IELTS Preparation / Experience / Tips

Hi folks, I wanted to share my preparation/ experience and some new things that I came to know about IELTS. Hopefully it should be useful to people.

Preparation -
I tried a few practice “reading” tests and was concerned after different results. Once I got all right, couple of times I got quite a few wrong. I was not sure what is it I am lacking, having given GRE/TOEFL, I was expecting much better results. That’s when I stumbled upon I feel it is by far the best place for Reading/ Listening/ Speaking tips. For writing I saw a comment by @blg.chaitanya for a Udemy course, I bought it and loved it. (Btw thanks a lot @blg.chaitanya ) .

Experience -
I gave my test in SF, and there were around 70 Indians along with me. I got 8.5 overall (Listening: 9.0, Speaking 9.0, Reading: 8.0, Writing: 8.0 ). The experience was ok, a little frustrating due to the whole 8am-6pm schedule, plus a paper-based test. GRE/TOEFL were computerized back in 2005 in India. I wonder why they still rely on pencils and papers here.
It was a funny scene during the listening test, with so many people raising their hands for new pencils, (maybe pencils were out of lead) , the audio was running in the background and the teacher was running around the class carrying pencils. Anyway it ended well for me thankfully.

New learning -
I just learnt that the most important test for IELTS is listening.
Before giving IELTS, when I tried CRS, my score was coming to be 393 with 7.0 in all 4 tests. I was very concerned as I have a Masters degree, 10 years experience, my wife has a BE degree, her sister is in Canada and still the score was so low. So I tried to put in extra effort for IELTS.
Couple of days back I came to know that if you score 8.0 in Listening and 7.0 in everything else, you get 50 extra points. I tried CRS again with 8.0 in Listening (7.0 for the rest) and my score jumped to 440. Man that was shocking. I felt like I spent unnecessary time on IELTS prep.

My score now with my actual IELTS result (R:8.0 ,W:8.0, S:9.0, L:9.0) is just 453. So I did not achieve much difference with such a score. I wonder did anyone know how much importance Listening test carries?

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You get CLB Level 8 if you have minimum S6.5 L7.5 R6.5 W6.5

You get CLB Level 9 if you have minimum S7.0 L8.0 R7.0 W7.0…

You get CLB Level 10 and above if you have S7.5 – 9.0 L 8.5 – 9.0 R8.0 – 9.0 W7.5 – 9.0

so actually its CLB level which increases or decreases CRS score…

Perhaps you got 8.0 in listening because of which you got CLB Level 9…
If you would have gotten 8.5 or 9.0 in listening then you would have been in CLB Level 10 and which in turns would have increase your CRS score again.

and Listening is not most important test. As I said its combination of minimum scores of each of L R S and W to achieve particular CLB Level…

Btw don’t worry now… with 453 score you will easily get ITA…

Meanwhile can you please tell about your exam …
what was the topic for Writing Task1 and Task2 … Also what was cue card topic for you in Speaking?

Was Listening and Reading easy or it took some extra efforts?

Hi @srhere , if you check my post again, I actually got 9.0 in Listening. And I think I have CLB 10.0 which gets my score to 453.

So basically my point is, even with this score (L:9.0, S:9.0, R:8.0, W:8.0), I don’t see much difference compared to an estimate score of 8.0 in Listening and 7.0 in everything else. And looking at the breakup here, it strengthens my claim that listening is always higher compared to others for any CLB level.

Anyway, yes coming back to my exam.
For writing task1, topic was write a letter to your neighbour who burns trash near your house telling him the problems it is causing to your family and some solutions.
For task 2, topic was "Some people believe there should be one long holiday during a school year whereas some people believe there should be multiple breaks during the school year. Discuss both and provide your view."
For speaking, it was to talk about a new construction/building that has come up in your neighborhood, how it is affecting you, what are the benefits. Something along those lines.

I somehow felt Listening was a little exerting. It needs constant attention. Most sections were easy to find answers, but there was a particular section where you have multiple(5-6) options and you have to match it against the questions. I found it a little tricky since none of the options were directly mentioned by the speakers. It was all synonyms in that conversation.

I found Reading easier but I think I am wrong in saying that coz my score in reading is lesser than other tests. I got more incorrect answers in reading than I was expecting.

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No worries… Still you did awesome… Thats great score…
I told that as i knew between CLB 8 and CLB 9 there is increase of 50 CRS score points…
so i thought it would be same 50 points between CLB 9 and CLB 10 too… but perhaps i am wrong there…

Do you mind if I ask that you prepared for Days or Weeks or Months to get that score?

Actually I did not practice anything else except for reading tests. But I went through ieltsliz, checking all her posts, etc. For writing I watched the udemy course, which is a 5 hour course.

I work in a startup, plus I have two kids , aged 4 and 1, so honestly I don’t get much time for anything.