Tips from IELTS results competition winners who got Band 8

Today we are sharing with you the stories of two IELTS-Blog readers who got Band 8 in their exams a few weeks ago. They come from two different countries, Bangladesh and Vietnam, and each of them faced a different set of difficulties – which they successfully overcame! Here is what we can learn from their experience.

Mohammad (a native Bengali speaker) said:

“I used to read and make notes of similar words/expressions as well as various sentence structures, to use them in my own writing and speaking. Also, listening to all the possible accents helped.


Once you are told to start your listening test, please go through the tough questions and try to read as quickly as possible while the recording is speaking about the example. Then come back to section 1 to read questions, understand them and be ready to extract your right words/answers from what you hear. Two things here are crucial – one is fast reading and being mindful of the speakers, and the second is tracking the sentence and meaning variations. Also, do not forget to check the spelling of your answers while transferring them from the question booklet onto the answer sheet.


Start with the easiest questions, put a cross next to the confusing questions to come back later with a more alert mind. Remember to revise those you left behind for rechecking.
The key point here is you need to locate answers’ area(s) / specific line(s) first, to focus and deeply comprehend in order to answer questions correctly.


It is paramount to find out the type of essay eg. Agree/disagree or To what extent do you agree/ disagree. In my case, I totally agreed on the topic , but I did not forget to mention opposite views and to refute them. Likewise, taking the essay type into consideration, it is better to produce a variety of sentence structures, connecting each sentence with logical sequence and writing some standard paragraphs with introductory and concluding lines.


Try to talk with friends as much as possible to feel free speaking in English. Then answer the questions. For example:
– Do you like travelling by bus?
– Yes, air conditioned public buses are the most popular and well-accepted transportation means in my locality. As it is cheaper, more frequent and comfortable than even taxis, I enjoy it very much.

Practise giving well-prepared answers with your real life information. Use a wide range of vocabulary, say interesting things and tell a small story especially in the Cue card part, which is the most crucial part as during the time, examiners pay more attention than other times.”

Le Thi Thanh, a lovely lady who speaks Vietnamese, also prepared for IELTS on her own. Here is what she told us:

Band 8 in IELTS“I am so grateful that I found your book and blog to prepare myself for the exam. I have actually recommended the book to a lot of my friends for their IELTS preparation.

Just to share with you, the book “Ace the IELTS” was the very first material that I relied on to self-study for the exam. From the book, I learnt about and then practiced my writing tasks based on writing samples on the blog.

Again thank you so much for all the helpful advice and materials that you have shared with us so that we all can work towards our IELTS goals.”

IELTS Speaking test in Kuwait – September 2016

Thanks to M who recently took the IELTS test in Kuwait we can share the following Speaking questions:

Speaking testIELTS test in Kuwait


– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– What do you do?
– Where do you live now?
– Were you playing outdoors as a child?
– What games were you playing then?
– Do you allow your children to play outside now?

Cue Card

Describe an application or software that you are using on your laptop/mobile device. Please say

– What does it do?
– Where and when did you find it?
– Why do you use it?


– Where do you usually get the required information from?
– How does the information technology system participate in spreading the information?
– Do you let your children use devices such as mobile phone, computer or PlayStation?
– Do you limit their usage? Why?
– What are the side effects of using technology for children?



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