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Preparation tips from high achievers of June 2011

It is my pleasure to share with you the tips we have received so far from the IELTS Results Competition winners in June 2011. Success and the kindness of a heart often go hand in hand – which is why these people were happy to share their tips. Quoting from their emails to us:

Pinta Punsoni (IELTS Band 8 ) said:

“Pre-exam practicing and watching movies with subtitles off were my techniques. I also listened to English music a lot and tried to translate the lyrics.”

Anastassiya Lyubich (IELTS Band 7.5) said:

“First of all, I would like to thank you for creation of such a website that helps to prepare for the IELTS test. I needed to reach at least Band 6 to study in the University, but as you can see I got 7.5!

Very helpful books that I’d been using before my test were “Target Band 7”, “101 helpful hints for IELTS”, “Improve your reading/listening/speaking/writing skills for IELTS”, as well as sample tests from real exams like IELTS 1-7.

The most important thing during the preparation as I think is practise, practise and practise. I visited special preparation course but more useful was my home practise. I’d been listening to BBC news, BBC radio on-line, CNN, Fox news, etc. I’d read a lot of articles in English and very helpful was the source with magazines in english ( – articles there are interesting and preparation by this way is not boring.

In writing as I was told the most important thing is structure, so check the right structure and organize your essay carefully. If you do so, you even don’t need to count how many words you have (because it is a waste of time on the exam). My tutor helped me to check my written essays: I wrote about 3 essays per day and then gave her to correct them. All mistakes that I’d made I wrote on a separate sheet to avoid repeating them. Very useful thing (if possible) is to look at others people’s mistakes in the writing part and analyse them.

The Speaking part was one of the hardest for me because I hadn’t many English speaking friends, and the only place where I could train my speaking abilities was my tutor’s office. We’d practised a variety of themes with her, but I got on the test an absolutely amazing theme – about… home equipment. I had only one minute to get the scheme of my answer and the drawing of it helped me very much. It takes less than one minute (that is given for preparation) but such a scheme makes up your mind! It can be in the form of a “sun” or some kind of diagram.

In my opinion, if you really want to pass the IELTS test you will do it. The 50% of your victory is your great desire to win! I wish IELTS test takers all the very best!”

Dmitry Shigabutdinov (IELTS Band 8.5) said:

“Thank you for your email, the only techniques I used were:
– Reading the guidelines about the exam carefully and thoroughly: this is very important, knowing what to expect!
– Having a good night sleep before the exam i.e. going to bed early the day before
– Having a nice breakfast and a coffee in the morning

This may sound funny, however it worked pretty well for me, I wish I could have some practice writing structured essays before the exam, then I would have probable scored higher.

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