Student success: how Nandini raised her score to IELTS Band 8

Nandini is a young Indian lady, a native Bengali speaker. The IELTS score she needed was Band 7 Overall with 7 in each section, and even though Nandini managed to get more than Band 7 Overall twice, it still wasn’t enough. She had to get Band 7 for her speaking and writing and finally, in her third IELTS attempt Nandini reached the goal, and got more than she needed! Here is what she told us about her exam preparation:

Band 8 in IELTS“This was my 3rd attempt for IELTS. My requirement was an overall band 7 and 7 in each section. In all my attempts I got more than 7 overall, but my problem areas were speaking and writing.

I am deeply indebted to for my improvement in those two areas. My friend and I practised IELTS speaking topics posted by our kind friends on this blog for 40-45 min each day. Each of us practised one full speaking test every day. I believe there is no other alternative to practising in this section. One should not memorise the answers, but rather try to make each answer interesting to the examiner.

In regard to writing, I read all the band 8 and 9 essays on IELTS-Blog and also from other online sources.Though my requirement was 7, I never looked for band 7 essays, always looked for the best ones. I made a list of new words and phrases (not a big one) and tried to use it relevantly in my writing.Every day I tried to write at least one Task 1 and Task 2.

Last but not the least, I read ‘Target Band 7’ – which not only helped me strategically, it was a moral boost to me as well.

Finally, I would like to thank IELTS-Blog once again and wish all my friends preparing for IELTS best of luck.”

IELTS Speaking test in Vietnam – June 2013

The Speaking questions below were shared by T who took the IELTS test in Vietnam.

Speaking testIELTS test in Vietnam


– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– Do you live in a house or an apartment?
– Do you like your house? Why?
– What house would like to have in the future?
– What do you do to relax?
– Do you think relaxation is important?
– Do you prefer to read a real newspaper or read the news online?
– Do you read world news or national news?

Cue Card

Describe an important plant in your country. Please say

– What is the plant?
– How do you know about this plant?
– How important is it for your country?
– Do you like this plant?


– Have you ever grown any plants?
– How important is the nature?
– Some people think that protecting the nature is not the job of individuals. Do you agree with that?
– What can you do to protect the nature?
– Is it more important to protect the nature now than it was in the past?
– What should the government do to protect the nature?



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