And the long-awaited moment arrived when you enter your passwords on the British Council website and get the score you needed: the long-awaited band 7. In our case, we got it the first time, although we lacked strategy so much in Writing as in Speaking. We thought that the better the level of English, the better the result (as something obvious) but in this exam, this is not true at all.

Our writing is usually our strong point, but just look at the scores of a friend of mine to see how important strategy is:

Listening8.5
Reading 7.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.5
Overall: 7.0

And as you learn from mistakes, here is a list of common mistakes that we can make due to lack of foresight and that makes many have to take this exam a second time despite having enough level to get their band.

Score scale

Once each section has been scored, the average of the four components is calculated and rounded to a full band (5.0, 6.0, 7.0…) or a half-band (5.5, 6.5, 7.5…) between 0 and 9. For example, if your mean is 6.25, it will round to 6.5, and if it is 7.75, it will round to 8.

In the following table, you can see how each band is interpreted:

Skill levelSkill level
9Expert userThe user presents a total control of the language. His use of English is appropriate, fluent and accurate, and his understanding is absolute.
8Very good userThe user has full control of the language with some inaccuracies and errors. You can misinterpret concepts in a specific case, but you handle complex argumentation.
7Good userThe user has operational control of the language, although there are occasional inaccuracies. Can handle complex vocabulary correctly and understand detailed reasoning.
6Competent userThe user has an effective control of the language, although there are some inaccuracies or misunderstandings in some situations. It has a fairly complex vocabulary.
5Modest userThe user has partial control of the language and understands the meaning in most situations, but makes many mistakes.
4Limited userThe user presents a basic competence in familiar situations. However, he does not have the ability to use complex vocabulary and presents comprehension and expression problems.
3Very limited userThe user understands the meaning only in very familiar situations.
2Intermittent userThe user has great difficulty understanding the spoken and written language.
1No userThe user has no ability to use the language, except for some isolated words.
0User did not answer any questions / Did not perform the testThe exam is not gradable.

The path to achieving your ideal score is closer with our advice. We offer the most complete and effective training for the preparation of the IELTS and OET tests in English and other foreign languages.

Let’s proceed:

Speaking: lack of coherence:

We are speaking is usually quite fluent but we were very chaotic. The two minutes they gave me in part 2 to prepare the speech, we have spent more thinking solid opinions than building a coherent text. This was the worst mistake. The examiner said “Try using comparative structures“. In fact, many of the examiner’s questions lead you to use them: when do you prefer to work? What times are you most productive?

We hardly used any… this is when you can use “much better”, “easier than“, “twice as much as”, “more comfortable“… learn a few… don’t forget the “then“, “as well as this “Or” however, are easy structures and that although we know, we can forget if we focus 100% on the content of our opinions and not on how. We think if we had used these structures, it could have raised our score a lot.

I also did not understand a couple of questions from the examiner. Just opt ​​for a: sorry, can you repeat, please? We think they do not penalize if we understand them the second time since you simply may not have expected the question or it was a word that failed you. You can choose to ask for the question to be more specific to hide what you have not understood. We opted for the fast track since as the examiner usually interrupts you to ask, we think it is understandable that if we are speaking, the question escapes us.

Online IELTS coaching classes are demanding, yet it is simple in 2021. Giving a general suggestion is not very helpful unless your strength and weakness are diagnosed in the different sections of the required tests, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You need to keep your efficiency level high enough so that your average score is higher than 7 or 7.5.

However, we can give you general advice so that you are more prepared for your exams. Take some standardized tests to find out where you lack the desired standard. What kind of mistake lowers your grades in any section? Get evaluated or seek professional help for the evaluation.

Take care of the required grammar so that you can write correct English in the writing section. Reviewing the required grammar helps you get better grades in reading, listening and speaking as well.

If you have little knowledge of vocabulary, you can choose a good book published especially for #IELTS by some international publishers or by Cambridge University Press, who have been involved in the publication of workbooks and test materials.

You need more practice in the writing section because it is not only a test of your English knowledge, but it also tests your creativity and innovative thinking. You can improve this part with some expert advice and books in the field. You also need to know the common mistakes in English so that you can get a good grade when you don’t make mistakes in the writing and reading sections.

The reading section is also crucial to raise your grades to a desirable level. Applicants do not score well in this section due to a lack of practice and knowledge of the grammar to fully understand the passage before answering the passage questions.

If you feel weak listening, you should listen to some videos on YouTube in addition to listening to BBC News. It will help you know how to pronounce a particular word or how they speak English.

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