This post is based on a student’s struggle to get a band 7 and using these five strategies he was able to get his target score successfully. Many of you clicking on this post may be intrigued, as you may also be in the same position. Jon, a 24 year old student from Germany had taken the IELTS exam twice before, but he only got a band 6 to 6.5 overall. A band 6 in writing, a band 6 in reading, a band 6 in listening and a band 6.5 in speaking. On his second attempt he got a band 7 overall, but he did not get a band 7 in writing – scoring a band 7 in speaking, a band 7 in listening, a band 7 in reading, a band 6 in writing.
Jon was frustrated and disappointed. He had never taken any online courses with us, but when he did he finally reached his target score by using our simple techniques. Jon made the following statement about our course: “Before taking a course with Online IELTS I thought I could easily get my IELTS score without any help or support, but I quickly realised all the mistakes I was making. The excellent strategies taught by Online IELTS, as well as study skills course enabled me to reach my full potential, as I followed all their advice carefully. I signed up to the Gold course, but then I also took a Silver course, as my tutor said I was not ready. I managed to start scoring a band 7 in speaking, listening, reading and writing regularly. My tutor Simon then encouraged me to book the exam after lots of continuous hard work. I did not think much about study skills before joining the course. I thought I can just do some practice tests and then re-take the exam. I realised I need to improve my study ethic and how I was approaching my studies. I also started to use a proper schedule planning the days of the week I will study. For example, Monday 1pm – 2pm was for speaking. Tuesday 9am – 12pm was reading, Wednesday 10pm to 12am was listening. Thursdays – FREE time, Fridays – 4pm – 9pm writing. I allocated more time for writing, as this was required. My writing skills were my biggest weakness. Saturdays – 9am – 1pm I studied reading and listening mock tests. On Sundays – I did a full day of writing practice – following all the course information carefully I studied from 9am – 6pm every Sunday, as on Sundays I had more free-time. Overall, I studied for around 20 hours per week. It was not about how many hours, but about how I was studying. Previously, I had no structure. I would pick up a book and study what I wanted to and when I wanted to. I was missing out the weakest parts like writing. I was missing out the important information and rushing. I thought the exam will be quite easy and I would just be able to keep repeating it, but I realised I needed help. That’s why I found the course using Google.”
We worked with Jon to work on his study skills. Firstly, we recommended he does not book the exam until his tutor says so. Secondly, he used our new study & quiz centre to test himself regularly. He also followed our courses from our course schedule. He used our blog on a daily basis for practice questions, tips and much more. Jon sent in one task per week, but focused on the quality of the work. The majority of the time was spent reviewing all the techniques we gave him. He focused on his core areas and planned his studies using a timetable, which he kept on the wall next to his desk. He stuck to the timetable very strictly and did not have any long gaps between his studies. Using our practice tests from our resources he practiced as much as possible, but more importantly reviewed the outcome. He went back to the questions he got wrong and then he examined why he did not get the answer. Was it a simple mistake? Did he rush? In terms of writing he followed the pattern of the sample essays and tried to emulate them as much has possible. Quickly and steadily he realised it was simple, but he had to follow our advice. If you sign up for a course and do not follow the advice it kind of defeats the purpose. It may sound strange, but many people do sign up and then question everything – do not follow anything and have a very lax approach to their studies. They have zero accountability in terms of their study ethic and then blame their teacher or the course for being inadequate. One of our top trainers went on to comment about this:
“My name is Susan and I’ve been a trainer at Online IELTS for around 5 years now. We do see a lot of students who have very infeasible requests when it comes to their learning. They have zero accountability and form part of a blame culture against teachers or course providers. They expect every last cent they paid for, so if they paid money they expect to pass with even minimal effort. Some do not even attend or follow the course, but have high or unrealistic expectations. This is also largely due to the way we perceive teachers in the media. We do not respect teachers or schools anymore, so we form part of a larger collective where it’s common to question the school or teacher rather than look at self-improvement.”
Some of the strategies used are the following:
Planning a schedule – you have to plan your studies carefully. If you do not have time or make time to study you won’t pass!
Jon added the following statement and after his statement we will put some questions we interviewed him with.
“You have to respect the course, your teacher and follow the advice. I know many friends who still haven’t passed their exam, as they think they know it all. They keep repeating it, but they do not change how they study or want to pay money for a tutor. I am now studying a Masters degree in the UK and I was able to reach my target score thanks to the excellent teaching techniques, expertise and acumen by the teachers at Online IELTS. I have recommended the course to my friends and family too.”
Interview With Jon
1. What did you like or not like about the course?
I liked everything, as it was very well-organised. The teachers are fair and very professional. I really lost hope as before teachers would tell me that my writing or skills were good, but with Online IELTS I finally got the real answer. I realised that many courses only want to take your money, but do not care about if you pass or not. Online IELTS really cares about its students and the teachers genuinely care about making you pass the exam. One thing I struggled with is the information given – it was a bit overwhelming, but this is not a negative thing actually. The course is so excellent and provides a wealth of information. I was able to get so many tips, but I had to organise myself to make sure I was using all the tips and information given.
2. What would you say to someone thinking about signing up to our courses?
I would say sign up, as you are going to have a proper teacher and professional course. The teachers are experts when it comes to the IELTS exam, so you won’t find a better course.
3. What tips would you give to someone in the same situation as you were before you took our course?
I would say that you need to invest money in a course, as it will really help you to improve your scores.
4. How much free-time would you say someone needs to study on our courses?
It really depends I think. If they follow a good schedule they can work and study at the same time, but they will need to make sure they study regularly.
5. Which course would you recommend for students who were in the same situation as you?
I would personally recommend the Gold course, as it’s 90 days and it works out cheaper. You also get reading, writing, speaking and listening support. It allows you to have your speaking and writing assessed, as well as reading and listening using the new study & quiz centre.
6. When did you take the course and what are you doing now?
I took the course a year ago and I have now finished my Masters in Psychology. I am now working back in Germany.
7. What do you think about the education in the UK compared to your own country?
Even though Online IELTS is an online course it’s based in London, so the teachers focus on British education, which is the most famous in the world. I really like the teaching techniques – they are very different, so they can take some time to adapt to. So many people around the world want to learn from developed countries like the US or UK, where education is very well developed. For example, the UK has so many years of research when it comes to certain fields. The universities invest millions into researching certain areas and this makes it much more beneficial for students to learn in a more developed country.
8. How much money do you think someone should spend on our courses?
Obviously, nobody wants to spend a lot of money. That’s how everyone is nowadays, but you have to invest in your education. I did not spend a lot of money, but you have to renew your course if you need to. You cannot be stingy when it comes to your education, as you need to be very focused and consistent. Studying regularly is very important for the IELTS exam.
9. What did you think about the IELTS exam before you studied with us?
Honestly, I thought it was going to be so easy until I needed a higher score like a band 7. I did not know it was a proficiency level exam. This meant it was quite a lot more difficult than I anticipated. You need to familiarise yourself with the requirements very carefully before you take the exam.
10. Why do you think people study for the IELTS exam?
I think because it’s so well-recognised, so this makes it very popular, but many people do not realise it’s quite hard. If you have the right course and teacher I think you can pass very easily, but you also need a good mentality to study properly. If you just submit your assignments without checking them and take things not so seriously it won’t work. People study IELTS, because it gives them excellent opportunities – for example – emigrating, studying abroad etc. I can even use my score to emigrate to Australia, as my IELTS results are still valid for one more year. I am really considering moving to Australia, but I need to consider the job opportunities and quality of life first.
The five strategies above are guaranteed to get you a band 7 in your IELTS exam, but we also have many more strategies we use, as well as our expert support from our tutors, expert resources and our new study & quiz centre. If you want to really pass the exam you should sign up to one of our courses and you will be on your way to reaching a band 7.
Why not sign up today?
Our expert trainer Susan went on to give further information about what will impact your score and results.
“Some other things which will impact your score and outcome on the day are listed below”.
Your score and outcome will depend on the following factors:
Nerves – you may be more nervous on the day and this could lead to more mistakes.
Timing – make sure you are timing yourself regularly and are able to complete the same level of work given the limited time scope.
Spelling – you may need to note down your spelling mistakes, as you may make more in the exam, causing you to lose marks.
Proofreading – proofreading your work much more clearly will improve your score
Confident – be confident in your ability and always go into the exam with a confident attitude.
Grammar – good grammar will be essential to go above from 6 to a band 7.
Sign up to our course here and get all the help you need!