IELTS preparation tips from Nguyen Van Thoai, Band 6.5

“I am so glad that I won the competition in August, which I have never thought of. Here are my tips for the IELTS preparation:

Practice is the key.

I didn’t have any special tactics for the test. However, I practiced a lot before the test day.

As a student of informatics, I spend most of my time working in front of the computer, reading e-books, over 20 pages every day (these are all in English, certainly). I avoid using Vietnamese (my first language) while working as it interrupts my thoughts.

The best way to learn new words, in my opinion, is to learn in context. Previously, I read Vietnam News Daily but I switched to online newspapers for convenience. I suggest you use an aggregator (eg: Google Reader) and subscribe to CNN or BBC, which has a fine style and provide us with a wide range of vocabulary.

Being able to think in English would be helpful, especially after reaching the lower-intermediate level (I gained this skill since elementary level). This skill might take a while to learn yet it’s a rewarding experience to have. In the beginning, you can temporary say goodbye to your first language by mute reading books that suits you level without a dictionary, just leave the unknown words to look up later.

As soon as you finish the elementary level, forget the bilingual dictionary and switch to a monolingual (English-English) one. A good dictionary is irreplaceable but it is still better to study new words in context. If you are unable to guess the meaning of a word, go on with the WordNet before opening your Oxford dictionary.

WordNet is a large lexical database of English in which nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms, each expressing a distinct concept. It can be downloaded free of charge from

The writing skill, on the other hand, is my weak point as of now. I would like to get back to it some other day, perhaps when I reach 7 in it.

Gook luck to IELTS Blog and I hope that my tips would be of help to the readers.”

IELTS test results competition

Are you happy with your IELTS test result? You could be this month’s winner of our IELTS test results competition!

IELTS test results competition

What you need to do is:

1. Scan your Test Result page
2. Send it to
3. That’s it – we’ll let you know if you won in the first week of the next month!

Your Test Result page looks like this:
IELTS test result example

What we do is:

1. Gather test results from people during this month.
2. Look for the ones with the highest band scores.
3. Declare winners – and display the winning test results in IELTS-Blog Hall of Fame.
4. Arrange an interview with the winners to find out what were the secrets of their success in the IELTS test.
5. Publish the interview in IELTS Blog to help all the students achieve great results.

Why do we have this IELTS test results competition? Because this is a great way for students to help each other by sharing knowledge. This competition will let many people benefit from high achievers’ advice and expertise.



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