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How to Crack IELTS with 7+ Bands

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most popular English Proficiency Tests globally. More than 3.5 million test-takers appear for this test annually in different parts of the globe. IELTS score is a mandatory entry requirement for non-native English speakers who aspire to study in or migrate to countries like the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, where English is the predominant language of communication. Some universities might provide an exception to IELTS scores, but their requirements are not consistent. Therefore, it is recommended that you appear for the IELTS test to boost your academic profile while applying to universities/organizations abroad.

As an English Proficiency Test, IELTS measures the language ability of a candidate on a scale of 0 to 9 – also known as the IELTS Band Scores. In this article, we are going to focus on how you can maximize your efforts while preparing for the IELTS and achieve Band 7 or higher.

If you follow these tried, tested, and proven strategies during your preparation, you will take all the right steps to achieve a high score in the IELTS.


1. Knowing the Test Structure:

It is important to be well-versed with the exam pattern of the IELTS if you wish to do well on the test. There should be no surprises on your test day. The table provided below shows the IELTS test format.

SectionQuestionsTimeMaximum Score
Listening4030 minutes#9 Bands
Reading4060 minutes9 Bands
Writing260 minutes9 Bands
Speaking3*11 to 14 minutes9 Bands

#Students are allowed 10 additional minutes to transfer their answers to an Answer Sheet at the end of the Listening Section in the Pen & Paper IELTS.

*The Speaking Test has 3 Parts that have different number of questions.

As you can see, you are assessed in each section separately. You get a sectional score and a total score on the IELTS. The total score is just the average of the four module-wise scores. Here are two examples:

Student AStudent B
Total Score8 BandsTotal Score6.5

In terms of rounding off, a score ending with 0.25 or higher is converted to the next half Band – i.e. a score of 6.25 will be rounded off to 6.5 Bands. A score ending with 0.75 or higher will be converted to the next whole Band – i.e. a score of 7.875 will be rounded off to 8 Bands. However, if the score is below 0.25 then the lower whole Band Score will be considered. So, a score of 5.125 will be rounded off to 5 Bands only.

IELTS has a unique structure with more than 25 question types – all accompanying their own set of challenges. Taking the time to get familiar with the format of the test will allow you to ease through the four modules of the test.


2. Choosing the Right Test Mode:

IELTS is offered in two different modes – Pen & Paper IELTS and Computer-Delivered IELTS (CD-IELTS). The test is identical in terms of the content and the difficulty level; the only thing that changes is how you appear for it. If you have good typing skills and can concentrate on longer texts on a screen, CD-IELTS would be an ideal choice for you. However, if you prefer skimming through a text in an old-school manner – underlining words and annotating – it would be better to opt for the Pen & Paper IELTS. The best way to figure out which is the right mode for you is to attempt a few practice tests in both formats.


3. Mastering Every Module:

Most of the students commit the common mistake of preparing too much for some modules and too little for others. For instance, students solve many Listening Tests as they find those interesting, but in the process, they tend to neglect the more difficult sections like Reading and Writing. To achieve 7+ Bands in the IELTS, you cannot leave any section to chance. You must pace your studies well and ensure that you focus more on the modules where you need more improvement. Here’s what you need to do to secure a 7+ Band is each module:

  • Listening – Get a minimum of 30 (out of total 40) questions correct. Listen to Podcasts on a wide range of academic topics. Focus on native English accents like British, American, Canadian, and Australian.
  • Reading – Get a minimum of 30 (out of total 40) questions correct. Develop reading habits. You can begin by reading your favourite novels and then move on to more academic content and opinion-based articles.
  • Writing – Focus on summarizing and paraphrasing skills. Develop a habit of writing error-free sentences. Ensure that you follow the correct paragraph structures for both questions.
  • Speaking – Focus on fluency and intonation. Try to include some idiomatic phrases and topic-related vocabulary in your responses. Be flexible with the use of grammatical structures.

Depending on their level of language skills, many people spend about a month preparing for all these modules. Since a high score in the IELTS is directly related to your overall command of the language, you should be prepared to revisit some basic grammar concepts, if need be. Remember that there are no short-cuts here. You must work on each module separately and test yourself frequently.

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4. Ironing Out Weak Areas:

Once you prepare a study plan and start going through all the different question types, you will realize that some questions are more challenging than others. They might require more time or skill or both. It is important to analyze every practice test and identify the question types/areas where you made mistakes. Once you have zeroed in on them, you must solve as many examples of those question types as possible. This will help you gain more confidence; as a result, you will experience improved speed and accuracy.


5. Appearing for Mock Tests:

This is where you can reflect on what you have done and whether it has benefited you. You must appear for at least 2 full-length mock tests before your exam. These must be taken under test-like conditions, where every section is timed. You must also ensure that you get your Speaking and Writing modules evaluated by an expert tutor so that you have a fair understanding of where you stand and what you need to improve.

The Final Word:
Ultimately, you need to understand that to score 7+ Bands in the IELTS, you need to start from the basics. Once you have got those covered, you must make time for practice and evaluate your level of preparedness regularly. If you need help, don’t hesitate to approach an expert tutor. If you execute this plan well, you should be able to give your best during the exam, and if that happens, you would be all set for a high score.


About the Author: 

Aashay Ghadge is an American TESOL Certified English Trainer. He has spent over 5 years teaching 4000+ students from varied cultural and educational backgrounds across China and Thailand. He also has certifications for teaching IELTS, TOEFL iBT, and PTE from exam-conducting bodies like Cambridge, IDP, ETS, and Pearson. He has been helping students succeed in these tests since 2018.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

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