Top Tips for IELTS

What the Olympics can teach you about IELTS

This is a guest post by Miracel Juanta of A Teacher’s Odyssey – an excellent site for learners of English generally and IELTS candidates in particular, not least for her writing makeovers where she shows you some of the things that can go wrong in essays.

Here she gives you a quick guide to success in IELTS. The tips are all good and should be carefully thought through. The comparison to Olympic athlete is a good one:

  1. get yourself a coach
  2. have a strategy
  3. train hard
  4. go for gold
  5. dream

Olympics fever is on! There are many lessons that IELTS candidates can learn from Olympic gold medalists such as Sir Chris Hoy, Brownlee, Lochte, Bolt and Phelps. As an IELTS candidate, how can you be as successful as them in attaining the elusive band 9? Let me count the ways.

1. Think of your dream.

The Olympian athletes trained so hard because they have a dream. They either want to rewrite history or they want to bring pride to their country. In the same way, you should have your own greater purpose for passing the IELTS. What is your bigger purpose? Is it your dream job? Is it a good future for your family? Whatever reason that might be, it will help motivate you especially when the going gets tough.

2. Go for gold.

All of the Olympians from different countries have only one goal in mind – the gold medal. Second best is not good enough for them. Losing is not an option. They strive for excellence and perfection. Similarly, you don’t just target a band 7 or 8. You go for a 9. You stretch yourself to the highest potential that you may have.

3. Don’t just train hard, train harder.

Why do China, Great Britain and the US lord over all the other countries in terms of medal tally? The reason is rigorous training. They have trained their athletes even at a young age. It takes a lot of discipline on their end. In attacking the IELTS, you should also have the same focus and determination. That means having a regular mental workout. You should also start early in practicing for reading, speaking, listening and writing.

4. Get a good coach.

Athletes don’t train alone. They needed mentors and coaches to get them where they are now. Coaches monitor the progress of their athletes. They make sure that their athletes are attaining their targets. They provide their athletes with motivation and moral support. You also need a good coach. You would need someone who can point out your grammar mistakes in speaking and writing. You need someone who can provide you feedback about your strengths and weaknesses in listening and reading.

5. Have a strategy.

What separates the winners from the losers? A good strategy. Excellent boxers have an offensive and defensive plan. Successful basketball teams have effective plays. Tak


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10 Responses to What the Olympics can teach you about IELTS

  1. Miracel August 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Sorry, Dominic! I forgot you’re British! Mea culpa 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity. Enjoyed writing this.

    • Dominic Cole August 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      Ah yes, I do take a slightly partisan view. My next task 1 writing will definitely feature something to do with the medals table. Though it is perhaps worth pointing out that only in 1996 GB won only one gold medal. That has leaped to almost 30 by spending vast amounts of money (not sure what that means for IELTS!) and long-term planning.

  2. Babita Rani August 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    wow such a wonderful strategy plan.
    Thanks for motivation. I really like your website because of the links you provide
    and simple explanation.
    Keep up the good work

  3. Zhabg Shaolin August 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    How do we know which coach is good? Some Ielts teachers in China cannot get Band 6 in writing after having been a ielts teacher for ten years. I like your blog very much. Thank you for your information and guidance in it.

  4. Chandra August 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Thanks for your encouraging words ….

  5. homa August 13, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    thanks for your interesting words, you encouraged me to have a plan for my studies. I am looking forward for your next advices.

    • Anonymous August 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      This is very good source for learning.also preparing for ielts exam.

  6. Mohamed August 14, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Hi Dominic

    I always be fan of GB in sports. I do appreciate athletes . I guess GB did very well in cycling and boxing and also athletics. And I really like professional matches and sports because those games give me such inspiration and remind me that to achieve your goal you have to work hard. And one interesting thing that one can link between sports and taking IELTS is failing. You see that many sportsman despite of many efforts made in former Olympic they try again and finally win. Now I see same situation in IELTS. But I really think that IELTS exam is much more unfair than Olympic Games.

    • Dominic Cole August 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      I understand what you are saying. I would tell you to keep on going. One crucial difference is that in the Olympics there is only one gold medal, but in IELTS any number of people can get that band 6/7/8. it does work in the end,

  7. Ana March 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    hello to everybody who find this amazing site useful for ielts preparation, and especialiy big hello to Dominic, a wonderful man who provide all this material for free.
    I am really fascinated that there is someone like Dominic who has devoted his time and nerves in order to help people all around the world in acheaving their goals. without Dominic’s help It will be undobtedly harder for me to continue with my preparations, especially because in 6 days I will sit for the test for the seventh time. It is really hard to explane how much grateful i am, because here, on this site I found a great motivation and strenght to move on. Thanks agin to Dominic, the person who i do not know personally, but the person i am experiencing as a family member.

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