Today’s post is about Olga and her success in IELTS, but it’s also about you – because Olga is sharing her exam tips for you to apply them!
Olga is a lovely young woman from Russia who speaks Russian as her first language, and English as her second. We met when Olga enrolled in our writing correction service as part of her IELTS preparation. Olga got Band 8 in IELTS, with a straight 9 in Listening. She took part in our IELTS results competition last month and won the first place under General Training category. In her winner’s interview Olga shared some very useful advice – and encouragement – that will help you increase your own score in the test:
“From my perspective, the best advice is to give examiners EXACTLY what they want to see. Creativity is a rewarding thing, but isn’t meant for the IELTS test 🙂 It took me about a year to reprogram my brain and acquire and implement a new vision for the test based solely on the band descriptors.
Overall, IELTS should become a part of your everyday life while you are preparing for it.
Practice, practice, practice. At least 20 minutes a day.
Practice, practice, practice. I had BBC 6-minute English for breakfast every day and then took an IELTS listening test 4-5 times a week. If I was too tired to sit a test I watched BBC news or a movie in English. Don’t practice listening in the headphones, do your best to imitate a test atmosphere with the worst scenario when the sound is hardly heard.
I know that talking to yourself is a bit weird but it helps to pass the test 🙂 Discuss everything that you see with yourself, it’s always pleasant to talk to a good person! 😉 And do not give short answers, your opinion is important – express it!
Yes, it can be a disaster. Check the band descriptors for your desired score and act accordingly. Enrich your vocabulary with the topic-related units, practice the grammar structures which are required for the score you need, and put aside creativity. Remember, examiners are not searching for extraordinary ideas, they look for a writing task which is performed according to the scheme.
Never give up! It may sound like a common thing, but do not let laziness, confusion or apathy stop you. Instead give yourself a break after a failure, stand up again and do it!!! Like the Terminator, you know! Twice, three times, four times – as many times as needed. You can do it!”
Thank you so much Olga for sharing your tips, and we wish you all the very best!