Some people suffer from exam anxiety more, others less, but everyone will agree that it’s not easy to keep your cool during a test. Waleed was no different – when he started his Listening test, he felt the pressure and consequently lost concentration for a moment, but he managed to recover. He scored IELTS Band 7.5 overall, with an 8.5 in Reading, and won in our IELTS results competition. In his winner’s interview Waleed shared some great tips, so have a read and hopefully do better in your own exam!
“My best advice would be to not panic at all. I have taken IELTS twice, 7 years apart, and achieved the exact same score. I believe the reason to this is the standardization of this testing service. You get exactly what you deserve. So, there is no need to be afraid of this test or panic.
I actually felt a bit under pressure and that is natural, but just don’t let it overcome your confidence. Be confident, because you are not going to learn English in one day, one week or even a month. Similarly, the prowess of English language you already possess, is not going to go away in a matter of weeks or so. Don’t go for hundreds of practice tests, it will probably not be very productive. Instead, it may be better to watch an English movie and get entertained at the same time as learning.
What I did was 4 practice tests of each module. It takes roughly one hour to get through one practice test and you should be done. I spent just 2 hours a day practicing, and 8 days were more than enough for me to do well in IELTS.
However, it is important to concentrate and put all your focus into the test when the actual test has been started. If you make a couple of mistakes, forget about them and make sure your focus is there on the next questions. It happened with me when my concentration was not there for a split second, and I lost a statement in the Listening section. I wasn’t happy with myself, I wanted to make up for it. In the Reading section which followed, I believe the reason I got a score of 8.5 was because my focus was on a level which I myself had never experienced before. The result surely reflected that.
Lastly, I would like to say, concentrate when the test in on. But while preparing, enjoy yourself, stay calm, relax, watch movies, talk and think in English and do whatever you feel like. It will all help I guess, on the test day.
Wish all of you the very best of luck,
Waleed Tayyab Buttar”