IELTS tips from a doctor who scored Band 8 – sit up and take notice!

Band 8.5 in IELTSDr. Mir Kant is an Indian citizen who works in Saudi Arabia at present. He recently took IELTS and got Band 8 overall, with 8.5 in Reading and Listening! This beautiful score secured him a winning 1st place in our monthly IELTS results competition, and in his winner’s interview Dr. Kant shared his best tips for success with all IELTS test takers out there, studying for their exams:


Practise listening to BBC Radio Programmes, IELTS Podcasts, Ted Talks and ask yourself questions based on IELTS Listening Practise tasks available online. Also try listening to different English accents such as British, American, Australian, etc to get familiar with all the various pronunciations.


Get used to reading many different academic texts, especially newspaper editorials, for instance those from the Guardian (UK), Wall Street Journal, etc and then try to see how much you comprehend. Learn the techniques of skimming and scanning to increase your speed. Practise using mock tests.


This is the most difficult part of the IELTS test and more time should be devoted to prepare for it. Practise Writing Task 1 and Task 2 separately, as these are different and need special skills to get a score of at least 7.

The key here is to practise writing as much as possible, download a mock answer booklet of the IELTS and write in pencil on it on the topic questions available online; use a timer to complete both the tasks in one hour only. Count the words also at the end to have an idea of your word count and writing speed.

Also, improve your vocabulary, use some less common words, work on grammar and punctuation. In the exam write in paragraphs and definitely do the Writing Task 2 first and only then Writing Task 1, as the former carries more marks. Also keep a goal of writing around 290 words for Task 2 and 180 words for Task 1.


The more you speak in English, the more confident you will become. Try to speak only in English at home and at work. Speak in front of a mirror, when you practice answering IELTS Speaking questions, for instance introducing yourself, describing your job / studies, your hobbies etc. Practise with a friend as speaking partner (who may or may not have an IELTS test too). Listen to speeches from native English speakers on TV or podcasts and notice how your speaking is different from theirs, and try to correct that. Improve your pronunciation and accent, wherever possible. Confidence is the key here and try not to speak too fast or too slow.

Arabic Speaker Got Band 8.5 in IELTS Speaking, Here’s How

Today we’d like you to meet a special person – one of the winners of our monthly IELTS results competition. His name is Dhafer, he lives in Iraq and speaks Arabic, and the reason why you should consider his advice is, he got an Overall Band 8 in IELTS with a remarkable Band 8.5 in Reading and Speaking! Yes, you heard this right – a person who spoke Arabic from birth, who lives in a non-English speaking country CAN speak English at this level.

We asked Dhafer to tell us about his methods of preparation, what worked for him, and he sent some great insights for you. Have a read – and then try this in YOUR own preparation.

Dhafer said:


For the listening module, try to improve your listening skills by learning the techniques they use in the IELTS listening tests. There are lots of IELTS listening mock tests, including ones on YouTube. Try to sit one mock test every day and your performance should gradually improve.


For the speaking module, you need to understand that there is a limited number of topics which are discussed in the speaking module. Learn more about those topics at home, in order to have answers ready once those topics are brought up in the speaking test. If you want to increase your fluency, try talking to friends in English, get a speaking partner and communicate through Skype or FaceTime or even practice by talking to yourself in front of the mirror.


This one is probably the most difficult and frustrating for most IELTS test takers. If you want to achieve a good band score, you must have your writing checked by a professional. I only got my desired band score after I hired the writing correction service at which is extremely beneficial, yet very affordable.

Another tip which I think is necessary is to not set time limits in the first weeks of your practice. Instead, focus more on producing worthy essays and letters, and once you believe that your writing is good enough, you can practice by shortening the time.

Also, while sitting the Writing test, make sure that you set at least five extra minutes to proofread your essay, letter or report.


A good tip in reading is to always read the questions before reading the paragraphs.

Also, once reading the paragraphs, highlight or circle any names, locations or dates because they will be easier to find once you read a question about them. This is especially beneficial in matching headings to paragraphs.

The most important rule to get your dream IELTS score is to practice, practice, practice.”



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