IELTS 8: MY ADVICE TO A STUDENT ON ACHIEVING THIS
READING AND LISTENING:
These seem strong and I suggest you just keep doing some past test papers. If you need additional practice questions you can get them here: http://ieltsonlinetests.com/catalogue
If you make mistakes, work out why and learn from your mistakes! If you cannot understand an answer then ask me! Tell me the book, test number, question number and I will try to explain the answer to you.
The main issue to work on is fluency and the best way to deal with this are through being familiar with the test and doing lots of practice on mock tests. You can also build up stock phrases to deal with different types of questions to deal with this. Doing lots of different topics and types of questions will also help as you are likely to get some of the same questions/topics in the test and it is easier to talk about something you have already discussed in the past. The other thing is to work on having a stock of about 20 idiomatic expressions that you commonly bring out in each test. The point here is not to learn too many but instead to focus on using them! Learn from grammar feedback from your mock tests so that you can reduce grammatical errors.
As with speaking doing lots of different topics and types of questions will help you to be well prepared. You should go back through the three types of essays and make sure you can respond and structure your response correctly for each type. If you will send lots of tasks you can attempt different sub-types. For instance, with opinion essays, there is a difference between a question that asks “to what extent do you agree or disagree” and “Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.” You also want to do different topics to make sure that you have language in all these areas. For instance, I have noticed that most students struggle with the topic of crime due to a lack of vocabulary in this area.Then for task one, you also want to do all the different flavours, again, so that you can deal with anything that is thrown at you in the test.
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