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Tips for success and lessons learnt, from 3 IELTS high scorers

There are many reasons why we love our readers and think you guys are the best, and one of those reasons is your generosity. We asked the winners of our monthly IELTS results competition to share some useful IELTS tips, and they showered us with information you can use in your own preparation.

Susmita, a lovely lady from from India, who got Band 7.5 in General Training, said:

“Thank you so much for the award. Your material was really helpful.

My advice for the IELTS candidates is:

1. Practice and practice (with the right material, of course)

2. When you are watching any English movie or reading anything in English try to do it actively. {Susmita means here don’t let your mind drift away while reading or watching a movie, you need to stay focused and try to understand as much as possible}

3. Last but not the least, always stay confident. Try to relax as much as possible before the exam day.”

Next we have Alison, who lives in Vietnam and got an Overall IELTS Band Score of 7.5 with an amazing 9 in Reading. Believe it or not, Alison isn’t happy with her score, and intends to do even better! She wrote to us about the lessons she learnt from her preparation and exam:

“I’m honoured to receive this achievement. Thank you very much for your support.

One tip that I can give is to keep practising with a plan. Knowing our own strengths and weaknesses will help a lot in improving ourselves.

Even though I have not reached my desired score, I will keep learning. I know my strengths are in reading and listening, so will keep the same level of practice and performance in these two skills. As for Speaking and Writing, I learnt that I should pause and think carefully before speaking. I should also practice more in writing, as it seems I did not spend sufficient time to practice this skill.”

And the lucky last, Phyo from Myanmar, a bright young man who got an Overall Band Score of 8.5, with two straight 9s in Listening and Reading. Phyo said:

“I came across a while ago, and found the materials very useful and encouraging.

Here is my advice for other IELTS candidates based on my experience:

For the Speaking test, the three parts are quite predictable, and you need to practise with a partner for feedback and timing. However rigid and direct the examiner may appear, you should try to have a casual conversation with them, just like you are meeting a new friend. Keep it light and natural, and smile often.

For the Reading test, my main problem was overthinking. IELTS answers are rather straightforward, and after sufficient practice you will be familiar with their pattern.

Regarding Listening sections, the answers are, again, straightforward, and even more so for technical terms. It’s important to stay calm and focused; don’t dwell on the sentences that you missed, and practice is key to familiarize with the pace of Listening recordings.”

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