Band score 8 in writing – grammatical accuracy

This is the first of a series of lessons in how to achieve band score 8.0 in writing. It used to be the case that 7.0 was pretty much the highest requirement, but times change and now it is not unusual for certain institutions/employers to ask for 8.0. I certainly get a number of queries on this. So how do you do it? Can it be done? Don’t need 8.0? Read on – you still need to do the same things – only to a slightly lower level.

In this first lesson, I take you back to basics and explain a little about the marking of IELTS and then focus on one aspect in particular: grammatical accuracy.

Test yourself first

Here’s the test. Read this essay (written by me). It’s pretty good, but every sentence contains one mistake. That means it’s not good enough. Your job is to find the mistakes.

In today’s material world, we are inundated with variety forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us to spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays many diferent ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers. If, for example, you were watching a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influence by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how regulating advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of the advertising. This means we need to use our commonsense when we go to the shops, and ask us whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected about too much exposure to advertising. this can mean explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be being encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

 

See the mistakes

Notes

I don’t expect you to get all of these. You’re a teacher if you do. But:

  1. as you read through, notice the different types of mistakes it is possible to make. It is not all about verbs and tenses.
  2. it’s a hard task for two reasons. Firstly, you are reading quite a long piece of writing. Secondly, I wrote it and you didn’t. That should make you consider the ideas of checking your writing as you go and making your own checklist of mistakes that you make.

In today’s material world, we are inundated with various forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us to spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by an advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of advertising. This means we need to use our commonsense when we go to the shops and ask ourselves whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected from too much exposure to advertising. This can mean simply explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

Step 1 – understand the rules of the game (the band score criteria)

The first step must be to understand how the writing is marked. If you don’t do that, your chances are much reduced. Let me explain. Native speakers sometimes have to take IELTS too. They don’t always do so well and occasionally embarrass themselves by not getting a band 8 score. Why? Are they not:

Band 8 Very Good User
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

Of course they are. They simply haven’t understood the rules of the game. The rules are like this.

  • Writing is marked according to 4 criteria (lexical resource/grammatical range and accuracy/coherence and cohesion/task response)
  • You get a score out of 9 for each of these and then the marks are averaged to give you your final score
The reality is that if you get much less than 8.0 in any one of those criteria, it becomes much harder to get a final 8.0. Your aim has to be to get 8.0 in each criteria. If you don’t, you probably need to improve your score in the other criteria – tough.

Grammar – it’s about range and accuracy

This is what it says about grammar.

uses a wide range of structures
• the majority of sentences are error-free
• makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies

One point to note is that it is not just about how many mistakes you make. You also need a wide range of structures too. I will explain more about that in a later lesson.

The majority of the sentences are error-free

This means that if your essay has around 15 sentences ( a good number), then you probably need to write about 10 entirely correct sentences. That means no mistakes.

Makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies

In a way, this is another way of saying the same thing. You need to write in such a way as the examiner is surprised when you get something wrong.

How can you achieve this? Learn to check for mistakes

The one thing that will not work is writing very simple language and only concentrate on not making mistakes. You need to a range of grammar too remember. What it does mean is:

  • you almost certainly need a teacher to check your writing and tell you where you make mistakes
  • you need to build a checklist of the type of mistakes you make – most people have their “own” mistakes and it also makes sense to concentrate on common bits of grammar like “countables” and “uncountables” as you will use these in every sentence.
  • you need to understand that grammar is more than just verb tenses: it includes things like word order too
  • you need to learn to check your own writing (my personal suggestion is that you don’t leave this to the end of the essay when you are tired, but you check as you go)

How can you achieve this? Think before you write

As a teacher, I find that a large proportion of students mistakes are made not because they don’t know the grammar, but rather because they got the writing process wrong. They write. They stop. They think. They write again. The first bit of the sentence is okay and so’s the second bit. It’s just that the two halves don’t match. You may be surprised by how many mistakes you avoid by knowing how you want to end the sentence before you start writing it.

How can you achieve this? Use plain English

I said above that you should not use too simple English. That is true. What is also true, however, is that it makes sense to avoid complicated English as well – it is only likely to cause more mistakes. This is not just good advice for the exam, it is good advice for life too (Macmillan dictionary page and Michael McCarthy a leading academic).

Some basics for writing plainer English

  • avoid long, long sentences (20 words is a long sentence, unless its structure is very simple)
  • don’t forget the basic S-V-O structure of English and think word order (many mistakes in more complex sentences happen when the subject gets separated from the verb)
  • try verbs instead of abstract nouns where you can
  • be careful with relative clauses and other complex structures (one relative is more than enough for each sentence)
  • try and formulate the whole sentence in your head before you start writing. If you can’t, it may be that the sentence is not complex but complicated – not a good thing

How can you achieve this? Avoid complicated ideas and writing too much

There are no marks in IELTS for quality of ideas. They need to be relevant to the question, but that is all. It really makes no difference if the examiner disagrees with your thoughts. Many candidates who are aiming for a high score (perhaps because they are smart), try to show off with great ideas.

  • Problem – you have 40 minutes and you are writing in a second language.
  • Bigger problem – if you try and write something “clever”, there is a good chance that your language will become over-complex and you will make mistakes you didn’t need to.
  • Point to consider – the more you write: the more likely you are to make mistakes and the less likely you are to have time to check
  • It’s a language test: always remember that.

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61 Responses to Band score 8 in writing – grammatical accuracy

  1. alia December 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Dear dominic,
    really it is my problem that I cann’t control the flow of ideas in my head.
    so that I go so far with my writing and forget all about the main purpose.
    The net result is too long essay with many mistakes in spite of I have some what good English.
    I try to overcome this defect as possible.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole December 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

      Thank you for this comment. I forgot to add something to the article – fewer words means fewer mistakes. Good point.

      • Rao December 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Hello sir,I’m very happy to say that it’s a great blog.I have got 5.0 in writing last two times and overall band score is only 5.5.Iam truly disappointed.Actually,I require 6.5 or 7.0.Please help me.

  2. Tamm December 20, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Hi Dominic. Would you mind sharing how to get a band score of 9? I’d like to have your guide through my way to a band 9. I need tips from you on writing and speaking in particular. I really appreciate it if you could write more on how to score a very high band. I’ve been a big fan of your site; it’s really cool. I’m really happy you recently have regular (everyday) updates! Big up to you, Dominic!

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole December 20, 2011 at 5:02 am #

      Band score 9!!! Please tell me no on has asked you for that. Many IELTS teachers (and I include native speakers and myself there) could fail to get 9.0 in reading and listening – simply because you can make at most 2 mistakes.

      Regarding writing, I intend to write around 6/7 articles on this theme – looking at how to produce high quality writing.

      • Malinda Adikari January 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

        Hi Dominic,

        I did achieve 9.0 for reading and 8.0 for listning, but I’m still trying to get 7.o for writing and speaking. My exam is on next week. Can you please email me any last minute advice. It will be a great motivation for me.

        Thank you,

        Malinda Adikari

    • rafi December 24, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      hi.
      dear. i searched alot of sites for explained graphs of ielts tasks one. i didnt find any authentic explanation.so please help in this regard. show sites and details.

      • Avatar of Dominic Cole
        Dominic Cole December 31, 2011 at 11:16 am #

        I aim to update my “directory” in the near future and make it as user friendly as possible.

  3. Soo December 20, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    Dear Dominic,

    I really enjoy your whole articles and appriciate about that. They are extremely useful, practical and helpful. but I have a question about this explanation.

    One of those grammatical mistakes you explained is getting rid of “the” here in sentence “to control other forms of the advertising”.
    I’ve always confused like this grammar and I don’t know exatly when “the” is needed and when it isn’t needed. Could you explain me about this? Please.

    Best regards,

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole December 20, 2011 at 5:15 am #

      No quick answer available really. “The” may be one of the first words you learn in English, but it is one fo the last words most people master. Here is a rough guide that should help you avoid many mistakes. You need to decide whether what you are referring to is specific or general.

      If it is specific, then you need to use “the”: eg “the chairs in the room”.
      If though the idea is general, then you don’t use “the” – “most students need chairs”.
      An exception to this is when you write about a whole class of things: “The computer has become an essential item in all houses.”

      An alternative explanation (found in some books) is that the first time you mention something it is “a”, after that it becomes “the”. This “rule” sort of works, but certainly not always and is really just another way of explaining about specific and general.

      I should also add that perhaps the most common “article” mistake is not to use an article (a/the) or a word like an article (this/that) with singular countable nouns. That simply isn’t possinle in English.

      “I caught bus” must be wrong. What you need to decide is whether it was “a bus”(any old bus) or “the bus”(the one you meant to).

      Clearer? It is a tough piece of grammar.

      • Soo December 21, 2011 at 5:56 am #

        Thank you so much for your explanation. “specific or general” is helpful for me.

  4. sunita December 20, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    dear dominic
    i am new reader ,however i am learning really new things from your blogs . i would like to say thanks a lot

  5. Alessandra December 20, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Dear Dominic,
    I can’t understand why you need to add “to” to this sentence (I’m referring to the piece of writing you posted here to test grammar inaccuracy):
    The first point to make is that advertising does make us TO spend money we do not need to.
    In my opinion it should be:
    The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to.

    Can you please clarify? Otherwise, good post, thanks!

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole December 20, 2011 at 7:48 am #

      Aaaaagh. I’m an idiot. You are of course quite right – I simply altered the wrong version in the lesson (thankfully the original essay I published had the right version).

      The correct version is “make us spend”. I wanted to include this bit of grammar, partly because it is one of those grammatical structures that challenges even the highest level students and partly because it is fairly high frequency; you have a decision to make every time you combine two verbs. Is it “to” or “ing” or “nothing”, and what do you do with the object? Much of the difficulty is that the grammar seems so random:

      it encourages us to spend but it makes us spend.

      Apologies again.

    • Sarwan February 19, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Is it ‘we do not need to’. Or ‘we need not to’

  6. zeeb December 21, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    Dear Dominic,

    It’s brilliant to have this topic, indeed! Easier for us to assess how close/far we are from band 8.Thanks.

  7. jiss December 22, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Dear domenic please post more about task 1 .could you please give graph’s skeleton? thank you somuch for your wonderful blog….

  8. Teju December 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Dear Dominic,
    I really enjoy and its worth reading your article and updates. The problem is at the time of writing essays all the ideas get jumbled and can’t use the relative clauses but am trying hard to be organized. Thanks for your blog and updates.

  9. Sasha December 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Thanks for this lesson. I hope you could post some pointers on how to create GT letters soon.

  10. jiss December 23, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    hi dominic, today my result came.i got 7 for 3 modules..and got only 6 for writing….this is my third attempt, i need 7 for all modules…..why my writing score always the same…..i followed yor pattern this time but i got just 6.you know one thing during my first exam i could not even complete half essay …second time some how i managed to finish on time and this time i did everything correctly..(.all the time my writing score is 6)……what could be the reason ?

  11. jiss December 23, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    hi dominic, today my result came.i got 7 for 3 modules..and got only 6 for writing….this is my third attempt, i need 7 for all modules…..why my writing score always the same…..i followed yor pattern this time but i got just 6.you know one thing during my first exam i could not even complete half essay …second time some how i managed to finish on time and this time i did everything correctly..(.all the time my writing score is 6)……what could be the reason ?
    thank you somuch for your superb blog

    • jiss December 27, 2011 at 3:47 am #

      please replay me

  12. alia December 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Dear Cole,

    Happy new year, and merry chrismas

    alia

  13. alia December 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Dear Cole,

    in the first line of the above post can we say “we are inundated with variable forms of ad.”

    instead of “variety forms of ad.”

    Thanks

    alia

  14. Ardeshir December 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Dear Sir,
    I really appreciate all your effort to give help to IELTS applicants. As an instructor, I should let you know that I personally like everything above.
    Yours sincerely,
    Ardeshir Akbari Ashrafi
    Author of “All What You Need for IELTS”
    ISBN: 9786005870510

  15. jiss December 26, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    DEAR DOMINIC HAPPY NEW YEAR…..MAY GOD BLESS YOU……..AND YOUR FAMILY……….
    THANKYOU………..

  16. jijeesh m v December 26, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    hi Dominic, i like it very. you are great and i learned many things form this. however, i need a liile more explanation about other 3 criterias which are included for evaluation.

  17. CINDY December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi Dominic,
    Thanks so much for this site.I sat for the general module and made the following:
    listening 7,reading 6.5,writing 8,speaking 8.
    I really thank God for making you an instrument in guiding people in Ielts.

    Have a blessed new year.

  18. TheIELTSSolution December 27, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    Hi,

    This really a good practice exercise for everyone who’s into IELTS writing. I guess everyone will love this post. And, one more thing, I agreed with what you’ve said in your post that, its really hard to find mistakes on the essay simply because you wrote it and I didn’t and that should make me consider the ideas of checking your writing as you go and making your own checklist of mistakes that you make is completely or apparently different from mine. You really did great on this, keep it up! TheIELTSSolution.com

    Thank you.

  19. marveltracker December 29, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Dear Dominic,

    I have been doing IELTS several times, however i got 6.5 for writing most of the times.I need 7 for my writing, though.Whenever, I try to improve my writing skills compare to previous attempts, although I got 6 for writing. I’m a new comer to your blog and it seems to be fabulous. Please tell me where to start preparing for writing according to your blog and Could you please guide me on this ? Thanks in advance

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole December 29, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      The best advice is always to get a teacher to look at your writing first but in a way you could go again almost at once with those scores. My best guess is that you got a penalty for your writing on task response – as there is such a large difference between that and your other scores.

  20. ashik December 29, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    Dear Cole,

    I got 8 at reading, 7.5 at speaking, 7 at listening but 5.5 at writing. :( I did follow your lessons. :( Can you please suggest me how much time should I take before sitting for the exam again?

  21. Narendra January 3, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    Thanks for providing this platform for discussion. Is it possible for you to rate one of my writing task 2 ? I am preparing for IELTS General.

    Regards,

    Narendra

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole January 3, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      Apologies. I simply don’t have time – life is only so short.

      • Narendra January 3, 2012 at 9:16 am #

        Thank you so much for you prompt response.

        Narendra

  22. Yann January 6, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    Hello dominic,

    My ielts test is tomorrow. I only found about your website today though…
    One last minute question if you don’t mind. If I finish my reading test earlier and all the checking is done, will I be allowed to start the writing test immediately? I could do with a bit more time in the writing part of the test.
    Brilliant website. Thank you.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole January 6, 2012 at 5:43 am #

      No, in a word.

      I’d add that the most efficient way to do the exam is to use all the time you can. If you finish early, you are probably going too fast – unless you get 100% of course. Best of luck and let me know how it goes.

  23. steve June 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Hello Mr. Dominic Cole I have lot problems to to ilets sir, can u please help me out i really appreciate for that if u’ll help me out..
    Brilliant website
    Thank you..

  24. Lee July 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Hi Dominic,

    Thanks heaps for this article. I aim at band 8, and am pretty sure I can achieve that score in listening and reading but not that sure when it comes to speaking and writing. This article does give me some indication of what band 8 level writing is like in terms of grammatical accuracy.

    However, I think I have found a typo. Under the section How can you achieve this? Learn to check for mistakes, the last sentence should be “What it does mean is” instead of “What is does mean is”.

    I was so surprised when I found it. You surely “write in such a way as the examiner is surprised when you get something wrong.” :)

    Thank you again for all these awesome IELTS lessons! Please keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Lee

  25. Arlene November 12, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Dominic,

    Your blog is a godsend! If i do well on my exam on the 17th, i will update you ;-)

  26. Li December 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi Dominic,

    First of all thank you very much for your excellent website. Your advice is very helpful. I would like to ask how long it takes to increase the writing and speaking bands from 7.5 to 8. I will take an Ielts test on 12 January, which is 5 weeks away. I have had a good score in reading and listening (8.5) but I am a bit worried about the other two because sometimes its harder to get an additional 0.5 if you know what I mean.

    Thank you very much for your work again.

    Regards,

    Li.

  27. Li December 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Sorry I just would like to add this: which way do you think it is best for me to improve my speaking and writing skills from 7.5 to 8?

    Thanks.

    Li.

  28. Neel March 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Hii,dominic.
    Just read your whole lesson about writing.And it’s really good.I have already given IELTS once.I got only 4.5 bands in writing but that didn’t affect me.Now I am applying for higher education and I must get 5.5 in writing.So my question is would u still recommend me a teacher or study on my own?
    Thank You.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole March 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Okay. Just looking at the language in this comment makes me think that 4.5 in writing was a poor score for you. I always recommend a teacher just to give you an informed opinion about what you should do next.

      A “teacher” can be someone you know and trust to give good advice about YOU and YOUR English. The problem with this site 9and other sites) are that they are general. I don’t who you are and so I can’t really give you advice.

      It’s also a question of confidence though. Do you know what you should do next? If you have a good plan, then you can carry on by yourself.

  29. Neel March 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Thank You very much for your reply Mr. Dominic.
    I am living in UK,going to apply in a university for September intake.My IELTS exams are in June.I just need help in writing as I don’t have problems in other 3 modules/subjects.The only choice I got at the moment is search the internet, buy some books and study.So that’s my situation.

  30. Neha Mishra March 29, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    I closely went through your site and I really appreciate your work.

    Sir, my post in this site make this obvious to understand that I am willing to clear IELTS that to
    with a good band. I want to appear for it after a month but my major hazard on way is weak grammar and poor vocabulary. I request you to tell me the best source for improving both of my weakness.

    I desperately request you to help me on this.

    Thank you.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole March 29, 2013 at 8:18 am #

      Oooof. The problem is that both grammar and vocab take time. This is a generalisation but it is normally/often easier to improve skills (fluency/coherence/task response etc) more quickly.

      My most practical suggetsion is to identify your exact problems. Most people have their own problems (often from their native language). If you know exactly what problems you have, then you have a much better chance of solving them. Your problem is that you may not know wjat these are. This is where teachers come in – and why I have my teachers page.

      I will be posting the details of a new teacher tomorrow and also suggesting what I think are the best books/sites on Sunday – both those posts may help.

      • Neha Mishra March 29, 2013 at 9:42 am #

        I completely agree with you sir.

        I will soon try to analyze and work upon my flaws by myself as well as with help of teacher’s page.

        Thanks for considering my request in your further posts.

        Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

        Cheers!!!

  31. loco coco April 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    hi dominic, great website but sadly i found it only today and i am taking a test on saturday…previously i only scored 5.5 in writing, and this time my requirement is way higher as i want to do masters in tesol and i want to know about the format for writing task 2, may be i failed to find it on this website, but could you please help? i’d be really grateful. this writing module just goes over my head, i am good with all other modules but writing gives me such a pain :(

  32. Hai April 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    In this sentence: ” but times change and now it is not unusual for certain institutions/employers to ask for 8.0. ”

    Here ‘time change’ should be ‘time changed’?
    Thanks.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole April 11, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      Interesting comment. You could change it, but you don’t need to. Using the present tense here shows that we are talking about a general idea – that things change with time. “Times change” is in fact a set phrase.

      If you wanted to use another tense, I’d suggest “times have changed”.

  33. fm4 May 5, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    what is border line score for general test

  34. goodsammy May 30, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    I just stumbled across your website. It looks like a great resource. However my IELTS is scheduled in a few days. My wife’s exam is due in another 2 weeks from then. Can you advise me the best way to benefit from your site in such a short time? Can I hire anybody to improve upon my/my wife’s writing and speaking skills? Is it too late?

    Thank you.

  35. Manu June 1, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    Hi Dominic…can you plz help me with academic writing.
    i got 8 band in listening & speaking but cldnt score well in writing(6) & reading(6.5)….I need 7 in all the 4 section.

  36. Preethi June 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    I am new to English language, I don’t speak much in english . My mother tongue is Telugu. I am planning to abroad Visa so i need to take IELTS, can u please guide how many days do i need to practice for the test and how many hours per day, as i am a software engineer i can’t afford 3 to 4 hrs per day. And also could you please suggest me the best sites for IELTS. I need to get total 7 in IELTS atleast.

    And one more thing i can able to do listening and reading upto some range but where as in speaking and writing i am very poor.

  37. Dan June 28, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    Sir if im going to use an upper case will it affect my score in writing?

  38. loula July 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    hey Dominic your site is the best in IELTS it is great , i just got my IELTS results it was 4 in writing and 5.5 i had good marks on all modules besides writing i wish i can get some ideas how can i improve my writing knowing that i do a lot of mistakes and i don’t write in English a lot thanks :)

  39. Ritesh November 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Dear Dominic Cole,

    I extend my gratitude to you for the wonderful piece of work you have put up on this site.

    I followed your instructions on academic reading and writing for a good 2 weeks prior to my test and it helped me a lot on how to strategise for the 2 modules, and ended up with a over all band 7.5. though writing was a let down in which I could merely manage a 6.5.

    This was 1 of the 2 sites I kept regularly referring to, and as matter of fact, didn’t even bother to go through the 30hours online course material provided by the British Council.

    A site worth a thorough read for all those preparing for their IELTS test!

    Best regards, and thanks.

  40. arif April 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    finding difficulties to achieve my desired score in reading section .
    i am quiet good in speaking , listenning and writing but reading part is killing me .dont know how to improve myself in this dept.

  41. Dash April 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Hi Dominic,

    Well I firstly want to thank you a lot!
    I am one of those who get stuck on having 6.5 in the writing section too!
    It is very depressing! just a nightmare!
    I understand that in many occasions you suggest that having a teacher would be quite helpful (as in my case)
    Although I have had a teacher online in the past and he reasured me that I can target band 7 with such writings (those I have been sending him for correction), I would appreciate if you could give any specific advice or suggest a teacher!
    I have approximately one month left before my exam date!
    It would be life changing if I could get 8 in the writing section.

    Bests
    D

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