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IELTS tips from Band 8.5 candidate: “Practice, analyse your mistakes and don’t get nervous”

Sai Bhargavi Satti is a lovely young lady from India, whose mother tongue is Telugu. She took IELTS for the very first time after some self-preparation at home and achieved an overall Band score of 8.5 (with straight 9’s in Listening and Reading). As a winner of our IELTS results competition Sai had a chance to share her best tips with everyone, and she said:

Band 8.5 in IELTS“I feel honoured considering that I’ve scored high though for me this was the first time taking the IELTS exam. I’ve practised on my own using the practice materials available on and they helped a lot.

Below are some strategies I’ve used and hope would be helpful to others as well:

1. The first and foremost tip I would suggest is that one must love learning English if they want to do well in the exam. It’s also important to know the test pattern beforehand. “Practice” is the key to success. Make sure you know the instructions and follow them precisely, long before the exam.

2. For the Listening section: One must get used to listening to the English language and actually understanding it. This is only possible with lots of practice as the audios are of various dialects/accents. Personally, I didn’t find much difference between varied accents. Practice with as many tests as you can. On the test day, relax and tune in. Do not worry about understanding every word. Just listen to the audio and be quick to write down the answers on the question paper first.

3. For the Reading section: Practice. Analyse your mistakes and try not to repeat them in the next practice test. There are many strategies for good performance in the reading part. Try each one and know which one works for you.

4. For the Writing section: Lots of practice is quite essential. Know the word limit for the two tasks and practice likewise. Take care not to write below the mentioned word limits in the respective tasks. You lose marks otherwise. Your handwriting must the legible and neat. Grammar, spelling and the content – all are evaluated. Look for a pattern of writing that looks good and works for you. There are many useful youtube channels that telecast videos on writing section like ielts-blog and others.

5. For the Speaking section: Don’t let nervousness get to you. You must not appear reluctant during the test or answer in very few words. You need to give long and relevant answers. This can only be achieved by practising speaking in English so that you can answer the questions spontaneously.

6. Last but not the least – time management is important in all the four sections.”

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