My IELTS Score Band 7
First of all, there are so many free IELTS preparation sites with abundant material available online and it’s a shame that I’ve only found some of them in the last minute before my test date. So I really encourage you to study at least for a good 2 months before the test. For reference I only study hard for about 3 weeks before the exam.
After trying out IELTS and got overall band 7 myself, I think it’s only right to share some of my tips and tricks on how to get IELTS band score 7 for free. Also if you notice, I got band 6 for both Writing and Speaking section, so I’m also going to open up about mistakes to avoid before and during the test based on my experience.
So, below is some of my favorite sites for studying each section in the IELTS test and hopefully it can help you. Good luck!
Listening is probably something that I enjoy doing the most when I’m learning English and it’s also one of the section that I confident to do well after reading. The reason is because I watch movies and vlogs in YouTube pretty much everyday. Because I learn listening the most (since I enjoy it the most), as expected there are many good sites that I recommend to you.
- IELTSLiz Listening. I learn so much from this website for each section. But I particularly like the listening section lesson. This sites, particularly this section, contains tips, video lessons, and audio practice lessons.
- TEDed Video. There are tons of animation videos with a variety of topic to practice your listening ability on wide range vocabularies. What I like the most is there are questions you can try to answer in each video. It’s so much fun to learn from this website. There’s a CC button where you can see the script if you can’t hear certain words.
- BBC Podcasts. I don’t know if it’s just for today, but the BBC Podcasts website is down at the moment. But you can always find another podcasts website easily online. Anyway, a podcasts website is a site where you can listen to news, drama, or conversation in English. There’s no script available so you must listen very carefully.
Reading English is already part of my life. I hardly ever read anything in Indonesian anymore because most of the time I read news only from international sites. So even though I’m not in the native level yet, I’m pretty confident about my reading skill. And this is my favorite site and way to learn.
- IELTSLiz Reading. As expected I also learn a lot from the reading section in IELTSLiz website. This site will help you prepare for different types of reading question, which apparently there are a lot. It’s so helpful.
- Another thing that I do is to read difficult materials such as scientific journals from many different areas. This help me to grasp hard vocabulary by guessing the meaning quickly.
So, I actually pretty confident about my writing skill since I’m a blogger with more than 5 years experience on writing in English. But, I made a huge mistake during the test! I warn you all to make sure that you write you essay on the right paper. There are 2 papers that will be given out during the writing section, 1 for TASK 1 and another for TASK 2. You can’t write essay task 1 in TASK 2 paper or the opposite. I did it anyway, so I threw away a good 20 minutes to rewrite the answer and erase the one on the wrong paper. Please do not repeat the same mistake as I am.
- IELTSAdvantage Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2. Of course IELTSLiz also provide good lesson, but I follow the writing lessons in this website a lot better.
Another mistake that I made is that I only practice writing once! Yes once before the actual exam. It’s always good to practice especially with given question since there are so many types of question in this section as well. Again, do not repeat my mistake and I’m sure you can do well.
Finally, it’s the part that I fear the most, speaking. English teacher always said, “To be able to speak well, you have to listen well.” And I do listen well, it’s just I don’t practice my speaking that much. There are actually ways to practice speaking which I don’t do because I learn speaking probably only 3 days before the test date. But I’ll tell you in a second. So, can you see my biggest mistake? It’s that I tackle the things I hate the most in the end and at the last minute. That’s never good.
- IELTSLiz Speaking. There are tons of materials to study there and if you go over all of them, I’m sure you can get a high score. I fail to do so and only learn about a third of them. So, you can judge how great you’ll do if you really work on things I fail to do.
- IELTS Network. This is one of the IELTS forum that I follow before my exam. You can post your speaking audio in the forum and get feedback from friends and admin there. I didn’t do it because I sort of time so please don’t do that. Prepare the most challenging section the longest, not the shortest.
Also another tips before speaking section, make sure to clear your state of mind. I have a mental breakdown after make a mistake in the writing section and fail to calm myself. That’s why I don’t go over speaking material and go directly to the speaking test. But, I forgot that in speaking test I need to show off my vocabulary and grammar. So even though I speak quite fluently, I can’t get higher score.
So that’s all the IELTS preparation website, forum, tips, and tricks that I can share with you all. Just take your time to learn, make sure to learn very thoroughly, and I’m sure you can do well. Good luck!