IELTS tips from a doctor who scored Band 8 – sit up and take notice!

Band 8.5 in IELTSDr. Mir Kant is an Indian citizen who works in Saudi Arabia at present. He recently took IELTS and got Band 8 overall, with 8.5 in Reading and Listening! This beautiful score secured him a winning 1st place in our monthly IELTS results competition, and in his winner’s interview Dr. Kant shared his best tips for success with all IELTS test takers out there, studying for their exams:

LISTENING

Practise listening to BBC Radio Programmes, IELTS Podcasts, Ted Talks and ask yourself questions based on IELTS Listening Practise tasks available online. Also try listening to different English accents such as British, American, Australian, etc to get familiar with all the various pronunciations.

READING

Get used to reading many different academic texts, especially newspaper editorials, for instance those from the Guardian (UK), Wall Street Journal, etc and then try to see how much you comprehend. Learn the techniques of skimming and scanning to increase your speed. Practise using mock tests.

WRITING

This is the most difficult part of the IELTS test and more time should be devoted to prepare for it. Practise Writing Task 1 and Task 2 separately, as these are different and need special skills to get a score of at least 7.

The key here is to practise writing as much as possible, download a mock answer booklet of the IELTS and write in pencil on it on the topic questions available online; use a timer to complete both the tasks in one hour only. Count the words also at the end to have an idea of your word count and writing speed.

Also, improve your vocabulary, use some less common words, work on grammar and punctuation. In the exam write in paragraphs and definitely do the Writing Task 2 first and only then Writing Task 1, as the former carries more marks. Also keep a goal of writing around 290 words for Task 2 and 180 words for Task 1.

SPEAKING

The more you speak in English, the more confident you will become. Try to speak only in English at home and at work. Speak in front of a mirror, when you practice answering IELTS Speaking questions, for instance introducing yourself, describing your job / studies, your hobbies etc. Practise with a friend as speaking partner (who may or may not have an IELTS test too). Listen to speeches from native English speakers on TV or podcasts and notice how your speaking is different from theirs, and try to correct that. Improve your pronunciation and accent, wherever possible. Confidence is the key here and try not to speak too fast or too slow.

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