Yesterday we posted about Kingsley’s success in raising his IELTS score, and the first part of his advice to other test takers (read it here). Below you will find the rest of his tips.
The reading section is one of the frustrating areas as time is usually the problem. My score was Band 5.5, then Band 6.5 and then finally Band 7.
You do not have to read the passage to understand its content entirely, but you have to know what you are looking for. I discovered that questions that required filling in the gaps are usually located in one paragraph and they usually follow a chronological order thus saving me a lot of time.
To save time, if you see any of these questions in the reading section, try as fast as you can to locate the right paragraph and to complete these questions first as its answers can be copied from the text in to the spaces. This will save you much time to crack your brain solving the true, false and not given questions. These questions take much time to understand the context of the paragraphs. Please remember to read the instructions and not to fill more or less than the required number of words.
Do not panic as it will make you read but understand. Also, the passages and the answers usually try to test your ability in words that are synonyms.Try as much as possible to enrich your vocabulary by listening to English news and reading newspapers like “The Economist”. Furthermore, if you don’t know a word, read the whole sentence and hopefully you can guess its meaning.
Always aim at getting the highest score. Many students will say “I need just a 5.5 for my university” and so they will not have that enthusiasm to prepare hard, only to discover that they are spending their money and not achieving their objectives. Time waits for no man, and opportunities may come just once.
I had Band 6, then Band 6.5 and then Band 7
The Target Band 7 book is recommended to all test takers. It has all the tricks and advice. Paragraphing, and the use of connective words is very important. Make short simple sentence – not long and complex statements as they are boring to read. Repetitions will drag you down (for example the use of ‘and’ too many times to link sentences).
Look at other essay samples that scored band 8 or 9 and try to study them, but please do not copy them, as you will definitely go off topic while reproducing them. Look for someone to read your essays. Thinking that you are doing your best when you really get no progress is just like driving an old car that drinks much petrol but does not move. This was my major problem.
I had 7.5, then 8 and then 7.
To me the speaking was the section I loved the most. I know many people will think otherwise. My advice is to let the examiner see that you are putting your best effort in speaking as they know its not your first language.
Do not be terrified or anxious as they are trained to be very friendly. The cue card questions that take 2 minutes of speaking are very important. To avoid running out of words, always plan by answering the following questions:
where did this happen
who was involved
how did it happen
when did it happen
When you plan in this way, you will be able to talk for a longer period rather than getting stuck after 30 seconds of speaking.
Good luck, dear friends.