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He prepared for a week and got Band 8 – here’s how

Today I am happy to share with you some advice we received from two people with a high IELTS score (Band 8!). Our competition winners, Zachary from the Philippines and Elona from Romania sent a few important tips that may help you achieve a better score.

Zachary said:Band 8 in IELTS

“I am immensely grateful for this blog site. I only reviewed for a week so I never really expected to get a total band score of 8 and even 9 for the speaking part.

My study technique and strategy would involve a lot of test questions from The sample test questions that were sent to my e-mail really helped a lot.

Listening – listen, listen and listen! Practice, practice and practice! Scan the questions in advance then focus on them as you listen to the audio recording.

Reading – read, scan, skim and read more! Read the questions and go back to the article/literary piece and find the appropriate answer/s.

Writing – write and write more then time yourself! Practice writing based on the sample topics from I used the topics or subjects that are sent into my e-mail from IELTS-Blog and indeed, one of the topics that I practiced turned out to be the actual topic for my essay in part 2 of the writing test. A thesaurus and a dictionary may also come in handy as you check your practice work.

Speaking – speak in front of the mirror! Be courteous, be polite, be confident and provide appropriate response based on your experience in order to have a smooth flow of conversation. Find simple yet appropriate answers to the questions. Try to avoid complex sentences that you are not sure of using because it could lead to very long pauses and unnecessary fillers which could result in a lower score for the speaking test.

I hope all of you will get a band score of 9! Good luck!”

Elona said

“Your blog helped me a lot. Here’s some advice I would give to those sitting the exam:

The most important advice I could give to anyone sitting the exam is to be familiar with the test and the types of exercises. I actually used only preparation books for certain skills (Reading and Writing skills) and only in the last week solved practice tests.

Second of all, it’s important to be prepared. This does not necessary mean you need to practice day and night for a few months, but rather work for at least 30 minutes in the last month and a half – of course, the time you need depends on your English level and the score you’re aiming to achieve.

Also, it’s very important to know what are your strengths and your weak points. Personally, before starting to prepare for the test, I was very scared by the Reading part. So, I began my preparation exactly with this part. I think it was a good strategy, because eventually my highest score was in Reading.

Additionally, try to practice as much as possible for the Speaking part. You’re likely to be emotional at the interview, so being comfortable speaking in English is vital. It would be great if you could ask a native speaker of the language to help you, or at least someone who knows English better than you. Use the exercises from the IELTS blog, they are exactly the type of questions you’ll have in your test. And do not memorize any answer by heart -you’ll be too nervous to remember it then.

Finally, write as many essays as possible to become fluent in expressing your ideas and remember that you have a time limit. It’s best to stick to it, because the last thing you need during the test is to panic about not having enough time – it can be very tricky. Again, the exercises forms the IELTS blog are great for helping you with this part. Good luck!”

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