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Heta and Natasha reveal how they achieved Band 8.5 in IELTS

This post is dedicated to success of two IELTS test takers, Heta and Natasha, who achieved a remarkable Band 8.5 in IELTS and became winners in our monthly results competition. But, it’s not only their success we’re talking about here – this can be YOUR chance to get a great score in IELTS, if you take in the following advice they are kindly sharing today.

Introducing Heta – a 33 year old lady from India, a native Gujarati speaker. Heta’s IELTS score is Band 8.5 with two perfect 9’s for Listening and Reading. She said:

“Below are the tips and techniques that helped me get a good score. Before I start, I would say ‘practice, practice, practice’, that’s the key thing.

1. Reading – practicing a lot doing sample tests online and in books helped a lot, especially the different question types.

2. Listening – practicing a lot of sample online tests helped me a lot in listening, too. They also helped me in getting used to different accents (British, Australian, American). Time is important here so stay focused.

3. Writing – practicing again helps here too but I also would constantly read articles online to improve my vocabulary.

4. Speaking – practicing with a friend helped me a lot here.”

And now over to Natasha, a lovely 21 year old lady from India, a proud owner of Band 8.5 Overall with a 9 in Listening. Natasha recommends the following:


Band 8.5 in IELTSIn some cases, this will be your first test. You have about 10 minutes to secure the optimum marks, so make the most of it. It’s not necessary that you answer exactly what’s asked, rather, elaborate with further details once you’ve gotten the main point across. Ensure that you listen to / read the questions asked CAREFULLY and answer exactly as required. Most of us tend to get our feathers ruffled and go on a verbal tangent!


This is the easiest part of the test, but it can be tricky, too. Read the questions before the audio is played, to ensure that you’ve understood what’s being asked, and then listen carefully to the recording, to ensure you don’t miss a thing, because it’s only played ONCE.


It’s often helpful to inculcate the habit of reading, in order to develop your vocabulary and speed reading skills, both of which are essential in order to comprehend the lengthy passages and answer the given questions, within the stipulated time. Hint: most answers are synonymous to the questions asked.


Avoid paraphrasing the question and selective sentences multiple times. It simply doesn’t work here. Rather, take a few minutes to create a mind-map of your thought process and proceed from there.

The most important aspect of the last three tests, is time management. The British Council provides candidates with some material with which to test oneself in terms of both, the test format, and the time within which each component is to be completed.

As nervous as I was to take up the examination, I’m overjoyed to have succeeded in my endeavour and hope that these tips will help more people accomplish the same. Good luck!”

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