Preparing for IELTS may seem like a daunting task. Check out the questions that were asked in my test and how I scored IELTS Band 8.5. Finally, do not forget to see how you can write ANY IELTS Task 2 essay easily with my UNIQUE HINTS.With little practice, you can achieve the desired band score, provided your fundamentals of the language are strong. Let me share with you a few tips and tricks of the trade.
How to study to get IELTS band 8?
Start preparing for IELTS at least one month before the test. I would suggest you to take a model test even before your preparation. This way you will get to know where you stand in this test. You can decide which section among the 4 i.e reading, writing, speaking and listening needs your attention the most. More difficult a section, more time you need to allocate to it. Personally, I devoted most of my time for writing section, as I had to learn how to write essays based on a specific structure.
How to get IELTS band 8 in writing section
This is the most difficult section in IELTS. As this requires you to learn how to write a letter/ essay with proper structure.
For Task – 1 of the writing test, you would be asked to write a letter. Learn to write the following letters and you can easily tackle any question in the first task.
- Complaint letter
- Request letter – business style
- Request letter – personal style
- Job application letter
For task – 2, you would be asked to write an essay which can be of the following 2 types
- Argument essay
- Discussion essay
For both the tasks I would strongly recommend memorizing the format of each paragraph. What are the phrases that must be used in each paragraph, connectives to join the paragraphs. This may take time, but with practice each day you will get used to it.
Practice writing initially without time set for each task. Then when you are familiar with the tasks, set the time and take the tests.
I would always write my entire answer as a quick draft for both the tasks. Then, I would re-write it neatly as my final answer. You can choose the model that suits you best. But make sure you always have time for proof-reading your answers.
Please refer to how you can write ANY IELTS Task 2 essay easily with my UNIQUE HINTS, which can help you write any essay easily.
How to get IELTS band 8 in listening section
This requires you to pay utmost concentration to audio and at the same time fill up the answers. Do not divert your attention even for a fraction of a second.
Utilize the time which is given to you before the audio starts or when the sample audio is being played to skim through the blanks that need to be filled. Guess what sought of questions will be asked. You will now be prepared to hear those questions on audio, once it is played. Try to read through the entire section as much as you can and remember as much as you can.
Underline important key words on the question booklet which serves as anchors to guide you through the tape conversation. If you feel lost in between the conversation, DO NOT FRET. These underlined keywords will come to your rescue and help in finding your course through rest of the conversation.
At the end of each section, in case you have not answered a few questions, try to remember what you heard in the conversation and use your common sense to guess the answers. It happened to me, when I was not sure what I heard. But I applied some reasoning, also trusted my instincts, went ahead and filled up the blanks. The first instinct that pops in your mind is always right. I am so glad it proved to be correct in my case too.
Similar to reading, pay attention to the number of words in the answer that you are expected to fill. For ex: If the answer is to be of one word, then an answer with 2 words or a word and a number will fetch you zero marks. Similarly, pay attention to singular or plural form of the answer. Incorrect spelling of word will also cause you to lose marks.
I took a lot of listening practice tests from Cambridge IELTS Student’s Book and Barron’s IELTS Books apart from the books mentioned above. At least 3 tests per day spaced out at regular intervals, as you feel drained out at the end of every test.
How to get IELTS band 8 in speaking section
This section is a breeze. I spent a meagre amount of time preparing for this section.
The first section of speaking test is just like an interview. It contains a few standard questions like where are you from? are you a student? or do you work? where do you work? etc. Be prepared for these.
The second section is where you are given a topic and asked to speak for 2 minutes. This is where you have to make notes of what you are going to speak for a minute. Approach any given topic with these 5 basic questions and quickly think of answers.
Who, what, when, why, where ?
Jot down all the thoughts that come to your mind. Make a mental note of how you are going to structure the conversation from start till the end and use these 5 W’s as your beacons along the way.
Do not stop talking for whole 2 minutes i.e till the examiner interrupts you. I had ran out of ideas some 10 seconds before 2 minutes and there was an awkward silence till the examiner spoke to me again.
The third part of the speaking test is again an interview kind of questioning so it will be easy.
I prepared mainly from the same books as above individually using a timer and also from The new prepare for IELTS book. The day before the exam, my husband played the part of examiner and conducted one model test. Just to get a hang of it.
How to get IELTS band 8 in reading section
This is the easiest section of all the four. Moreover, you get plenty of time for this section in the actual exam. So, this requires the least amount of time while preparing for IELTS.
Pay attention to the number of words in the answer that you are expected to fill. For ex: If the answer is to be of one word, then an answer with 2 words or a word and a number will fetch you zero marks. Similarly, pay attention to singular or plural form of the answer. Incorrect spelling of word will also cause you to lose marks.
The day before the exam
The day before the exam, take an entire model test in a single stretch. Stay cool and don’t waste even a single second of your exam time. All the hard work done, will pay off one day.Check out the questions that were asked in my test and how I scored IELTS Band 8.5. Finally, do not forget to see how you can write ANY IELTS Task 2 essay easily with my UNIQUE HINTS.