Today I would like to share some tips from Gita, who used IELTS-Blog.com as a sole source of information for her exam preparation, and successfully received Band 7.5 for the Listening, Reading and Writing and Band 8 for Speaking.
“To improve listening and speaking skills, my suggestions are to listen carefully to native speakers, radio and TV news programmes (BBC news) and talk shows. Try and practice this whenever possible, utilising the new phrases, vocabulary, connective words and anything else that you have learned from listening to others. Practice the listening tests as much as possible.
Practice speaking under exam conditions following the questions given in the IELTS blog.
To acquire Academic reading and writing skills, reading newspapers is the most beneficial factor. This helps learn new vocabulary, phrases, linking words and also gives a good idea about making complex sentences. I have read the online newspapers listed in IELTS blog. I used to write down new words and phrases and read them or memorise them everyday so that they get registered in my memory. Practice writing essays under exam conditions.
My advice regarding the Academic reading test is do not spend time reading the passage. After reading the title and a quick look at the pictures or diagrams, go directly to the questions. Read 3 or 4 questions together and start hunting for the answers for all of them. While looking for the answer for the first question you may come across with the answers for the second or third questions, so if you have the second and third questions also in your mind then the job is done easily! This sounds complex, but I have found it very useful and more time saving than looking for just one answer. Practice the reading tests as much as possible. For me, reading was the hardest of all.
After all, practice all the tips given in the IELTS blog. They are definitely of great great help! Practice all tests under exam conditions thoroughly. I practiced really hardly for about 3-4 weeks giving more importance to the reading test as it was the hardest for me.
Good luck to all test takers. Try hard, and success will come your way!”