I maxed the IELTS my experience and recommendations

Hey, Guys.

New here and wanted to share my experience. I wrote the IELTS very recently.
My wife and I prepared together, however with you contact traveling job I did not get much time to review/study. I did not take the full test either. What I did, was to take up small section tests whether I got time. This included time standing in line before boarding the flight, etc.

The community here has shared a wealth of information, and I can assure you a simple google will find you even more once you have exhausted what has been shared here.

My recommendations:

  1. Take time each day to prep. 20 - 30 mins. Take one to two sub sections each day (one section lasts for 20 mins) so easy to spend time for it.

  2. When you are doing each section, time yourself. One portion of the reading section lasts for 20 mins, so try to complete it lets say within 17 - 18 mins. This allows you to go review your answers.

  3. When doing reading, I found it useful to skim through the passage rather than read through the whole passage. Now this might not work for all, but when I skim through I look for the idea/main points that are being discussed. This allows me to return back to the exact section I am looking for answers.

  4. Listening: take plenty of tests to get used to listening for answers. Note, you can take notes on the question booklet during the exam so make sure you are efficient in taking notes or things that you find out while discussing.

  5. Writing - don’t worry about word count. My recommendation is to work on creating outlines. You have total of 60 mins during the exam. 20 for Task 1, and 40 for Task 2. Task 2 is given more importance. So learn to outline properly so that you won’t have to sit and think of ideas or how to structure your passage. This will organize your planning time and allow your passage to have a clear chain of thought.

  6. Speaking - what they are looking for is your clarity in thought and ideas. Fluency is a part of it but the tests is more of a conversation rather than an interview. Make sure you are clear as to what you want to speak about. If you use um, or ahs. Here is a tip, rather than using your um or when you are about to, just pause and clear your chain of thought to avoid the Um, or ah. This will not get rid of it completely, but will reduce it to a certain extent.

Overall, the test was a pleasant experience. Don’t worry too much with the prep. I believe 2 weeks prior to the exam is more than sufficient to prepare for the exam. 20 - 40 mins a day is sufficient to score well.

My IELTS score

Total: 8.5
Listening: 8.5
Reading: 8.5
Writing: 8.5
Speaking: 9


Hi Vignesh,

Those are wonderful scores I should say! I have to get an 8 in listening now… Which is really tough for me bcz I keep missing something or the other here and there. Anymore tips on how to crack it?


Hi, Padma.

I also had the same issue when I started taking practice tests. What worked for me was note taking. Here is the process I followed

  • You will have 20 - 30 seconds to look at the topic and questions. Skim through this, so that you know what all to listen to. Maybe underline key words that are unique that way when that word shows up while listening you will pay attention.
  • The passage goes in order of the questions, listen to the passage as you follow. This is where the underlined words will help.

Example: Lets say the topic is farmers market, and there is a question on organic vegetables. Underline the word organic on the question paper, and listen for it. As soon as organic comes up in the passage you will be able to follow through with the answer.

Do not plan on listening to the full passage and THEN answer all the questions this is when you will miss out on answers. Instead answer the questions as you are listening that way you will always get everything.

Hopefully this helps.



Congrats on your score. Quick question while booking for the general IELTS do we need to request that the test results be sent to IRCC?

Please add a screenshot if possible it’s been a long time.

I did not do that. I just reference the test report number. I will be uploading a copy of the report with supporting documents.

If it’s a drop-down box or a check box I think he should mark it. IELTS test page does not know by default that you applying for PR. If it’s a text box that wants him to enter “upto N number of institutions to sent the score to” then it means universities etc which he does not need to. I have forgotten what the IELTS registration page looks like.

I agree, was stating that I did not do that. Initially, we were not sure what we would score on IELTS so we did not request the score to be reported. While preparing the EE, we referenced the report number, and will be uploading a scanned copy of the IELTS score report.

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Great advice and excellent scores in each section esp writing. My scores are 8.5 each in L, R, S and 6.5 in W. I am still wondering what went wrong with my writing and I have been pondering over on that. I followed IELTSLiz advice for structuring the format of your essay.
Any detailed advice on writing would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance

Those are wonderful scores except for writing. From my experience I understood that we need to aim for 270 words minimum for a 7 and 290 words minimum for an 8. But strictly not more than 300 words as that will get the score down to 6.5. Also the matter u write also matters… instead of just writing the obvious pros and cons.

PFA… An example essay which got an 8…


Thanks @prabhakar_meduri.
I never knew you would get lower scores if your words is more than 300. In fact in my case, I definitely wrote > 300 words because I got an additional sheet. I think that’s the issue!

What is the essay question for the answer you showed in your response?

Here u go…

I don’t think it is correct. There is no negative marking for more than 300 words, just that don’t expect that more words would necessarily fetch you more marks. I definitely wrote more than 300 words and scored 8

Hi Vignesh, I’m currently living in TOronto and I wrote my Ielts twice so far. I am getting same score in reading and writing. I can share my email I’d with you. If you can share your “ writing format for letter and Essay please. It will help me a lot.

Hi Vignesh,

Congratulation for securing such marks and sharing the strategies. I am wondering which center you gave exam. When I look for exam date most of them is showing availability in January/February 2019

Thank you,

@vignesh.pr, I didn’t get you on this “Creating outlines”. I am also having issues with Writing. The first IELTS I gave, I got 7.5 in Writing (However got less in Reading and Listening). However, the next 2 times I am below 7.

Outlines are an easy way to organize your thoughts prior to writing an essay or passage.
Practicing making outlines rather than actually writing the essay is critical for IELTS.

An outline is as follows:

Introduction paragraph that states the your point of view and the factors support your view

  • paragraph one is your first factor
  • paragraph two is your second factor
  • paragraph three is your third factor
  • Paragraph four is a summary of your factors
  • Conclusion

The above example is really simple but if you take any topic you can see it will fit into that format

Ex: Are renewable sources of energy important to control climate change

Introduction: Climate change will have a vast impact to the world. Many regions are at a risk of going under water leading to massive changes in geography. Key contributors to climate change are gas emissions, industrial emissions, and lack of education around renewable energy.

Para I: Gas emissions are a critical source of climate change, efficient cars can be used, etc. – Include supporting points

Para II: Industrial Emissions - Include supporting points

Para III: Lack of education - include supporting points

Para IV: summarize your points above

Conclusion - prove your stance and conclude essay.

Practice making outlines as mentioned above and as you practice start visualizing the outline in your mind. This way when you write you have a clear flow of ideas that are cohesive and have a smooth transition from one idea to another.

Hope this helps.

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I have my IELTS on 1dec. My only big fear is my handwriting. Some tips to improve it. I am on the keyboard the whole day :slight_smile:
Also would require some tips on improving my vocabulary .
For reading I am practising both academic and general format. Academics are much harder than general.
Should i just focus on general. My main aim is to move ->north :):blush:

Handwriting is not much of an issue, until what u have written is understandable.

For speaking/Writing section check ieltsliz on youtube check all her videos. Get familiarize with the pattern.

Thanks a lot. Most of the people directed me to ieltsitz. So I checked it out. The information is awesome.