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Preparing for IELTS on your own? These tips can help.

If you are preparing for IELTS by yourself and you don’t have access to a tutor, we’re sure you could use some extra help and support. Knowing that other people prepared in the same way and achieved good results is comforting, but learning HOW they did it can make a real difference to your own prep sessions. Today we have some advice from two such test takers, Hiren and Lasitha (they both won in our IELTS results competition).

Band 8 in IELTSHiren comes from India, he is a native Gujarati speaker who got IELTS Band Score of 8.0. He said:

“As I have prepared for IELTS on my own I think following are some things that were really helpful to me to get this result:

1. Reading is the most important part to focus on. It increases your vocabulary which in turn helps your speaking and writing capabilities.

2. You should keep track of the time that you are taking to complete every section. Notice how much time do you need to complete Section 1 in reading and how much time you have for other two sections and then plan accordingly.

3. Try completing some mock exams (at least 2-3) to get the idea of how much time you are spending to complete the whole exam.

4. For listening I have mostly focused on watching some TV series, movies and listening to radio channels (BBC Radio etc.)”

Lasitha is from Sri Lanka, his mother tongue is Sinhalese and he got the Overall Band Score of 7.5 in IELTS. Here’s what he told us about his exam preparation:

“I found this blog to be a useful source of information relevant to IELTS. I had done it thrice and was looking for 7 in each module. I found it very difficult to achieve 7 in writing and speaking.

However, I was always okay with Listening and Reading. The key in the Listening Module was spending less time on questions like phone conversation / information seeking discussion and saving it for the questions such as Map labeling and lectures etc. In the reading module, I made sure to finish the first 27 questions in 30-35 minutes and saved the rest to spend on questions 28-40, as you would get a long comprehension passage in most cases. Further, while answering questions 28-35, you may find answers for questions 36-40 as well and it will reduce your double work.

The modules of writing and speaking were really difficult for me. I believe the key to success in these two modules is vocabulary. Reading many band 8,9 essays published on this blog helped me to improve my way of writing and vocabulary. And also, doing many vocabulary exercises to get used to new words is also important.

I am grateful to the team at because without this information, I couldn’t have achieved Band 7. I will never hesitate to recommend this site to anyone in future.”

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