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.”

Tips for success and lessons learnt, from 3 IELTS high scorers

There are many reasons why we love our readers and think you guys are the best, and one of those reasons is your generosity. We asked the winners of our monthly IELTS results competition to share some useful IELTS tips, and they showered us with information you can use in your own preparation.

Susmita, a lovely lady from from India, who got Band 7.5 in General Training, said:

“Thank you so much for the award. Your material was really helpful.

My advice for the IELTS candidates is:

1. Practice and practice (with the right material, of course)

2. When you are watching any English movie or reading anything in English try to do it actively. {Susmita means here don’t let your mind drift away while reading or watching a movie, you need to stay focused and try to understand as much as possible}

3. Last but not the least, always stay confident. Try to relax as much as possible before the exam day.”

Next we have Alison, who lives in Vietnam and got an Overall IELTS Band Score of 7.5 with an amazing 9 in Reading. Believe it or not, Alison isn’t happy with her score, and intends to do even better! She wrote to us about the lessons she learnt from her preparation and exam:

“I’m honoured to receive this achievement. Thank you very much for your support.

One tip that I can give is to keep practising with a plan. Knowing our own strengths and weaknesses will help a lot in improving ourselves.

Even though I have not reached my desired score, I will keep learning. I know my strengths are in reading and listening, so will keep the same level of practice and performance in these two skills. As for Speaking and Writing, I learnt that I should pause and think carefully before speaking. I should also practice more in writing, as it seems I did not spend sufficient time to practice this skill.”

And the lucky last, Phyo from Myanmar, a bright young man who got an Overall Band Score of 8.5, with two straight 9s in Listening and Reading. Phyo said:

“I came across a while ago, and found the materials very useful and encouraging.

Here is my advice for other IELTS candidates based on my experience:

For the Speaking test, the three parts are quite predictable, and you need to practise with a partner for feedback and timing. However rigid and direct the examiner may appear, you should try to have a casual conversation with them, just like you are meeting a new friend. Keep it light and natural, and smile often.

For the Reading test, my main problem was overthinking. IELTS answers are rather straightforward, and after sufficient practice you will be familiar with their pattern.

Regarding Listening sections, the answers are, again, straightforward, and even more so for technical terms. It’s important to stay calm and focused; don’t dwell on the sentences that you missed, and practice is key to familiarize with the pace of Listening recordings.”



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