This post is dedicated to the success of Surendran, our IELTS results competition winner who scored Band 8. Surendran lives in India, he took the General Training IELTS test after preparing on his own. His Overall Band Score was 8.0 with the highest individual scores being Band 8.5 in Listening and Band 9 in Reading!
Only practice helps here, take a lot of listening tests with clock timer set up. Mark the words that are important and when audio plays note down the answers directly.
Read the questions carefully and highlight words that are important, then read quickly through the paragraph. With practice you can skim and quickly complete paragraphs. Take close to 20 tests. I used IELTS Cambridge books 8,9,10 and 11 and they really helped me.
I read through internet topics on a lot of questions that were asked in the last year. Got questions from IELTS-Blog.com daily emails, and IELTS Books. It would be good if you had a tutor to correct your work, which I didn’t have – so could only manage to get 7 in Writing.
Use timer and practice speaking aloud in your room, for the cue card task 3-minute timers are useful. For the first minute note down points to talk about, and after that timer beeps start talking answering all question until the 2nd (2-minute) timer.
This helped me mentally prepare to extend my ability to speak at length, as I wasn’t able to go over 1.5 minutes initially. A lot of topics are available on IELTS-blog.com, the last 6 months should give a good idea on how the test questions will come up.”