You may remember Robson Lima as one of our IELTS results competition winners, announced in February. Robson is 28 years old, he lives in Brazil and speaks Portuguese. In his winner’s interview he shared the approach that is responsible for his result – Band 7.5 in General Training IELTS. Here is what Robson wanted you to know:
“My approach towards the test was focused on practice. Before booking my test date I have begun studying English using Duolingo (for grammar reinforcement), watching movies and series without subtitles (for improving listening skills and vocabulary) and I have also enrolled in online courses on Future Learn, they offer British Council courses on IELTS and the learning of English in general.
After signing up for the test, I’ve changed to a more serious mindset and begun practicing daily using mock tests to get comfortable with the test’s format. I began doing this three months prior to the test, so every day I’ve practiced one section of the test. And here’s a tip – always try to keep record of your time during the training, in the beginning you might find it difficult to finish the tasks in the required time but, with enough practice, you’ll get the hang of it. By the way, you can download the official answer sheets on the IELTS.org website, this is very useful especially for the writing tasks where you can get the idea of how 150/250 words look in your own handwriting.
After some time I realized that I was pretty confident in the listening and reading, but I knew I’d need some help with my speaking and writing because those were my weaknesses. I used the correction service from IELTS-Blog.com to improve my writing and I really enjoyed the feedback from each correction, it helped me to see my mistakes and improve my text structure. For my speaking skills, I did some classes with a couple of teachers on Verbling.com and I think it was crucial to achieve the mark that I received. I’d recommend both services for any student who wants to achieve a better score.
To conclude, I think that the best advice I can give is find the study technique that works best for you. I’ve told you about my own experience and what worked best for me. There’s a number of blogs, YouTube channels and other sources with tips and study techniques, you should try them and find the one that suits you best. Practice as much as you can, be serious about it and focus on your goal, I’m sure you can achieve it.”