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Australia: Applying to University

How to score the perfect Band 9 in IELTS

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IELTS is a standard for English that is popularly used by educational institutions as an English language requirement. Scoring a perfect Band 9 is difficult, but not impossible. Here are some helpful tips…


Forget your Manglish

Also known as the Malaysian English, you’ll have to learn to speak without using ‘lah’, ‘loh’ or whatever slangs that you’re used to. Get your friends to correct you or even pay up a fine every time you fail to speak properly. If you’re unsure of your pronunciation, check the dictionary or record yourself so that you can ask your teacher later.


Watch sitcoms and TV shows

Now’s the time to catch up on Friends, Sex & The City, Mindy and all the other shows that you’ve missed without feeling guilty! A movie marathon will help improve your English as you’ll learn new words and learn to understand different accents. Mimicking the intonation helps too.


Listen to the samples

We’re so used to saying “How are you today?” that it isn’t really our fault if we can’t quite catch how the Australians say it – “How are you to-dieee?” The Australian accent is slightly different from the American or British accents that we’re accustomed to. Listen to the IELTS sample tapes and recordings so that you can identify words that you’re not familiar with. Another option is to listen to the radio when preparing for your IELTS listening test.


Stay focused and check the time

The IELTS reading section is tough. Spend 30 minutes on one passage and the remaining half an hour to complete the rest. Remember to check your time regularly and always read the instructions. There might be some tricky instructions that require you to differ between ‘words’ and ‘phrases’ in order to answer your questions. Be confident and keep up a normal steady pace. If you’re unsure of your answers, move on to the next question and come back to it later.


Read, read, read

To do well in the writing test, you’ve got to read to broaden your knowledge and ideas. Read articles, newspapers, books, journals – anything! They are a brilliant way to improve your writing styles and you’ll spend less time cracking your head for points when tackling the writing section.


Practice makes perfect

If you write consistently, your ability to express yourself will grow stronger. Your vocabulary will expand and your grammar as well as sentence structure will improve. Set at least three writing tasks every week before you sit for your test.


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