IELTS preparation tips from winners

IELTS high achievers share their secrets

Here is what helped Alan get Band 8 in IELTS

You probably remember Alan as one of the IELTS Results competition winners. We celebrated their success earlier this month, and Alan took the first place in the General Training group.

Alan lives in India and speaks Hindi as his first language. He came across and subscribed to our daily emails in January this year. When he took the test, he scored Band 8.0, and decided to take part in our monthly IELTS results competition. As a winner, Alan was invited to share his experience, and he wanted to give back and help everyone still studying for the test. Here is what Alan told us about his IELTS preparation, and how you can do well in the test:

“My English proficiency before starting the preparation was at a moderate level, I would say.

With the initial practice assessments I took, I was around Band 7-8 in Listening and Reading, Band 5-6 in Writing, and an estimate of Band 6 in Speaking (based on feedback I received). My weaknesses were writing and speaking, so I concentrated my 2 months of prep on those more than the other sections. I dedicated around an hour a day to preparation.

Some general tips that I found helpful:

– Practice consistently: fix a time in the day (I fixed a time after work to study).

– Book the test in advance when you feel like you are moderately ready. This gives a deadline and a reason to study. Dragging out the preparation might reduce your motivation and confidence.

– Go through the free materials provided when registering for the exam.

– Read the IELTS-blog daily emails

– Focus on your weaknesses

– Do not underestimate the difficulty of the exam. One of my friends (who has better English proficiency than me) ignored the writing letter/essay structure and got Band 6 in the test.

– Take mock tests for Reading and Listening online on websites like to familiarise yourself with the computer-based interface.

– Keep the IELTS assessment criteria in mind while doing tasks

– Track your Listening and Reading practice scores

I hope you found some of my tips useful.”

Thank you very much, Alan, for sharing your advice, and we wish you only the very best!

Best IELTS test result April 2023

The lessons Saroj learnt on his IELTS journey to Band 7.5

You may remember Saroj as one of our IELTS Results competition winners, whose success we celebrated earlier this month. Saroj is a young man from Nepal who recently took an Academic IELTS test and got Band 7.5.

According to our tradition, Saroj was invited to share his experience preparing for the test, and you will find that the lessons he learnt in his preparation for IELTS can be useful to anyone studying for the test. Bonus tip: take note of the things he skipped but wished he had done, because YOU still have time to include them in your preparation sessions!

“I am writing to thank you for this website which has helped me immensely in my preparation for IELTS academic test which I have just completed and haven gotten back the results. Honestly, I used free resources from your website and others, and am genuinely in disbelief still that I did well.

Basically, the way I prepared was to practice the materials available on the website as much as possible. For writing, I would try to actually write an essay before reading the sample answer for that essay question or at least to have brainstormed ideas prior.

For reading, I would read through the questions first before actually reading the passages, in anticipation of the possible matching of the themes of the passage to a question.

I honestly feel I was inadequately prepared for the speaking section as I did not prepare for it much, but speaking out loud my answers prior to looking at the answers would be helpful.

The same strategy for the writing task 1 so generally, practising and testing ourselves prior to looking at the answers as compared to simply looking at the model answers would definitely make a difference. I suppose practising under time constraints would have helped me further in my preparation.”

Thank you very much, Saroj, for sharing your advice, and we wish you only the very best!

Best IELTS test result September 2022