You are about to meet 4 IELTS test takers, whose scores range from Band 7.5 to 8.5. These kind folks won in our IELTS results competition last month, and really wanted to help everyone else do well in IELTS, too! So when we asked them what worked for them, we got a lot of useful advice.
Puneet got IELTS Band 7.5. His mother tongue is Punjabi, and he is 22 years old. Here is how Puneet prepared for the exam:
“First of all, I would like to say a big thanks to you for such a helpful website. I did my most of the preparation from your website. About tips and tricks, I recommend everyone to read Target Band 7 for wonderful techniques which should be employed while attempting the test. I only prepared for 7 days and most of time I read my favourite stories in English, which helped me a lot in Reading. Apart from that, having a regular conversation with native speakers can help you do better at Speaking. For Writing, I think, a proper structure is needed along with accurate grammar and academic vocabulary. In Listening, reading instructions is the most important thing to do, then listen to the recording very attentively. Last but not least, time can be your enemy if proper time management is not done.
Wishing best of luck for all aspirants! No doubt, hard work is the key to success but IELTS demands smart work.”
Our next high scorer is Amanjot, a lovely 18 years old who got Band 7.5. Like Puneet, he also speaks Punjabi. Here is how Amanjot prepared for his exam:
“Firstly I relied on the Internet and gained each and every piece of information on IELTS. Then I bought “Target Band 7” by Simone Braverman and “Reading Skills” by Sam McCarter. Actually I had only 7days to study because of my busy schedule so I tried some IELTS practice tests and guess what… I didn’t get a 9, but I got Band 7.5. I am pretty much satisfied. And one last thing worth mentioning is that I always tried exam questions that IELTS blog sent every day.
And last but not least – meet Vineedh (Band 7.5) and Nisha (Band 8.5), a husband and wife who helped each other prepare for IELTS. They put together a lot of handy tips – you may even want to make some notes!
“Nisha and me are married and we intend to migrate to Canada. As a step towards migration, we had to take the IELTS and succeed in it. Malayalam (a regional language in the southern state of Kerala in India) is our first language. Now that much for what we are and what we plan. My score was in L,R,W,S (8.5, 8, 7, 7) and my wife Nisha’s was (8, 9, 8, 8). This was our first attempt at IELTS.
Moving on to much more relevant information for test takers, allow us to tell you what we did.
1. We told ourselves that we can do it with self study and without going for any kind of coaching or extra books.
2. What we practiced were Cambridge’s books IELTS 7, 8 and 9 along with practice book given to us when we registered for IELTS.
3. We decided not to take to any coaching classes because we believed our English was good and didn’t want to be exposed a specific line of teaching which we thought could damage our very style of using the language. Moreover, we had in every corner of our mind that nothing new was in store for us at the center. We may sound arrogant, but our advice to those who have a reasonably good understanding of the language is that they should not expose themselves to something which could hamper their self confidence in the subject. Bu , if you aren’t in that league and expect to reach there, you may ignore this piece of advice.
4. Practice listening with your headphones at home. Do not use your laptop speakers of any other listening devices. Headphones are the best and it would create a test day like environment as many times you wish so that you are absolutely calm and composed in real time. You need to practice at least 8 to 10 listening modules. Practice makes you perfect. The more you practice, the lesser would be your nervous heartbeats on the test day. The test day would eventually turn out to be another practice test for you and this is when you score high and listen the most of the words and phrases told during the test. Not even a micro-second of lack of concentration should creep in. In case you miss something, leave it and move on. Come back to it after the section is over. There is a high possibility that you would recollect that lost word or number. Trust me, it happened to me in my listening test.
5. We made it a point to practice listening and reading every day for 15 days before the test day. We used to do it in test conditions by setting the time, using the real time answer sheets and by strictly following the test day rules. This will definitely enhance your confidence on the test day as you have done it many a times earlier. The pattern would never be new to you and this will bring your heartbeats from a high of 90 beats/minute to 55-60 on the test day.
6. We used to record our speeches and make each other listen to it for evaluation. This was our speaking practice. Even though, we did not do it as regularly as we did for listening and reading. We practiced speaking for a day or two before the test. Our advice is to take your mobile phone and record your part 2 (two-minute speaking) on any subject you like. Listen to it after 10 minutes and you would get to know where you went wrong. It would be much more effective if you can get it evaluated by someone of the same league as you are. In our case, it was each other.
7. Last but never the least, have a good night’s sleep, never over-do or over-stretch and eat your breakfast before you go for the test. This will keep your brain active and responsive.
Hope we have shared whatever we intended to do and wish each one of those attempting the test do get a great score and be future winners of the competition.”