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Old 1st April 2013, 01:06   #31
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

I gave one last year when applying for immigration. Its pretty easy, just keep your calm in the listening test since you tend to miss things if not careful and the writing part. Some of the essay topics can be very typical.
I just went through the old essay's an evening before the test and that's. I got an overall score of 8. All the best!
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Old 1st April 2013, 10:32   #32
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

I dont remember my scores too well. I did it a few years back as my University wanted IELTS scores. That I ended up speaking far better English than most of my eventual class mates was a different matter. I think my university needed 6 overall I got the least on speaking, AFAILK - 7 and surprise surprise the highest was 8.5 in writing. ( May be due to my horrible handwriting - I think I concentrated extra hard).

I just used the IELTS material given to me when I registered . I was working at that time (I was applying as a "mature" student), so didnt get time to go for extra coaching or what not.


Be careful about the speaking test, especially if you are fluent in English like me. What you think is "fluent" will not be what the examiner thinks . Most of the examiners are local college professors, if I am not wrong. Do not forget IELTS is a "standardised" test, so just make sure that you read what are the "expected" things in the IELTS booklet and stick to that format even if it sounds silly. Although in my case with a score requirement of 6, I cleared with a 7, I paid the price for not realising that "sticking to the rules" is what it counts. There is every chance that you will soon find in the interview, you speak far better English than your examiner but remember he/she is the one who in the end will evaluate you so read the IELTS handbook very clearly and play out your role to the T.


As for listening, I think I ended up with a 8 or 8.5 as well. Yes I listened to the practice tapes, but if you can, try to listen to BBC world service RADIO... either the news programmes for about half an hour each day or their sports news if you are a sports fan. You can listen over the internet or a cheap short wave radio should pick it up. I grew up as a kid listening pm a short wave radio to a 15 minute BBC sports news broadcast every day Believe me, that helped me more than all these tapes.

How can one not forget the legendary Fred Perry commentating on BBC Rado about Boris Becker's loss to Peter Doohan at Wimbledon... IELTS listening test is childs play if you listen to BBC Radio regularly (far different from listening to Michael Holding or Geoffery Boycott on Indian Television...). The latter wil lhelp once you are actually in England and try to understand what the locals say, but for passing IELTS stick to BBC Radio!

Last edited by TKMCE : 1st April 2013 at 10:38.
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Old 5th April 2013, 20:36   #33
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
I gave one last year when applying for immigration. Its pretty easy, just keep your calm in the listening test since you tend to miss things if not careful and the writing part. Some of the essay topics can be very typical.
I just went through the old essay's an evening before the test and that's. I got an overall score of 8. All the best!
Thank you. I'm keeping in mind all the pointers mentioned here. Just bought couple of pencils to practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post

Be careful about the speaking test, especially if you are fluent in English like me. What you think is "fluent" will not be what the examiner thinks . Most of the examiners are local college professors, if I am not wrong. Do not forget IELTS is a "standardised" test, so just make sure that you read what are the "expected" things in the IELTS booklet and stick to that format even if it sounds silly. Although in my case with a score requirement of 6, I cleared with a 7, I paid the price for not realising that "sticking to the rules" is what it counts. There is every chance that you will soon find in the interview, you speak far better English than your examiner but remember he/she is the one who in the end will evaluate you so read the IELTS handbook very clearly and play out your role to the T.


As for listening, I think I ended up with a 8 or 8.5 as well. Yes I listened to the practice tapes, but if you can, try to listen to BBC world service RADIO... either the news programmes for about half an hour each day or their sports news if you are a sports fan. You can listen over the internet or a cheap short wave radio should pick it up. I grew up as a kid listening pm a short wave radio to a 15 minute BBC sports news broadcast every day Believe me, that helped me more than all these tapes.
Thanks a lot, I worked in the speaking part. As you mentioned, there are lot of things we need to keep in mind, rather than just speaking fluent English. My speaking test was today, and it went well.
Currently working on listening and Writing. Reading strategy will be tackled later tonight.

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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Anyone taken the IELTS recently? Are there any changes with respect to the pointers mentioned already on this thread?

Thanks in advance.
When is your exam scheduled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
I completed my exam and scored 8.5
Listening: 8.5
Reading: 9
Speaking 8.5
Writing: 8

Ascertain has written great tips and I'll just add a few more:
1. Practice practice and practice - getting used to the format and the timings is extremely crucial and half the battle won.
2. Carry enough pencils, a good eraser, a pen and sharpener if needed.
3. The test is usually in the afternoon. have something to eat and some water before the test - the test goes on till 4 PM and being hungry is not a good thing. You will spend more than 4 hours in the exam hall.
4. Time a toilet break. I had planned on this and decided that the reading section would be ideal for me as I usually finished it early. My colleague waited too long and was writing with a full bladder and took a break midway through his writing and that broke the rhythm! This may seem very trivial, but in a cold AC room some people get full bladders easily!
5. The advantages of using a pencil have already been mentioned.
6. Trivial: Keep your water bottle or glass on the floor - the last thing you need is a water slash on your answer sheet!
7. The table at which I sat had a table cloth and hence writing the answers etc was a pain - i don't know if a writing pad is allowed.

Those are some extra tips - hope they are useful
Those tips are of great help, Benji. Thanks a lot. My Exam is scheduled at 1145 tomorrow. So I better leave home after a heavy breakfast.
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Old 5th April 2013, 20:43   #34
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Preparing for IELTS was fun! It helped me a lot in shortening my sentences without losing the meaning or intent.
One thumb rule for IELTS: The option with longest sentence is never the right option.
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Old 8th April 2015, 18:01   #35
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Bumping up an old topic.

Anybody preparing for the IELTS now?
I have just started my prep work with YouTube videos + some BBC radio listening exercises.

Recent IELTS experiences if any - will help me.

Thanks,

Ace.
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Old 9th April 2015, 07:03   #36
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Which category are you appearing for? Academic, or general?

I appeared for the General Category in 2012 and got an overall score of 8.5. I used the Cambridge series to prepare, in addition to general searches on the web to find articles to help with attempting the exam.
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Old 9th April 2015, 08:15   #37
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Which category are you appearing for? Academic, or general?

I appeared for the General Category in 2012 and got an overall score of 8.5. I used the Cambridge series to prepare, in addition to general searches on the web to find articles to help with attempting the exam.
I am planning to appear for General category. (Immigration purpose).
I have just downloaded Cambridge material yesterday. (8 books).
Youtube has a whole range of videos!

How much time would you say - I would need to prep, if I am targetting ~8+band. (Assuming an hour's practice per day, with ~3 hours per day on weekends.

Currently, I believe I am fairly proficient in English.
I definitely need some brushing up on grammar & some work on vocab.

Thanks for the help,

Ace.
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Old 9th April 2015, 08:56   #38
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
How much time would you say - I would need to prep, if I am targetting ~8+band. (Assuming an hour's practice per day, with ~3 hours per day on weekends.

Currently, I believe I am fairly proficient in English.
I definitely need some brushing up on grammar & some work on vocab.

Thanks for the help,

Ace.
If you believe you are fairly proficient, then the only areas you need to work on is approaching the different modules in the right way.

For writing, make sure you understand how to pace your paragraphs and letter writing, with due emphasis on the main points you cover in each para. The essence clearly is not to show off your vocabulary TOEFL style, but to ensure your communication skills are good, and there is no loss in translation.

Practice the Cambridge series well, and make sure you time yourself as you go through all the various areas such as Reading, Writing etc. This is important so as not to install a false sense of confidence.
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Old 9th April 2015, 11:35   #39
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

I attempted it twice, in August and October 2014. First time, I didn't prepare at all. Sadly, I couldn't write those essays because my arm got tired within 10 minutes. My hand writing went very bad after that. Because of pain, my brain started shutting down. I got 9 in listening, 8.5 in reading, 8 in speaking, but only 6.5 in writing.

Second time, I practiced only writing. My main aim was to give enough exercise to my arm to last one hour. I practiced writing for one hour every alternate day for 3 weeks. I would simply copy some online text onto paper. It worked. I got 8.5, 8.5, 7.5 and 7.5 in speaking, listening, reading and writing respectively.

I think the main target for many of us (who use computers and cell phones for almost everything we do everyday) should be the physical workout to the writing hands. I suggest everyone to concentrate on this.

My another problem during LRW was hunger. During my first attempt, I assumed that I would have time to eat after registration and before actual exam. I was mistaken. For my second attempt, I had a heavy breakfast and also carried some snacks to munch on while waiting to get into the exam hall. It worked again!
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Old 9th April 2015, 11:41   #40
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Post Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
..
For writing, make sure you understand how to pace your paragraphs and letter writing, with due emphasis on the main points you cover in each para. The essence clearly is not to show off your vocabulary TOEFL style, but to ensure your communication skills are good, ..
.. and make sure you time yourself as you go through all the various areas such as Reading, Writing etc..
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
..
I think the main target for many of us (who use computers and cell phones for almost everything we do everyday) should be the physical workout to the writing hands..
..For my second attempt, I had a heavy breakfast and also carried some snacks to munch on while waiting to get into the exam hall. It worked again!
Solid help, guys!
I think, now, It's all prep time (for weeks to follow).
Also, reading up on all the previous pages of the "proper English thread" here

Appreciate the inputs,

Ace.

Last edited by driverace : 9th April 2015 at 11:42.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 16:28   #41
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

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Originally Posted by driverace View Post
Solid help, guys!
I think, now, It's all prep time (for weeks to follow).
Also, reading up on all the previous pages of the "proper English thread" here

Appreciate the inputs,

Ace.
Aha, I too ended up on this thread.

Yes, writing will be something to practice for sure - we aren't used to writing at all. Thankfully I am doing a Sociology course too so the last time around, I practiced when writing for the exams.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 17:20   #42
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Default Re: Have you appeared for IELTS?

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Aha, I too ended up on this thread.

Yes, writing will be something to practice for sure - we aren't used to writing at all..
+1 Writing (helps with grammar & flow a lot!)
Youtube channel of Liz IELTS is just (one of) the perfectly detailed source of information.
While watching those videos, we also get used to listening to consistent/authentic accented English

That is helping me with my preparation.
Sharing here so it may help current/future IELTS aspirants.

Ace.

P.S.
Just realized, I have been procrastinating since April 2015 (or even a bit earlier)!! Sheesh.
Nevertheless, I have read enough to be sure of what I plan to do.
My day is 23rd January 2016 (IDP).

Last edited by driverace : 3rd November 2015 at 17:21.
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