around the globe. And anyone who is striving hard can achieve a satisfying score.

When I was reviewing for the exam, I have devoted much time to practice. I have searched for free online practice tests and answered within time restrictions. It is also a great idea to have a study buddy if one is available as it will increase motivation.

For the Listening part, I have downloaded some clips of English conversations to familiarize myself with different accents, watched a lot of English TV shows and films, and repeated as dialogues were delivered to practice my pronunciation.

For the Reading, I have read articles from different materials, especially those that don’t interest me. Because if articles don’t interest me, I have the tendency to focus more to be able to understand, and that is one great way of practicing!

For the Writing part, I have tried writing in a formal way about anything that could possibly be a topic for the actual exam. It is important to collect ideas about a given topic first, and only then decide which points you would like to discuss. I have learned that in forming a good essay, there should be at least 5 paragraphs.

Present each idea in one paragraph. Your fist paragraph should give idea of what you are to talk about. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs should contain arguments of each idea you would like to present. And lastly, your 5th paragraph should show a summary of your whole idea. This is what I have learned from English teachers, and while it may not necessarily be followed by everyone, but for me, it worked!

For the Speaking, I have read aloud and recorded myself. Also, I have pretended that an examiner is in front of me and recorded myself as I answered sample questions I have obtained from IELTS-Blog and other IELTS sites. I have practiced speaking in an collaborative way whenever my study buddy and I spoke to each other.

Finally, I have tried to learn a new English word every single day. It is awesome to expand one’s vocabulary. Don’t forget to relax the day before your exam to have a refreshed mind.

Good luck to all future test takers! I’m glad i have came across Thank you!”

IELTS Speaking test in India – October 2010

Speaking questions were shared by S from India whose IELTS exam update was published earlier here.

Speaking test


– What is your name?
– Where are you from?
– Where do you work / study?
– Is it easy to get a job in your country?

– How many languages do you speak?
– Is it easy to learn English?
– How did you learn English?
– How long did you learn English for?

– Do you read newspapers?
– Tell me about newspapers that you read.
– What section of a newspaper do you normally read?
– Do you prefer TV or newspapers? Why?
– Do you watch news over the Internet?
– What type of news are you interested in?
Cue Card

Talk about your favorite outdoor activity, please say
– What activity is that?
– Where do you do it?
– How often do you do it?
– Why do you like this activity?


Let’s talk about indoor & outdoor sports.
– Why do people prefer outdoor sports?
– What were the outdoor activities of the past compared to these of the present?
– Why are children less interested in outdoor activities nowadays?



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