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IELTS preparation tips from winners

IELTS high achievers share their secrets

IELTS Writing tips from Band 7.5 achiever

In this post our November’s winner, IELTS Band 7.5 achiever William shares his secrets to success in Writing. You can read his tips for Listening and Speaking test here.

Writing test

For the writing section, one way to brush up your writing skills is to write more essays. You should write as many DIFFERENT types of essays as you can, so that you would be armed with more ideas for a variety of topics in your head before you turn up to the IELTS test.

For example, you might want to write essays that are related to Economics, Law, Physics, Education, Sociology, Politics, Management, and so forth. The following list, which is by no means exhaustive, shows possible essay titles that you might wish to use:

Economics: Discuss the potential economic consequences of an economic recession.

Law: Many people around the world are not in favor of abortion. Discuss, with reasons, whether or not the government should introduce a law prohibiting abortion.

Physics: Isaac Newton discovered gravity. Discuss the ways that the work of Isaac Newton on the discovery of gravity has contributed to our society.

Education: It is argued that parents should send their children to boarding schools so that young children can learn to live independently. Do you agree? Support your arguments with reasons.

Sociology: The society has different expectations on men and women. For example, men should be strong and brave and women should be caring and conscientious. What personal characteristics and social values do you think the “perfect male model” and the “perfect female model” should have?

Politics: “A right-winged government that supports free market philosophies is better than a left-winged government that favors socialist policies.” Do you agree?

Management: How should a company’s managing director manage its employees? Discuss various methods that a managing director can employ to manage the company’s staff.

It is also important that you try to write your essays NOT by typing them out on a computer, but by writing them on pieces of paper with a pencil or a pen. You should know that in the IELTS test you must write your essays manually by hand so it is important that you get used to the format of the real IELTS test. Furthermore, after you have done your essays, make sure you give them to a native English speaker to mark them so that he or she can give you advice on how to improve your English.

General tips

In order to increase your range of vocabulary, you can try taking a piece of paper and making a list of the words that you are not familiar with or that are unusual, and then writing the corresponding definitions next to each word. Make sure you learn the spelling of those words and their meanings regularly.

You should also try to communicate (be it speaking, listening or writing) as much as possible in English in your everyday life. Try thinking in the English language as well. In that way, you would be able to build up your confidence before the IELTS test.

IELTS Listening and Speaking tips from Band 7.5 achiever

I feel very pleased to be declared the IELTS results winner of the month! I am quite happy that I got an overall IELTS score of 7.5 . Here are my tips to all the IELTS test takers (of Academic Module) in the future:

Listening test

In the Listening section of the test, it is important to pay much attention to the recording as it will be played ONCE only. You either get the answer or you dont and it is as simple as that. It is important to concentrate HARD as you hear the recording. Try to pay attention to the key words of the recording as they are probably the answers to the questions.

In order to brush up your listening skills, you might wish to attempt to listen to the English channel of your radio and try to take notes as you listen to the voice of the speaker.

Another way to practice your listening skills is to listen to English or American pop music. Try to listen to the lyrics and catch as many words as you possibly can as the pop star sings along.

Speaking test

In order to prepare for the speaking test, you might wish to make some friends with people from English speaking countries and try to have as many conversations in English with them as possible. In that way you would have more opportunities to speak in English.

In addition, you can even ask your English-speaking friends to correct your English as you talk to them. You should pay attention to the way they speak, how they pronounce the important words and their choice of words. The more you practice speaking, the greater the chances of getting a good score on your speaking test.

The general tips that apply to the writing test also apply to the speaking test, namely:

  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  • Try to keep all sentences short.
  • Make everything simple.
  • Click here to read William’s Writing tips.