Diyora is a young lady from Uzbekistan, whose first language is Uzbek – however it seems that her English is pretty darn awesome as well! With her IELTS score of 7.5 she won in our monthly results competition and wanted to share these tips with you:
“It’s a great pleasure and an honor for me to be selected as one of the monthly competition winners! While I was preparing for the exam, I visited your website every single day with the only desire to grab a little bit of those amazingly useful tips from successful test takers! And now I’m really excited about the fact that someone actually will be able to read my story and maybe get something important from it!
Well, the first thing that I have to point out is that you don’t have to let that terrible fear of failure and nervousness overwhelm you! Yes, I know you’ve already heard these annoying words for a thousand times now, but still I’m going to tell you that for the 1001st time: “Please, don’t worry too much!”
It is good to have a some butterflies in your stomach, because a little anxiety keeps you alert and stimulates your brain. But you have to realize that IELTS is not a competition in any way, everyone is responsible for their own results. Unfortunately, this is something that I understood only when I passed the exam and lost some points because of being extremely frightened and nervous, with my hands and knees shaking! Undoubtedly, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of, the examiners are not monsters, and all of them are very courteous and supportive.
Talking about the exam itself, everything is organized on a high level, so that you don’t have to worry about any formalities.
I have to confess that it is essential to practice as much as possible if you are aiming to get a high score. The more tests you do, the better you will get familiarized with the exam structure and expand your vocabulary, which is one of the most influential factors of IELTS.
For Writing, it’s good to get your essays assessed at least several times and understand your mistakes, in order not to repeat them the next time. Personally I don’t usually read the topic for Task 2 before I finish Task 1. Sometimes people start panicking when they read what they have to write about and think about it while they’re writing Task 1. As a result, none of the tasks end up being written well. Just read the instructions two or three times carefully and brainstorm. I’m sure you’ll find the required amount of words for the given subject. In addition to that, don’t even try to change anything dramatically when there is little time left, better check and double check your work and find some silly mistakes before the examiner does.
For Reading, TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN is definitely my “favorite” part. And guess what, I had to deal with it in all the three passages! It’s useful to practice Reading without using dictionary in the process of looking for the answers. But when the passages are complete and checked, try to underline all the unfamiliar words and learn as many of them as you can. After doing that for a couple of times I found out that there were considerably fewer words that I didn’t know in other Reading tests.
For Listening, which is the part that I like the most, just try to stay focused. Read the questions when the time is given, but when the CD is on, pay your full attention to the speakers. I read the multiple choice questions a couple of times, as usual, during my exam. But then, don’t even know why, I suddenly started to think that I hadn’t memorized the questions, and started to read them again. Finally, I didn’t hear some of the answers and had nothing to do except for guessing. Don’t repeat my mistake!
And for Speaking, all those strategies like eye-contact, smile and confidence in your eyes play a significant role and help you create a positive picture in the examiner’s mind. Be yourself, don’t think that your answers will be wrong, because your unique features and your own opinion is what they are looking for. There are hundreds of test takers and you have to differ from them, show your personality if you want to get a high score. Recording yourself on an MP3 player is very useful (this is something that helped me a lot) as you don’t usually pay attention to your mistakes while you speak, but when you listen to the recordings, you usually notice them.
It’s also good to try to complete Listening, Reading and Writing at once several times before the exam in order to get to know how much concentration you need for these parts.
I know that I haven’t discovered America with my advice, but I hope I’ve done something worthy! Finally, I wanted to tell you that IELTS is a key that opens a lot of important doors for your successful future. But, you don’t have to sacrifice your health by working day and night, eating tons of chocolate and gulping down liters of coffee, trying to increase your stamina and the amount of endorphins! All that devotion doesn’t not necessarily mean that you’ll get a higher score! You’ll just find yourself completely frustrated at the end! Honestly, just take it easy and be grateful for any result that you get.