Yes. Very few IELTS candidates score an overall 8.0. It means that in both IELTS listening and IELTS reading you score at least 36 correct answers out of 40 and in speaking and writing your English is practically error free.
Let’s take the four skills tested in the exam to see how that plan might work.
Listening in the context of the IELTS exam is the part that most involves multi-tasking. You read the questions, then listen and write your answers. The questions test your ability to grasp general meaning, understand factual detail and speakers’ attitudes and opinions.
Let’s say that your current level gives you a 6.0 or 7.0 in listening. To reach that 8.0, first have a daily listening activity, such as the following:
The student who works at listening purposefully and at the same time is working on vocabulary and grammar, gains so much more than those that just listen to answer test questions. We need to practice tests but don’t let that dominate your studies.
In the IELTS test itself,
Carla and Rob were surprised to learn that coastal cities
….Yeah. And cities are growing so quickly – I mean, we know that more than half the world’s population lives in cities now
…..Yeah, though that’s all cities, not just the ones on the coast. But most of the biggest cities are actually built by the sea. I’d not realized that before.
…..Nor me. …..
Notice how it’s basically a matter of synonyms: most of the biggest cities are …I’d not realized that before
…..surprised to learn ….the world’s largest cities
(taken from Cambridge IELTS academic 14, test 1)
Any advice about the importance of reading as much and as widely as possible is nothing new. All IELTS students will be doing the same.
Identify the types of questions you find most difficult. The test is more demanding as you go from the first through to the third reading passage.
Questions that many find difficult are the Yes/No/Not Given type, especially when it’s a “not given”. The instruction is clear ….if there’s no mention of something, it’s “not given.” Take this example, again from Cambridge IELTS academic 14 test 1.
Q 35. Staff should be allowed to choose when they take breaks during the working day
The text states that working conditions would improve if “certain actions were adopted…...allowing adequate breaks during the working day..”
The use of the passive construction both in the text and question help us to see that it’s “management” that will adopt actions to allow staff adequate breaks, not the staff themselves.
This is the part of the test where we need most help. Both IELTS writing tasks have very clearly defined rules. You need to:
It’s a step by step process where you need to be very aware of grammatical accuracy, your use of words and phrases as links (for example, although, because) and your choice of appropriate vocabulary (your extensive reading and listening will help here).
What often distinguishes the 8.0 candidate from the 6.0.-7.0 one is the way in which the structure of the essay is closely connected to the candidate’s interpretation or point of view. In task 1 academic for example, many essays are just descriptions of the information shown but do not include an “overview”, a comment on what the data presented really signifies without of course, mentioning information not provided in the graph, table or plan. Always include, probably at the end, a sentence which begins with something like: The graphs clearly show that between 2000 and 2010, internet use in the European Union ….”
When we write something any errors will be clearly seen. Know where your mistakes or weaknesses are and work on them with help as part of the step-by-step essay writing guide.
And, always remember to have time to spare at the end of the test to read through your essays for any errors. These happen in exams. Mistakes we would not usually make. Errors when the subject and verb don’t match (Nobody like exams), word order, prepositions, verb tenses.
As with all the skills, the aim is to significantly improve speaking, not just speaking for the IELTS exam.
The best IELTS candidates make hardly any noticeable errors and have a wide-ranging vocabulary. You’re being tested on your accuracy and fluency.
No, I don’t think so. It’s not fair because many students don’t have the money.
will get you a 6.0 or maybe a 7.0, but
Definitely not. If they all had to pay, then many families would not be able to send their kids to university. Friends of mine wouldn’t have gone if they had had to pay for their studies…
will give you an 8.0.
Try to learn a set of phrases which you can use for different purposes during the three parts of the speaking test. Using these phrases will make you sound much more fluent and will push your score up:
Also, we all make mistakes. But you can correct them.
You can download or listen to the audio version here: