How I scored an 8 with just one week of IELTS preparation
Gayathri Gopakumar

Meet Gayathri - a Content Editor at Hotcourses India- an IDP company. A once-international student herself- she loves to research & give insights into the world of global education through her writing. When she isn’t working, you'll find her playing, travelling or binge-watching just about anything.


31 May 2019 23.5K Book icon 4 mins Share

How I scored an 8 with just one week of IELTS preparation

This article explains my 7-day study plan for IELTS preparation – good enough to get me an overall band of 8!

31 May 2019 23.5K Book icon 4 mins Share
How I scored an 8 with just one week of IELTS preparation

Let me guess – you have an IELTS exam to take around the corner and you’ve hardly prepared anything. Well, I’ve been there and done that – yet managed to score an 8! So, don’t panic! You’ve come to the right place. I’ll tell you how I scored an overall band of 8 with just a week of IELTS preparation.

First up, let me just put it out there that IELTS consist of four sections (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and will be scored separately for each section. As co-owners of IELTS, we (IDP) conduct Computer Delivered tests in centres across cities such as New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Chandigarh. So, if you haven’t registered yet, book online for a CD IELTS test slow NOW!

Moving on to IELTS preparation- since one week isn’t a lot of time, here’s what you’ll be achieving through this schedule:

  • Getting to know the IELTS format
  • Picking up strategies to crack each of the 4 IELTS sections
  • Taking up at least one IELTS practice test

Now that we know what we’re to looking achieve from this, let’s go into the schedule without further ado. Here’s what you’ll do on:

Day 1 - Get yourself familiarised

With what, you ask? With everything about IELTS, of course. I think we can all agree that any preparation requires a sound understanding of what you’re going to prepare for. So, that’s your first step. However, since we are kind of pressed for time, you’ll superficially get oriented with the format of the test and its sections. This will fetch you a clear picture of IELTS and what your next 6 days is going to be about. To make it easier for you, I’ll list down what you need to understand to get an overview of IELTS:

  • IELTS Exam Format
  • Overview of Reading section
  • Overview of Listening section
  • Overview of Speaking section
  • Overview of Writing section

More importantly, I used this time to familiarise myself with the scoring system. You must understand how your answers will be marked, to prepare for IELTS accordingly.

Again, don’t go deep into any of this, this is just for your understanding and helps a lot in how you approach.

 Day 2 – Reading

Yes, you’ll start your day 2 with Reading section. In this section you’ll find a lot of reading passages, based on which you’ll be asked questions. So naturally we all read the passages, completely right? Well, no – here’s the trick – if you read every word of every line of every passage in the test, you won’t be able to comfortably complete the test in time.

Here’s the strategy I used during my IELTS preparation to avoid being pressed for time in the Reading Section – learn the art of skimming and scanning.

While you work on your Reading practice tests, make sure to use this method. Guess what, it did help me boost my score by saving some time for other questions!

Day 3 - Listening

As far as the Listening Section goes, it is of paramount importance to familiarise yourself with English audios. With internet, you’ll easily be able to access English news programmes, radio programmes or podcasts from BBC. This way, you are prepared with the accents and tone – which play a significant role in grasping lines that are played during the test. This exercise helped me, because I was able to quickly identify the tone and words. More importantly, I didn’t feel lost.

Take up specific Listening sample tests for practice. While doing so, try and keep with the recording. Even if you miss, don’t get stuck with one question. Move on or you’ll lose the other questions as well. 

Here are five tips to boost your Listening score.

Day 4 - Writing

There are two tasks in the Writing Section – description of a diagram/chart and an essay. Best tip to ace this section is to take on as many Writing practice papers as you can. And when you write, try to simulate the actual test conditions as much as you can. You could:

  • Find a quiet spot, which enables you to concentrate.
  • Keep aside 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours and work on the writing tasks uninterrupted.
  • Instead of typing your responses, write them in order to get more practice and speed.
  • Set yourself strict time limits for the writing questions.

Once you’re done with the two writing tasks, look back and evaluate yourself. Ask yourself - if you were able to complete the tasks in the set time, if you fell short or exceeded the minimum word count.

Hey! Speaking about the Writing Section, why don’t you check out how I scored a band 9 essay

Day 5 - Speaking

Additionally, like writing section, simulating the IELTS condition will help your performance on the day of the test. I attempted to make my IELTS preparation as realistic as possible by:

  • Picking a topic of relevance
  • Setting a timer and taking one minute to prepare my response
  • Start speaking for 1-2 minutes (set another timer)
  • Record my speech for self-evaluation

If possible, you could also get someone who’s fluent in English to listen to you speak. This way, you’re prepared to talk in front of the examiner on the day of the test.

Day 6 - Mock test

Now that you’ve spend one day each on every section, it’s time to test yourself with a full-length mock test. Give our IELTS mock test a shot for free and see how you fair. This is a great chance for you to analyse your weakness and strengths and improve accordingly.

While taking up a mock test, set aside about 3 hours for uninterrupted time and be strict about it.

  • 60 minutes for Writing Section
  • 60 minutes for Reading Section
  • 30 minutes for Listening Section 
  • 15 minutes for Speaking Section

Once you’re done, keep your answers aside. Don’t evaluate, just yet.

Day 7 – And you’re done!

Last day isn’t for cramming in anything new. Take out your mock test from yesterday and evaluate it. See where you’ve gone wrong and analyse ways to fix them. That’s about it for the day. Maintain a calm, fresh mind and go to the test tomorrow with confidence – your IELTS preparation will certainly pay off and you’ll rock it!

If you have a bit more time in your hand, why don’t you explore IELTS preparation in detail. Armed with all kinds of preparations, you’re most likely to ace the test. Wish you luck!

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Himanshi Satyarathi Himanshi Satyarathi,
IDP Expert
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