@eap , question on the Cambridge IELTS book you mentioned on Amazon. It seems like it doesn’t come with audio CD for the listening part. How did you get the listening parts done? Were you able to get the audio, can you share the link please?
I got my results today.
Speaking: 8.5 ---------------- Overall: 8.5
I thank everyone of you for providing suggestions generously.
Here was my strategy:
Booked my exam 1.5 months ahead.
I heard from many friends and in this forum that Listening needs special attention as to be very careful as this can make or break the deal.I started with IELTS LIZ website to understand the format and practice little in the first 2 weeks. Later, I got Kaplan book from local library and started giving practice and realized how difficult to crack some of the sections.Slowly, whenever I find time, used to write practice test online for variation and see where i am going wrong. I used to take notes of all mistakes made.
Just 3 weeks before exam, started to give practice exam every 2 days or so on Cambridge ielts 12 book. Found first 3 tests very easy and became little over confident ( scored 38 out of 40 in each).
I saved the last test just 2 days before the exam. It was an eye opener, as one of the section I totally got it wrong. Diligently, analyzed how to tackle such section in real exam on the last day and believe me there were TWO similar sections that appeared !!
My 2 cents: First take time understand format. Keep practicing little by little and if possible prepare a cheat sheet. On further practice, purely analyze mistakes and corrective measures. When you are close to exam time, at regular intervals plan to practice on Cambridge book and keep going diligently until the start of the real exam- I feel this is the best way to attain peak performance.
Reading: Followed the same strategy as explained for Listening. However, since I read lot of books daily, it was a breeze and I am very confident to score 8 or 8.5 , it was pleasant surprise that I completed 5 mins before and confident all are correct.
Writing: As I have made a strategy to focus on Listening, reading, I couldnt give enough practice on Writing. But i made sure to enroll for Ielts LIZ videos and understood the styles of writing and format. If there was 2 more weeks of practise, I would have scored better. So, practice enough.
Speaking: As part of my job, I speak to lot of stakeholders in my company. So, I am confident that I can pull it off. To ensure that i dont screw the actual exam, I started to listen to youtube videos of: Ielts Liz, Manjita Osta, Learn English lab(Ganesh). Whenever, I was driving, I made sure I listen to npr news and keep repeating those sentences in mind after they finish speaking.
I would say, practice little to correct any habitual errors.
A big thanks to all of you guys !! you kept sharing your details and that kept me motivated that’s the key I guess.
That’s an awesome score… I badly need tips to crack the reading module please. I always seem to miss in it and get either a 6.5 or 7 but not more than that. The last time I wrote, I almost expected an 8 but got 6.5. Can anyone help me here please…
I like to jot my ideas down before writing a letter or an essay, I would strongly suggest not to spend time in doing this for more than 5 mins. I wasted time and had to rush both my tasks in 20 mins. If the handwriting is not legible it is easy to lose marks.
Usage of casual english once In my sentence , i.e. Kids
When it is silent, it is very easy for the mind to wander. Please keep taking notes or writing the answer down as the conversation is going. I missed 1 or 2 that way.
Reading: Not mistakes but tips
I underlined all the key words/sentences when i skimmed through the passages, this helped me a lot. Eg: There was an essay about how glass originated and who popularized it.
First Paragraph talked about romans - underlined key words and wrote romans beside the paragraph. I did the same for other paragraphs as a cue and this helped a lot When I was going through the questions.
I hope this information will help in some way, thanks to others who posted their experiences it definitely guided me in the right path.