Everyone, meet Rita – a lovely lady from India whose first language is Punjabi. The reason for this post is to help Rita celebrate her big success – Overall IELTS Band 7.5 with Band 7 or higher in every sub-test. How did she do it? Well, that’s quite a story, and no one can tell it better than Rita herself:
“I had worked really hard and prepared myself to achieve CLB 9 (CLB = Canadian Language Benchmarks) i.e. L-8, R-7, W-7, S-7. I had applied for Canada immigration. At the time, I had filed my application I had already got CLB 8. But to reach the ladder of success and to increase my score in the Express Entry, I knew that I needed CLB 9. Previously, I had gone through various IELTS books material, but I could not achieve the desired scores.
One day I was just browsing through the net, and I found www.IELTS-Blog.com. I went through it and I found, this was what I was looking for. I went through the site and I looked at the services given on the website. I straightaway without giving a second thought bought the writing correction service. As I am working full time, so I had no time to take any coaching classes and therefore, my only option was to prepare hard all by myself. I had already given the IELTS exam 5 times before, every time achieving CLB 8, until at last the sixth time when I was about to give up I got CLB 9. Not only the writing services helped me in achieving good scores with 7.5 bands in it, but the book “IELTS Success Formula – General” boosted me further. I was able to understand the weak points that I was having in each module. These were the strategies that I had applied to get good scores in each section even without coaching:
I had never went through any news channel, or any serial or movie, like what most people think that helps to have good command on different accent of an English Language. I just applied one strategy here, to play one CD daily for listening task. For this, I took the help of online websites and variety of Cambridge books etc. I always underlined the key words in the listening section when we get time to go through the questions. By this way I knew what the question demands and it was easy to give the answer. Also, if it is a map, one should just follow the lane of directions to locate the answer. I would also like to recommend here that never to go through the next section before time, as this will give more distraction and one should concentrate only on the section that has been given time. These strategies really helped me a lot and I was able to score 8.5 bands in listening section.
I had to prepare for general training which most people find easier than academic. For this, I again spent 1 hour daily to have a grip on this section. For general training, I used to take 4 academic reading tests and 3 general reading tests in a week. While giving academic test, I learned to prepare myself for the hard sections, and therefore at the time I gave general training I found it a lot easier and also I had enough time for the last section. This was due to the daily practice on different kind of reading materials, rather than just depending only on general reading papers. I used to first go through the questions, and underlined the key words. Then I read one paragraph each and went through the key words to catch the answers. This gave me easy technique to locate the answers. Also, with True/False/NG questions, one should be clear that as soon as one gets the location, one will get the answers in the same sequence. Fill ups are quite easy; just get the key words and wherever the key words we see in the paragraph, the answer will be in the same sentence. I was able to get 7 bands in reading.
Well, this was the section that I always had a fear of. It was because we can work hard on other sections without any coaching by doing regular test preparation. But for letters and essays, we have to depend on someone who could check our work and let us know the mistakes we are making in the writing section. Therefore, I took the help of writing correction service on the IELTS-Blog.com. The teachers were really like motivators and guides. From day one, when I took the writing service, I was able to know my mistakes that I was making and they also helped me in fixing the errors that I was making. Also, Simone’s book ‘IELTS Success formula‘ helped me a lot. I was able to enhance my vocabulary, and also it helped me learn how to write different kinds of letters, by paraphrasing it properly in an orderly manner. With essays too, I understood how to write the introduction without going off topic, the body language and conclusion. I learnt the usage of linking words and writing the essays with cohesion. It is really a valuable book that one must go through. Further, I read many books on letters and essay. I also used to read writing book of Parthesh Thakkar that helped me to understand different kinds of letters and essays. With all the determination I was able to get 7.5 bands.
For this section, I used to read various books on speaking. I mostly read Parthesh Thakkar book on speaking, where I got a clue of how to answer the questions on different aspect. Not only this, I also used to study online material and listen to the audios and videos on YouTube. It gave me an idea, that while answering the questions, one must stay calm, relaxed and answer with fluency. Also, as I had gone through different kind of books, I had enough ideas in my mind to give answer on any topic. In this section, we should always answer smoothly, without rushing. This would give enough time to share your ideas without long pauses. Watching the online videos on speaking section, gave me a clue how much time we should devote to each section.
Following were my results in IELTS, until finally I got my CLB 9 which raised my scores in Express Entry.
February 2015: L-7, R-8, W- 6, S- 8 (Overall 7.5)
April 2015: L- 8, R-6.5, W-7, S-7 (Overall 7)
February 2016: L-7, R-7.5, W-7, S-7 (Overall 7, wanted to achieve CLB 9)
April 2016: L-8, R-6.5, W-6, S-7 (Overall 7)
May 2016: L-8.5, R-6, W-6.5, S-7 (Overall 7)
September 2016: L-8.5, R-7, W-7.5, S-7 (Overall 7.5, finally got my CLB 9.) Took the writing correction services and read the material from IELTS Success Formula by Simone Braverman.
I am really grateful to this website that made me a good competitor. Being involved in full time work, it was very hard for me to give enough time to studies, but the teachers who checked my writing gave me the courage that finally helped me to get the desired scores. Also, I would like to recommend the book “IELTS Success Formula” to other candidates who are in the same boat, and who cannot take coaching classes.”