I cleared IELTS from British Council in July 2004. I got 8 in Speaking & Reading and 7 in Listening & Writing with an overall band score of 7.5.
Having already written on "How to prepare for IELTS to get good score", today I'll unleash some tips and tricks that should be applied in the IELTS test to get a good score.
Though all the tips are written in the IELTS books, I would mention only the key important ones.
The listening section is the first to cope up in the test. Usually, one is anxious and a bit worried in the start of the test. But then, it's quite natural. What I want to emphasize is that enough anxiety can actually ruin your listening test.......as it's just a 30 minute endeavour....and one needs to be very vigilant and mentally relaxed. For being composed in the initial part of the test, you should have enough confidence.....and that comes by enough practice and/or satisfaction with your listening skills.
(Remember, you need to be cool all the time and not get distracted if someone is coughing next to you... hahaha)
Now....there are 4 listening passages with around 10 questions in each passage.
Each passage is read once.
First of all, you are given time to read the questions.......and then the audio is played. You have to put in the answers while the passage is being played. Remember, usually the answers to the questions come in line....i.e. the answer to the first question comes first and then comes the answer to the second question.
But read and try to remember all questions before the possage is played. As I said, the answer to the first question comes first............but always remain alert to receive the answer to the second or third question first as.....you may miss the answer to the first question.
Three passages and one hour. Perhaps, I believe, that a medical person should not have all that difficulty dealing with this section......as we ppl do a lot of quick reading in our lifes.
Anyways, TIME MANAGEMENT is very important in this section. Give 15-18 minutes to each reading passage.
After each passage, copy the answers in the answer sheet. Dont keep this work for the end....you never know what will happen once time starts to dwindle.
Now there are around 13-14 questions per passage. There are different types of question: fill in the blanks, yes/no/not given, choose the best, give titles to the paragraphs.
Now, lets suppose in a certain passage, there are 4 yes/no/not givens, 4 choose the best, 3 fill in the blanks and 4 give title to paragraphs.
When you get the reading passages, always read the question first. In this section also, 99% of the time, answers come in line i.e. the answer to the first question comes first and then comes the answer to the second question.
So, when you are reading the questions, try to remember the first 2 of each variety of questions that you get.
Once you have read the questions, now start reading the passage. Remember, try to pot in the answers as you read the questions. But "title to paragraphs" questions are solved once you have fully read the passage.
Now, as I said, the answer to the first question (of each variety of questions) comes first..........but you may miss an answer.......so always try to remember the first 2 questions of each variety of questions.
In case of yes/no/not given, try to remember the first 3 questions......as may be the first 2 might not be there in the passage....(not given ones)....so the first answer you receive might be the the third one.......(not later than this).
Now, as you put in the answers, try to remember the next question of that variety as that would come next.
(Remember, time management is very important. For practice, try reading quickly and try to grasp and memorize as much as you can.)
Two tasks.....a 20 minute task and a 40 minute task.
I won't write much about this section......only the very important points that you should never forget.
Word limit......150 for the 20 minute task and 250 for the 40 minute task......is only the minimum limit. Maximum: you can write as many words as you want. This is very true.
But this is also true, that to score highly in any respect.......you should be to the point.
Now I wrote 450 words in the 40 minute task.......a sheer stupidity, because the more I wrote....the more I gave them to pick out mistakes from. Plus, I think I should have put a little more effort on my hand-writing....... it's just like AFRIDI...on its day, it can be the best......yet on other days, it's the worst.
So my advice would be......dont try to write too much more than the minimum limit & try to maintain a neat and clean handwriting.
A good introduction and a good conclusion is the key to getting good marks in writing section.
Grammar should be correct at all times. Dont try to be over smart...I mean dont try to write with a touch of complexity unless you can write with correct grammar.
Everything matters..... fluency, grammar, posture, dressing, confidence and a smile on face etc.
Remember, the examiner sitting there would only give a recommendation. The tape is forwarded to a panel of examiners later....who give marks on your conversation skills.
One important point......speed doesn't matter....what matters is fluency and good grammar. If you are speaking at a speed of 90......but you are hesitating time and again.......you are sure to lose. But if you are speaking at a speed of 20...but you are very fluent and have good grammar.....you are through.
Whenever you are asked a question......take a couple of seconds to think before you answer. In this couple of seconds, you can just give a smile to the examiner and change your posture.
That's not all what I can tell you about IELTS. Feel free to ask any other questions.
DR ALI ASGHAR