Getting anything better than 6.0 is seen as difficult. Getting anything better than 7.0 seems impossible. When I say, ‘I got 8.5’, people often think it is because I am an IELTS trainer so it is easy for me. (Not accurate but not the topic of this post so I will leave it as is!) Now, to prove my point that anyone can get above 7.0 with the right level of English proficiency and the right strategies. The best part is that it won’t take you forever!
In this post, I will share with you a success story from Erick, a client who got 8.5 IELTS General Training in 2017 and 8.0 IELTS General Training in November 2023. Erick and I worked together for a month both times.
Moral of the story
Just like many people, Erick thought he could just book the exam and he’d get it based on his level of English. But what Erick did, and I think it was wise of him, was that he first did some research about IELTS, then some practice. Then he found out that it was as simple as he thought. That was when he decided to invest some time in practicing.
It is easy to overlook different aspects of an exam because you think you are proficient. However, it never hurts to be well-prepared so you don’t have to retake the exam, wasting your money and time.
I grew up speaking English but had no idea about IELTS
Before I signed up for IELTS, I had no idea what to expect. I have spoken English all my life but never with the objective of getting a good score in an exam where your English speaking skill is tested as a non-native speaker.
But I got help
Luckily, I had Huyen to guide me every step of the way, and through her guidance, a bit of good fortune, and lots of hard work, the exam was exactly what I expected.
And I have something to share with you
- Do not book your exam in a hurry. However well you know and speak English, the IELTS needs preparation and practice, which takes time. The amount of time required would only vary slightly between persons. To generalize, I would say book your IELTS exam 4 – 6 weeks ahead. In my case, I booked both my exams about 5 weeks ahead.
- Practice – and there is no substitute for practice. Tips and tricks mean nothing if you don’t practice. There are a number of resources available to everyone – both paid and free, and you should practice. As Huyen told me, any exam has a certain structure. If you understand the structure, you will get it very quickly. (I guess I was extremely lucky to have Huyen’s coaching from day 1 so I didn’t really have to figure it all out by myself.)
- If at first, you don’t get the score you need, don’t lose heart. Try again. I was lucky to exceed my target (I needed 7.0 but I got 8.5 and 8.0) on the first attempt thanks to my preparation and Huyen’s coaching. But my friends who gave a second (sometimes third) attempt, all got the scores they wanted. Of course, you would still prepare as though you want your desired score in the first attempt itself.
Huyen’s message to you
If you are reading, I know you will succeed. I have seen more success in people who are willing to read than people who just look for quick fixes. It is never bad to be well-prepared for an exam, especially those that can decide your next step like IELTS.