When it comes to doing well in your IELTS exam, a band 7 is a score that many students aspire to. Not only will it help with getting your visa and securing a place at a prestigious university, but it is a great indication of the hard work you’ve put into developing your fluency in the English language.
Achieving a great score in your IELTS exam can take you all over the world and will certainly open a great many doors for you in the future.
Here’s how you can make the most of your IELTS exam preparation to help you score that elusive band 7.
There’s no doubt about it, practice and preparation is key to helping you achieve the grade you want in your IELTS exam.
If you can, you should do as many practice exams as you can until you’re scoring the grades you want. Not only will this give you valuable experience in the kind of questions you’ll get, but it will really boost your confidence.
The IELTS Academic exam consists of tests in writing, reading, speaking and listening, and is designed to assess your understanding of academic language as well as your readiness to begin your studies.
Read on to discover our top tips for scoring well in each of the four sections.
This test takes around 30 minutes to complete. During the test you’ll have to listen to recordings of 4 native English speakers and then answer a series of questions in writing. You’ll be tested on your ability to understand both general and detailed information, understand opinions and attitudes, as well as to follow the ideas in an academic speech. Your listening test will take place on the same day as your writing test, with no breaks between them.
There are a total of 40 questions of varying difficulty levels and, to score a 7 or above, you’ll need to answer at least 30 correctly.
The academic writing test will last 60 minutes and covers two tasks. You’ll need to be able to summarise data, explain or describe information in your own words, explain how something works, as well as writing an essay in response to an argument or point of view. You must write in a formal, academic style for this test.
To score a 7 or higher, you’ll need to ensure that you answer the questions fully and that your spelling, grammar and punctuation is excellent. You’ll also score top marks for properly planning and structuring your essays, so planning out your answers quickly before you start writing is key to staying on-topic and achieving top grades.
Lasting around 11-14 minutes, the speaking test is in three parts and will be recorded. The first section will focus around subjects personal to you, such as your family, interests, work or studies. You will then have to speak about a topic and answer a few questions and, finally, you’ll be asked more in-depth questions about the same topic to show your ability to discuss more abstract ideas.
To score highly make sure you speak more than the examiner, be as expressive and fluent as possible, and communicate your ideas and opinions well. You don’t have to use complicated words, but you should demonstrate your ability to communicate and answer quickly without having to think too long about what you want to say.
Lasting 60 minutes, there are 40 questions separated into three parts in this test, which is designed to test a wide variety of reading skills. You should expect to be examined on skimming, reading for general understanding, and understanding a logical argument, as well as your ability to interpret the attitudes and opinions of the writer.
You’ll need to get a minimum of 30 correct answers in order to score a band 7 or above.
Now all that’s left to do is to wish you the best of luck!