If you are having doubts about whether or not your target IELTS score is achievable, I have a success story to share. This story is about Kingsley, who wanted to become a nurse in the UK.
Kingsley had a problem – he couldn’t get the four 7s in all IELTS sections. This meant he couldn’t become a registered nurse in the UK. But the desire to practice his profession was just too strong for him to give up. Since he was already getting the recent exam questions and tips from IELTS-Blog.com, he decided to use one of our recommended books in his exam preparation.
Next thing you know – we get this email from him:
I want to share my results with other members of the IELTS-blog team. My special gratitude to you for your marvelous book ‘TARGET BAND 7’, including the set of advice and internet links that you have been posting. Your book can be described as the number one solution for IELTS problems.
I finally got the score I needed in my nursing registration with the NMC in the UK of 7,7,7,7 after two attempts. However, I would like to share my advice with other test takers, just like they have been sharing with me and hopefully their dreams will come true. Thanks for you support.”
Who would say no to such request? Of course I said “YES, thank you very much Kingsley, please send your tips and I will pass them on to everyone.” And Kingsley made time in his busy working schedule to prepare a summary of tips to help other test takers improve. It took him several days, simply because there was more writing to do than he had free time between shifts.
So here are Kingsley’s tips for a successful exam preparation:
I will begin by saying to all test takers that determination and hard work are the key to success in this exam. It is an easy exam if you prepare and follow the instructions as outlined in the Target Band 7 book. I took 3 weeks to prepare and at least 2hours of study every day and wasn’t playing on facebook as it destroys your concentration.
The listening to me was always one of the back breaking sections since I always panic, lose concentration and tend to lose the sequence while listening to the recording. After I read the Target band 7 book, I got some advice on how to do it right. This greatly relieved my stress .In addition to this, the trick I realised in the listening was that you have to know what you are about to hear (very important). To do this practise at least 10 new exercises while following the instructions from the book, then you will see how it becomes easier.
Furthermore, I decided to read the questions ahead before the tape reaches that point, especially when the reader says “You have 3 minutes or half a minute to check your answers”. At this time, I concentrated on reading and underlining the keywords as fast I can in the next set of questions, to have an idea on what is to come in the subsequent paragraph. While doing this my brain already knew what is coming and was prepared to listen only to that, avoiding the distractions from car movements or industrial engines or telephone ringing tones .
The common error of many is that they become confused especially in the last section as they can not cope with the fast reading, understanding the questions and writing at the same time. So the quicker you read the question before the speaker comes to it, the better. When the recording tells you to read questions X to Y, you are reading them for the second time.
Lastly, be very careful when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet, as many have written the answer of, for example, question one in the space for question 3 due to anxiety and frustration, when they think they have lost sequence. When you miss a question, forget about it and keep on going or else you will lose many as the next passages are fast and more complex.
Your dreams will come true and your life will change with just an extra push. There is no magic in the exam but practice, practice, practice – not one exercise over and over, but different exercises. Get as many exercises from the above book and other Cambridge IELTS books on-line or from libraries as you can.
To be continued – Part 2 of Kingsley’s Success Story and tips will be published tomorrow.
Update: read Part 2 here.