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How Hanson went from 6.5 to IELTS Band 8 in 3 weeks

This post is dedicated to the success of a bright young man, Hanson Fuh from Cameroon, who took his IELTS score from 6.5 to Band 8 in 3 weeks, and consequently won in our monthly results competition.

When we asked Hanson to share his story, he was more than generous and shared many things that are easy to do, and can have a significant positive effect on your score.

Band 8 in IELTSHere is what he said:

“The first time I took the IELTS test for migration to Australia I had the following results:

Listening 6
Reading 6.5
Writing 6.5
Speaking 6
Overall 6.5

Which didn’t add any points to the EOI.

I simply got to this point because I thought as an English-speaking Cameroonian I know English very well and any English test won’t be a problem for me, but that was a big lie. Even a born and bred British man can still have less than 4 in IELTS.

So as I decided to retake this test because my migration agent advised me to do so, and I started pondering, should I go to coaching classes? That was quite acceptable, but with my busy schedule I won’t be having time for that. So I decided to search online. I got many options online but offered the most affordable and acceptable offer for my situation so I decided to buy their products.

It should be noted that I studied using materials from IELTS-Blog within 3 weeks from the test.

As I got the study materials, I discovered that I was very good at listening and reading (my results can tell) so I focused more on speaking and writing.

For the Reading, these are the tips I used to get Band 9:

Firstly, the time given for this section (1 hour) is extremely short so what you need to do is read the question before going to the passage and you need to build your scanning skills, because once you’re scanning the passage after reading the questions its much more easier for you to answer the questions.

Another thing I discovered and it helped me a lot, was that the last part of the reading test (questions 28 to 40) was quite difficult because by the time you are getting there, you are left with a very short time. It should be noted that this section usually comprises of 2 or three parts so make sure you read all the questions of all the parts of this section before you start reading the text, because each section may have questions in a paragraph of this section and that saves you a lot of time.

Note: in the reading test always answer the questions directly on the answer sheet, as there will be no time accorded to transfer the questions to the answer sheet later.

For the Listening, these are the tips I used to get Band 8.5:

Listening is quite difficult if you lack concentration because 1 second lost in listening can never and will never be regained, so I did my best to concentrate.

The time given for reading the questions is very long so make sure you read all the questions for that section before the CD starts playing again. As I started answering if I missed any question(s) I make sure I go to the next or to where I think the CD is now, because if you concentrate on what you have missed then you will miss the rest and remember, you have a certain score to achieve.

Another thing I did was, that when the CD gives you time to review your answers in each section – don’t waste valuable time doing that unless you still remember something you heard and never wrote. Instead move to the next section and start reading the questions as that will make it easier to answer those questions.

The last part of the Listening test which has questions 30-40 is where I lost a lot of marks during practice, so I concentrated more on this area during the test.

For the Writing test:

I spent a lot of time on the practice material and also on the dictionary, learning new complex vocabulary in order to give the assessor the impression that I know the English language very well. In fact I practiced each of the essays and letter writings about four times before the test.

For the Speaking test:

I practiced alone and discovered that it was not working because generally am a slow speaker, so I decided to include my wife in this part. She was the assessor and I was the test taker and we went through this exercise about 3-4 times for each of the question sets and it’s quite remarkable that I scored band 7 as I had a major limitation in this section.

It should be noted that there is no magic to getting your desired band in the IELTS test. The only secret is getting the right material which for me was via and practice is the key!

And finally, the Almighty God is all in all. Always pray for him to inspire you before, during and after the test and rest assured you will have good success at the end.

Thumbs up for IELTS-Blog and I pray that you keep the work up.”

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