Madhu's IELTS Band 8 Tips

Recently I received a wonderful news that one of my students had scored Band 7.5 in writing and 8 overall in IELTS. I asked her to share her IELTS preparation journey. Here's how she did it.


IELTS Band 8 (www.ieltsonlinepractice.com)

Madhu's Preparation Tips

I borrowed Barrons and Kalpan IELTS practice books from library primarily to practise reading and writing. I read a couple of books on essay writing.

I prepared for about a month or 40 days, was more active 2 weeks before the test taking at least 2 listening tests and writing 3 to 4 essays and 1 or 2 letters each day. I didn't practise reading much as I knew no tips/tricks would fit my learning style.

IELTS Writing Module Preparation

I basically had no clue about the writing section and was writing aimlessly. Luckily, I found your online IELTS Course website with the IELTS Correction service to check my essays. I worked on the introduction making it as laconic as possible, started using semi colon in my writing and eliminated extra points/ideas, as suggested by you.

A friend also gave me feedback on my writing and suggestions, such as "ideas" are important (strong and well developed ideas are more convincing), clarity is must (the writing should convey the meaning clearly), and be as concise as possible (write simple and reasonably short and easy to read sentences).  

My IELTS Writing Exam Topics

These were the writing tasks on June 1, 2019:

Writing Task 2:

Nowadays many people are moving to different countries, for work. Some people think that it's beneficial for the children in the family but some say that it makes it difficult for the children. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

I followed a 5 paragraph structure for task 2 -- Introduction, first view, second view, my opinion and conclusion. Gave one example each to support my argument. Maintained the length of body paragraphs about the same. Ensured that the next statement has some relevance with the previous in order to maintain coherence and cohesion. Started each paragraph with a sentence that clearly reflected what the paragraph was about. Used semi colon twice, once in introduction and another time in one of the body paragraphs. 

Writing Task 1

You lost your driving licence and someone returned it by mail. Write a letter to thank them. In your letter;

  • Explain why your licence is important to you 
  • Ask a few questions about how did they find it.
  • Say how you want to thank them.

In Task 1, I made a silly yet serious error. I wrote licence as license ignoring the verb and noun difference. 

Both my writings were simple and precise. 

I should have saved some time to review and edit. All I had in exam was about 2 to 3 minutes at the end and I could only review task 1. I believe I could have fetched .5 more if I could edit the essay.

Listening Section

The speech was extremely bland and fast. No pauses or modulation of voice. I could have had a better score if I focused more. 

Reading Section

I'm not a fast reader and I have to read the whole passage to understand the gist of it. So, I didn't follow any method but simply read the whole section paragraph by paragraph as per questions to find the answer. 
"Scan and skim" doesn't suit my learning style. Also, IELTS knows that students use this technique; the passages are full of traps, unless we understand the entire passage it's easy to get the answers wrong. 

First passage had some tricky points, second was the easiest and the third had kind of a middle difficulty level. I completed this module in about 54-55 minutes. The review helped me correct one answer in section 1. 

Speaking Module

Part 1

  • Do you work or study?
  • What do you do at work?Do you enjoy? Why?
  • What do you like about your work?
  • Do you like visiting local markets? Why?
  • Are there any local markets in your country?
  • Are they common? If yes, why?
  • Do you think they're important?
  • What do you enjoy the most in local markets?

Cue Card

Talk about a wrong information that was given to you. 

  • What was it?
  • When was it given?
  • What was the outcome?

Part 3

  • Do you think the information available on internet is reliable?
  • Do you borrow books from friends?
  • Would you borrow money from a friend? 
  • Would you share your phone with someone? Why ?
  • **It's not the complete list of questions, that's all I remember**

Final Thoughts

Finally, if you're aiming for 7 or more, DON'T follow just any You Tuber. I got a lot of misleading information. 
My stress caused me low score on listening. So it's important to keep worries away and focus. 
I hope this helps your other students.
I've attached my score.
I believe your IELTS course is worth it. The structure you use to mark the essay is very clear and your comments are easy to understand.

Thank you once again. 


Share your IELTS exam experience and tips in comments below

So, those were Madhu's tips and strategies. Did you just take the IELTS test? Share your tips, tricks and hacks to ace the IELTS exam.

And if you want feedback on your IELTS speaking and writing tasks, sign up for IELTS Twenty20 Online Course today!

Study 20 minutes a day for 20 days and Ace the IELTS exam.

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