Today we are delighted to introduce to you one of our IELTS Results competition winners from February, because these are the exact people to learn from – they obviously did something right! Nahid is a lovely lady from Iran, her first language is Farsi. As a child she lived in England, which would explain her perfect 9 in Speaking. Her overall IELTS score was Band 8, and when we asked how she got that, Nahid said it was “50% knowledge and 50% test-taking skills”.
So what exactly are these test taking skills, and how can they help you do better in IELTS?
“1. Interact with native speakers as much as possible and listen to how they talk and the way they use words and phrases.
2. Listen carefully and write down new words you hear (ie. in the news) and check the pronunciation and articulation. Use them for your Speaking and Writing tests.
3. Expand your vocabulary as much as you can. Don’t rely on simple and basic words. Use complex words and phrases especially in your Speaking test.
4. Take the hardest tests you can find online or in books; it’ll make any questions you encounter in the real test seem easy.
5. Familiarize yourself with different accents, especially British, American and Australian. My speaking examiner had an Australian accent and as I was familiar with the accent from childhood it didn’t stop me from getting a 9 in Speaking.
6. Don’t let the blank expression of the examiner’s face fool you, just be sure to do your best.
7. Everybody knows their weaknesses. I worked on my strengths, knowing I had a better chance in increasing my score in the fields I was already good at. There’s usually not that much time to work on core issues.
8. Take advantage of YouTube videos. There are videos for every aspect of the exam. Many of them have good information. If they sound too easy, move on to the harder ones.
9. I used IELTS-Blog.com a lot! I read other people’s tips, the exam questions and all tips and tricks in general. I can say it all helped me significantly.
10. Learning is a life-long process. I’m even more eager to expand my knowledge in English, having already taken the exam.
11. Learn as much as you can by listening and reading about subjects you enjoy. It’ll make everything so much more fun and pleasurable.
I hope everybody does their best in the exam. It’s 50% knowledge and 50% test-taking skills!
Good luck to all my dear friends.”