IELTS Tips from a Band 8.5 Scorer

Today instead of our regular exam update we are sharing the tips received from Amira, one of the best IELTS scorers in August (band 8.5 in General Training).

Here is what Amira says: IELTS tips

“Firstly, I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for all the people who participate in sustaining the content of this site, alongside candidates who share the gist of their stories. Two words: IELTS blog, it is both informative and engaging.

With respect to my 8.5 band score, I am delighted to share with you the tips, and anything significant I encountered during my 30-day preparing period.

In general

It is a fact that that there are many study techniques for IELTS – but please don’t get overwhelmed! Choose whatever suits you and study smart. If you choose a course, please consider it only a skeleton for your studying, and keep in mind that you will still need to work on your own. If you choose self study (what I preferred), log in more often.

Phrasal verbs, connective words, adverbs and unusual vocabulary, all of those indeed lift up your band score. Keep learning new words by heart and use them in abundance in Writing and Speaking. Key point: use them, don’t abuse or misuse them.

During studying

– Visualize success: imagine yourself attaining a high score.
– Study smart: set a target score, revise writing samples of a higher score, and keep trying to write in a similar way.
– Practice under exam conditions.

On the exam day

Listening: get a good night sleep, have a coffee in the morning, and focus.
Reading: pay attention, be sharp as the text is ambiguous.
Writing: think and plan before jotting words down – don’t improvise.
Speaking: consider it a friendly chat, not an intimidating interview.

Have a wonderful life :)”

IELTS test in Russia – September 2011 (Academic Module)

IELTS questions from Yekaterinburg, Russia were shared by our kind friend O, who remembered the Writing and Speaking parts as follows:

Writing test IELTS test in Russia

Writing task 1 (a report)

Describe the process of making canned fish according to a diagram. It consisted of about 20-25 pictures. Stages were marked with arrows.

Writing task 2 (an essay)

Nowadays some secondary schools give children general education in a range of traditional disciplines, while others claim to be more specialized and pay attention to some particular classes, excluding some general ones. Which of two school types is better for children and why?

Speaking test


– Where do you come from?
– Is it a rural or an urban area?
– What do you like or dislike about your place of living?
– What advantages or disadvantages does it bring to youth?
– Have you ever learned to dance? Why?
– Do you like dancing?
– When do people dance in your country mostly?
– What languages do you speak?
– What language would you like to learn? Why?

Cue Card

Talk about your favorite TV program. Please say

– When do you watch it?
– Why do you watch it?
– Why do you find it interesting?


– Do you think people watch TV too often?
– What advantages or disadvantages does it bring to adults and to youth?
– What do you think about famous persons on TV?
– Do you think they are really talented or just popular?



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