IELTS preparation tips from winners

IELTS high achievers share their secrets

Olga reprogrammed her brain to get Band 8 in IELTS – here is how

Today’s post is about Olga and her success in IELTS, but it’s also about you – because Olga is sharing her exam tips for you to apply them!

Olga is a lovely young woman from Russia who speaks Russian as her first language, and English as her second. We met when Olga enrolled in our writing correction service as part of her IELTS preparation. Olga got Band 8 in IELTS, with a straight 9 in Listening. She took part in our IELTS results competition last month and won the first place under General Training category. In her winner’s interview Olga shared some very useful advice – and encouragement – that will help you increase your own score in the test:

“From my perspective, the best advice is to give examiners EXACTLY what they want to see. Creativity is a rewarding thing, but isn’t meant for the IELTS test 🙂 It took me about a year to reprogram my brain and acquire and implement a new vision for the test based solely on the band descriptors.

Overall, IELTS should become a part of your everyday life while you are preparing for it.


Practice, practice, practice. At least 20 minutes a day.


Practice, practice, practice. I had BBC 6-minute English for breakfast every day and then took an IELTS listening test 4-5 times a week. If I was too tired to sit a test I watched BBC news or a movie in English. Don’t practice listening in the headphones, do your best to imitate a test atmosphere with the worst scenario when the sound is hardly heard.


I know that talking to yourself is a bit weird but it helps to pass the test 🙂 Discuss everything that you see with yourself, it’s always pleasant to talk to a good person! 😉 And do not give short answers, your opinion is important – express it!


Yes, it can be a disaster. Check the band descriptors for your desired score and act accordingly. Enrich your vocabulary with the topic-related units, practice the grammar structures which are required for the score you need, and put aside creativity. Remember, examiners are not searching for extraordinary ideas, they look for a writing task which is performed according to the scheme.

Never give up! It may sound like a common thing, but do not let laziness, confusion or apathy stop you. Instead give yourself a break after a failure, stand up again and do it!!! Like the Terminator, you know! Twice, three times, four times – as many times as needed. You can do it!”

Thank you so much Olga for sharing your tips, and we wish you all the very best!

Best IELTS test result June 2021

He got Band 8.5, she got 7.5, and YOU get to learn from their experience!

If there is ONE great shortcut that can help you in IELTS, it is learning from other test takers’ experience. Today we have two of our IELTS Results Competition winners, sharing what worked for them and contributed to their scores. Their experience can become yours – have a read, and then go and try their tips in action!

Nader Arvand from Iran, Band 8.5 in Academic IELTS

“My speaking practice covered common questions on your website, over quite a long period though, maybe a year or so. The videos on how to approach the questions in every part were another contributing factor that helped me organize my performance and ideas throughout the speaking test.

Reading is my everyday pastime, I am dealing with academic texts about various topics daily. This helped me a lot to manage my time, as I could skim through the main ideas and find the parts for detailed questions efficiently. By the way, how to improve READING? By doing so!

The story of my full score in the IELTS listening is more like what I did with the reading skill. Consistency in practice with reliable material, the full analysis of my mistakes, and also Simone’s tips on how to conquer different question types, all left me with no surprises on the test day.

I think other candidates would share the difficulty I had getting 7+ in writing. What are coherence and cohesion, good vocabulary, task response, and grammar? Although I had studied, and of course taken the test with no more than 6.5 in writing, for almost two years, it was not before I read Simone’s writing samples that I realized how those criteria work in practice. I would then highly recommend every IELTS candidate, at any proficiency level, to read those samples meticulously, attempt common topics, and have their writing assessed regularly to move up to the 7+ echelon.

I hope my experience could help other candidates, and once again THANK YOU!”

Chien-Yu from Taiwan, Band 7.5 in Academic IELTS.

“I got much support and practice when I used the writing correction service from I think it is a very useful and authentic correction service online.

In addition, there are a lot of free materials on your website, I read every exam update you sent via email and collected the latest questions from the exams worldwide. I used these questions to practice by myself and my Speaking teachers. If I had enough time, I would try to use your Speaking evaluation service!”

If YOU got a high score in IELTS, no matter when – this month, last month, a few months ago – we want to hear from you! We would like to extend our warm invitation to everyone who is happy with their IELTS score. Take part in our IELTS results competition today, and share your IELTS tips when you win!

Learn how to enroll here.