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IELTS preparation tips from winners

IELTS high achievers share their secrets

Anastasia says IELTS should be an adventure, not a torture – here is how she got Band 8

Everyone, meet Anastasia from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, who achieved an overall IELTS band score of 8 with individual scores as follows:

Listening 8
Reading 8.5
Writing 7
Speaking 8

Band 8 is a remarkable score that takes a considerable effort, especially for people living in non-English speaking countries – and Anastasia did it in less than 2 months!

We asked Anastasia how she prepared, and if you read her story closely, you will find many things that would help YOU do better in IELTS.

Anastasia said,

Band 8 in IELTS“There is no way I’m taking my score for granted – I dedicated a lot of time to preparation, considering I had less than 2 months to get ready.

I was really lucky to have Alla Sobirova as my tutor and I’m deeply grateful for my access to IELTS Online Prep Platform. The final Band 8 definitely exceeded all my expectations on each part of the exam.

I love English, and I bravely and boldly considered my level as advanced, but haven’t had much practice recently and haven’t taken any exams in ages. I assumed that I shouldn’t be horrible at Listening or Reading, but I had no idea how I would do in Speaking or Writing.

Nevertheless, as soon as I did my first trial test, I realised that I would really need practise. The scientific language of the Reading test made me fall asleep – I just couldn’t get through the texts. My first Listening results were sometimes well below 25 correct answers. I realised that IELTS is about fitting the criteria and trying to do your best. To get the best result I needed to do as many tests as possible to know all types of tasks I could face, evaluation criteria, etc. There are quite a lot of techniques to get through IELTS and the online tests provided me with the opportunity to discover which of them helped me and which didn’t.

Somehow the Listening test turned out to be the most complicated for me – I hated maps, plans and drawings – my brain couldn’t quickly transform words to fill in the gaps and I had trouble following the directions on a map. I also made grammar mistakes. Sometimes you just can’t hear, or don’t know the word – it all happens. But it doesn’t mean that you don’t know the language, and it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good grade. You just need to find the way to demonstrate your knowledge the way it is expected.

So after all I managed to put together my own set of advice and instructions for myself in terms of “what should I do if…” – if I don’t understand the text or a particular word, if I can’t hear or can’t find the answer, what should I do if I have nothing to say or write.

Any exam is a quite stressful and unpredictable procedure, but thanks to the online tests I did, I was more than ready. Firstly, because I saw my progress during the preparation, and secondly, the real test I got was easier than the ones I did on the IELTS Prep Platform.

I’m absolutely sure that the online tests made me ready for the maximum level of difficulty, so during the exam I felt excitement and confidence. I had enough time to answer the questions, go to the bathroom and double-check everything. And I was able to spend some extra time on couple of Reading questions I was confused about.

I definitely recommend IELTS Online Prep Platform to anyone who aspires to do their best in IELTS. If you need a good grade and want IELTS to be an adventure and not a torture, go for it.”

Srinivasan got rid of his problems and scored Band 8 in IELTS, here is how

Srinivasan got an Overall Band 8 in IELTS, so when he wrote to us and said he’d like to share some preparation advice, we knew it would be of great value to every single test taker reading this blog. As a winner of our IELTS Results Competition, Srinivasan wanted to give back and help others overcome the IELTS challenge. Here are his suggestions to you, based on his own way of preparing for IELTS:

Srinivasan said, “First and foremost, get to know the test pattern and types of questions. Once you are familiar with that, learn the skills and use strategies suitable for every question type. Be realistic in your preparation, do not rush to sit the test before you are truly ready.


  • Learn the question types and strategies for each type of question.
  • Take a mock test and record the score.
  • Review the test paper and note down your weak areas.
  • Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.


Reading is hard for many people as they don’t have a habit of reading.

  • Try to read newspapers and short texts as a habit.
  • Part 3 of the Reading test is often filled with difficult questions, so reserve more time for it while leaving less time for Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Identify where most mistakes are coming from – that is the area you need to focus on more.
  • Review every test paper after completion to learn from your mistakes.


Writing test is the one where many students get a low band score, and it happened to me as well. It is important to understand what is needed to get a higher band with the help of band descriptors.

  • In my first attempt I didn’t have anyone to guide me. In the next attempt, I found it is vital to get assistance from an IELTS expert.
  • Learn all the types of questions and how to approach them.
  • Practice in writing responses to the questions under timed conditions.
  • Write down your mistakes and revise them before you start writing.
  • Practice writing error-free sentences and using complex sentences in your essays.
  • Planning is key to success in Writing Tasks 1 and 2.
  • Read Band 9 essay samples to gain ideas and improve your style of writing.


Speaking with confidence is very important to success.

  • Read on a range of topics such as the environment, science, arts, schools, hometown, social media, etc (or watch films/videos on these topics). This will expand your vocabulary.
  • Practicing speaking with a partner is highly recommended.
  • In the Speaking test, Parts 2 and 3 are more important and require more preparation time.
  • I recorded my speaking test and listened to it for mistakes, it is a good way to improve.
  • Make sure you get an IELTS tutor to assess your speaking test and provide further guidance.

Congratulations to Srinivasan Mannangatti on achieving an Overall IELTS Band score of 8.0!

Best IELTS test result May 2022