Below is a genuine story of Srishma Sridhar, an Indian student and one of our IELTS results competition winners in May. She only needed Band 5 to get into the medical college where she wanted to study – but after preparing in a certain way Srishma overshoot her target and got Band 8.
When I asked Srishma how she studied for the exam, here’s what she wrote back:
I owe my IELTS success to your book ‘Target Band 7’. I needed Band 5 to get into the medical college of my choice. Thanks to your book, I scored Band 8! I focused mainly on your book and website for my test preparation. I also attempted various tests from the websites mentioned in the book as well as the main website.
1. First of all, get to know more about the test itself. Understand the structure of the test, how it is divided into 4 modules, the time allotted for each module, the types of questions to expect and so on.
2. I highly recommend buying a preparation book, preferably ‘Target Band 7’. This book is the ideal tool for any IELTS test taker (I believe there’s another version for General Training as well). This book covers EVERYTHING – the different modules, how to answer the questions, how to identify “traps” in reading and listening sections, how to manage the limited time (especially for writing) and much more. I followed the 21-day study plan given in the book. I found the pocket tips quite handy as well.
3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. As they say, practice makes a man perfect. There are loads of websites out there which offer various free tests. One must practice and attempt the questions within the time limit to get a feel of how the real exam is. Also try to attempt full IELTS mock tests (all the 4 modules at once).
4. For the Speaking test – it is very important that you practice real IELTS test questions for this module. Believe me, the questions DO repeat! IELTS-Blog provides numerous such questions – do practice them. During the test, try to give creative answers…or at least just answer; do not remain mute or the examiner will think that you did not understand the question.
5. Listen to BBC or other English news channels and try to understand what is being said. Conversing with a native speaker will also help.
6. Practice. I am repeating this point because this is the only way to success 🙂
I hope future IELTS test takers will benefit from these tips. I wish everyone all the very best.”