How to score IELTS Band 8 To gain a high score in IELTS you first need to understand the scoring system. None of what is offered from most IELTS review centres especially in India and Philippines is of any value in gaining a high score. The information provided by British Council and IDP to prepare you for the testing is not designed to give you a high score. The IELTS test is a formula and is not fundamentally about English. Learning Phrases to start sentences Building Vocabulary Grammar and Spelling are all good but will not give you a high score; GRAMMAR If you are from India or Philippines you might want to work on your grammar a little since grammar is not taught correctly in those countries. Prefixes, prepositions, past and present tense are incorrectly taught. It is incorrect to say — “Stay on your lane” it is correct to say “Stay in your lane” Philippines mixes up gender saying he for she and she for he and so on. Why I don’t know but it is like this. Learn how to use Prepositions Verbs Adverbs Adjectives Gender In any presentation of English it is important to make the point and offer explanation to the reader in clear English and logical flow so they will read and understand. If your paragraphing is not good you will combine 2 paragraphs or more into one. So you understand the difficulty this creates for the reader. Find any written piece, story, essay. Then combine 2 or 3 paragraphs into one and try to read it. You will not be able to understand it. The information and the points will not be separated and will confuse you. This is what happens when you put too much in a paragraph. The most common flaw is believing that practice will make you better. This is just not true. If you are practicing the wrong way you will never improve. Reading is the easiest test to take Speaking and Writing are similar in context to each other listening is not a difficult test if you approach it the right way- not what is taught in the IDP and BRITISH COUNCIL material or that taught in almost all IELTS review centres (Including those listed above and in this article who are just regurgitating the poor instructions offered in the IELTS online material) Readin g is best approached by reading the question then seeking the answer in the text immediately (Do not waste time underlining or highlighting key phrases or words in the text first or reading the questions then looking for the answers) All answers will be in logical order so for the fastest and most accurate method: Keep one hand on the question and the other on the text (This allows you to read faster and to quickly refer back to the question without delay) Read the question with your write hand on the text and look for what the question is asking from you. In almost all questions the last part of the last sentence in the question has what is wanted in the answer. Then read the text using your fingers on your left hand and when you find the answer enter it on the answer sheet. The first question will be answered in the first two (2) paragraphs and answers to other questions will generally be in order after that. So question 2 answer will be in paragraph 2 or 3 and so on. If you cannot find the answer quickly — leave it and come back to it later. Reading with your fingers allows you to read many times faster than just using your eyes and by keeping your fingers on the text you do not lose contact and have to re-read information. Listening take a piece of paper and pencil/pen Listen to the information: While listening — Write words, dates, names and numbers on the paper as they come up (Don’t look at the paper while writing — it will distract you and slow you down) Only take key words, names, dates and numbers.- you wont have time to write phrases(this is where your practice should be) If you don’t finish the word when the next piece of information is read, leave it and move on to the next one. At the end of the tape you will have a list of all key items to refer to for answers. WHY do that Your short term memory only holds 5–6 items at at time. so at the end of the tape you will remember only 5–6 points and usually the last ones. The rest become a guess. If you take words down the guess is minimised and the answers usually become clear. Writing The most common delusion is that Grammar and spelling and Vocabulary are the keys to high scores in Writing. Then you are told you need to know key phrases to start sentences. This is just not true. If y ou research the scoring of IELTS you will see this does not do m uch for you but sounds great when you are told. If you cannot paragraph correctly you will never achieve an 8 if your information is not logical in flow you will never achieve an 8 If you spell badly you lose .5 of a mark If your grammar is bad you lose .5 of a mark Learn to paragraph correctly and place information into logical order whilst answering the question will give you a very high score. Speaking Similar to Writing but is only done verbally. In all cases you should think What am I explaining? What order does the information come in? What is critical in this explanation? Then you should discuss either in writing or speaking, each relevant point in logical order, to the conclusion which summarises main points. If you go for a holiday — you plan it first so plan your speech/writing/answer — You decide on your destination - You know your starting point - then you describe each stage of the holiday in order Your writing is like this. Think about the question Identify important information Understand what order the information flows in Place in logical order.