You can get Band 9 in Reading, but only 6.5 in Writing – here is why

Today we would like you to meed Mayank V, who lives in Punjab, India. He prepared for IELTS by himself, and learned an important lesson in the process, that may be valuable for you, too.

Mayank found out (the hard way) that you can score the perfect 9 in one sub-test, but in another your score can be rather low. This comes as a surprise to many IELTS candidates, because they assume that a good score in one sub-test automatically means they will score well overall.

So don’t be fooled by a perfect 9 in Reading or Listening – spend a lot of time practicing in Writing and Speaking as well.

And here is Mayank’s story, in his own words:

“Living in a non-English speaking country and preparing for an IELTS exam on your own is something considered very difficult by some. Although I had a month to prepare, I utilised that time as efficiently as I could and finally achieved an overall band score of 8.

I took IELTS in November. I was really nervous before the exam, and the only method that worked for me to relax was befriending a fellow candidate before the test. I reached the exam venue about 2 hours in advance and many candidates were there already. I looked around and started talking to one of the candidates. That helped me to cool down as well as get my confidence back.

To begin with, I scored 6.5 in Writing; my not-so-good handwriting may be responsible for that, or perhaps I wasn’t used to writing in a formal systematic manner because of too much online chatting. I was able to achieve this score only because of the sample essays on, that helped me to form a structure for my essays and also provided me with various methods to write cohesive essays. So I recommend that you read as much essays on this website as you can and write at least 2 essays and 2 reports daily!

Then, I scored 8.5 in Listening and 8.5 in Speaking as well. I was able to achieve this score only because of English language movies and TV shows. I’ve always loved Hollywood movies and I used to watch them first with subtitles, then without. After I registered for the IELTS test, I increased the number of episodes I watched every week of my favourite TV shows and also the number of movies. I also started watching BBC world news as it kept me updated about the latest happenings all around the world and improved my listening and speaking skills all around.

In Reading I scored 9 bands all because of practice. I practiced reading tests daily and also used to read English newspapers, which also helped me enrich my vocabulary, which is crucial for a better score.

To sum up, the only way to achieve your desired score is to be dedicated and concentrated. Practice daily, speak daily, even start thinking in English. Use it when you are talking to friends or even your dog, if you have one.”

IELTS test in South Africa and the UK – January 2016 (General Training)

Our friends G and A took their IELTS tests in South Africa and UK and remembered the following Writing and Speaking questions:

Writing testIELTS test in South Africa

Writing task 1 (a letter)

Write a letter to your local council about the state of the sport club facilities and request more facilities suitable for people of your age.

– Describe your sport club facilities.
– What facilities are required?
– Explain why people of your age need these facilities.

Writing Task 2 (an essay)

Nowadays crime movies, programmes and TV series are extremely popular. What do you think is the reason for this? What effects do these films have on our society? Give your own opinion and examples.

Speaking test


– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– Do you like to take photographs?
– Would you like to study photography?
– How often do you take photographs?
– Do you take photographs of yourself? Why?
– Do you have any good family photograph?

Cue Card 1

Talk about a recent happy event in your life. Please say

– When and where was it?
– Who else was there with you when it happened?
– Why was it so special for you?

Discussion 1

– How can we make elderly people happy?
– Do you think modern lifestyle has pushed parents and grandparents far from younger generation?

Cue Card 2

Talk about a country that you would like to visit in the future. Please say

– Describe this country.
– Who would you go there with?
– Why would you like to go there?

Discussion 2

– Is there any difference between visiting a country as a tourist, student or worker?



  • Top 25 IELTS Blogs Winner Award
  • Best Australian Blogs 2014 Competition - People's Choice Winner


Online course

Practice tests

Site Search

New Services

Latest Posts: