Increase your IELTS Band Score the Second Time Around

Many test-takers take the IELTS exam twice. This could be due to not getting a band score they are satisfied with the first time or maybe they need a higher score to get accepted to their program.

In this post, I’ll give you three tips that can help you improve your IELTS band score when taking it the second time.

Analyze your First Exam
Learn what sections and test question types you made the most mistakes. After learning what your weaknesses are you can focus on improving them.

Track your practice test scores, especially on those sections you feel like you can do better. This will help you identify the weaknesses you need to address, and the strengths you can continue build on!

Have a Clear Strategy
If your scores are stuck in the same place, there’s a good chance you may need to improve your IELTS test-taking skills before you can see any more improvement to your scores.

A good way to improve your IELTS test-taking skills is to read about different IELTS strategies and apply them to your practice tests.

Having a clear strategy and framework when taking on the IELTS is crucial when trying to improve your score.

Study Differently
If you feel like you have studied a lot but still getting a score your not satisfied with, maybe you should switch up your study routine.

Did you only read IELTS prep books to prepare? Or did you only take practice tests? Try to do both to help maximize your preparation.

Oftentimes, you can also get help and feedback from a friend or relative who is good at English.

These are some of the things you can do to make sure you get a better score when taking the IELTS exam the second time around.

Improve your IELTS Reading Skills

The IELTS reading section includes three different sections with various tasks. Types of questions you will see when taking the IELTS Reading are multiple choice, short-answer questions, identifying writer’s opinions, labeling diagrams, finding information, completing a summary using words taken from the text and matching information/headings/features in the sentence endings.

In each task, you will be asked to read a passage that covers a particular subject. Then, you will answer a series of questions where you must answer correctly to receive a point. You will also see tasks that involve organizing or charting the ideas you have read.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your IELTS Reading skills.

When reading make sure you understand the inferences in the text. Look at the big picture; ask yourself what is the author’s intent in his writing, what’s the feeling behind the text and what is the main thesis of the writing. The topics vary, keep in mind that as long as the text you read is in English it will help you improve your reading comprehension

Improve your vocabulary
Learning new words and understanding synonyms are important when taking the IELTS reading section. Reading alone will certainly help you improve your reading skills, but also focus on learning new words by stopping and taking notes on words you don't know.

Know the IELTS question types
Knowing the IELTS reading question types will help you feel more comfortable when taking the exam. Learn what types of reading passages will be presented on the test. Preparation is the key!

Write your own IELTS reading questions
Read an article and make up your own questions based on the article. This will help you remember what types of questions you will see on the IELTS and also how to look for the best answers in a text.

Know what type of reader you are
Are you a slow reader or the skimming type of reader? Knowing what kind of reader you are will help you with your time management on the IELTS. Remember that the IELTS reading section is 60 minutes long. Learn how to scan a text for specific key information (dates, numbers, names, relationships etc).

Click here to learn more strategies and tips for the IELTS reading section.
These are few of the things you can do to improve your IELTS reading skills.

Improve your Grammar for the IELTS Exam

Although there is no grammar section on the IELTS exam, having good grammar will be a key component in getting a good IELTS score. The importance on communicating with good grammar is especially important on the IELTS writing and speaking test.

Many students ask, what is the best method to improve your grammar for the IELTS? My advice is to learn basic grammar rules and then apply them to your IELTS practice. It is common for students to only focus on learning the grammar rules but it is better to know a few rules and how to apply them to your writing/speech.

Below are some tips to help you improve your grammar for the IELTS

Listen and read in English: By listening to others speak and reading articles you will learn how to construct sentence and structure your communication in English.

Correct your mistakes: If you can have somebody proofread your writing it goes a long way to improve your grammar. By learning and correcting common mistakes you will improve your grammar at a fast pace.

Similarly goes with your speaking ability. If you can talk in English with a native speaker make sure they correct you when you use improper grammar.

Learn the basic rules: Make sure you know the basic English grammar rules. Here is a great resource that covers English grammar.

Fake it till you make it: Use phrases and sentences you hear and read. You will be amazed how imitating others will help your grammar skills.

By implementing these guidelines you will see an improvement on your grammar skills, just in time before taking the IELTS exam.

What is Considered a Good IELTS Score?

We have covered the IELTS band score and how the IELTS exam is scored at a earlier post. A common question we hear from students is what score is considered good on the IELTS? Today we are going to discuss what a good IELTS score would be.

Like the TOEFL and TOEIC, the IELTS is not a pass or fail exam but rather about getting the score you need for your specific purpose. It’s important that you know what score you need before taking the IELTS exam.

The IELTS exam is scored as following:
Bandscore    Level
9                     Expert
8                     Very good
7                     Good
6                     Competent
5                     Modest
4                     Limited
3                     Extremely limited
2                     Intermittent
1                     Non-user

Top Universities usually require a score of 7.0 or higher on the IELTS academic exam. The requirement for your school can generally be found on the schools website.

If you are taking the IELTS for immigration purposes, you will need to take the IELTS general exam. The required score will vary from country to country.

So the question really is, what score do you need on the IELTS? A band score that meets your requirement and takes you towards your goal would be considered a good score.

Know what the requirements are beforehand and you will know if you achieved a good score after taking the IELTS.

Improve your IELTS Writing Skills

The IELTS writing test vary between the general and academic version of the exam. If you want to approach IELTS writing with more skill and greater confidence, you should strive to improve your general English writing skills.

It’s important to learn how to brainstorm, organize and have a clear structure when taking the IELTS writing section. When writing for the IELTS avoid using the same words or phrases. By using different words you showcase your vocabulary, which is one of the factors that determine your score.

When expressing your ideas in writing always provide supporting details and evidence. This is when using sources from the material provided come in hand. Creating good summaries and paraphrasing is also a key component in getting a good IELTS writing score.

In my experience the best way to improve your general English writing skills, is to practice your writing by creating a blog where you can you write about topics you’re passionate about.

It’s important to use elements from the standardized essay every time you practice so it becomes a natural pattern, particularly an introduction and conclusion.

After finishing your essay, article or blog you should identify ideas that seem out of place or incomplete. Which ideas should you move to a different part of the essay? Which ideas should you remove entirely? Are there any discrepancies that you should add? After analyzing your writing always rewrite and incorporate the changes.

The fastest way to improve your IELTS writing skills is to actually write. Don’t get me wrong, reading about how to write for the IELTS is always a good thing but it’s important not to forget to apply what you have read and learned.

Click here to learn more IELTS essay writing tips. Read and practice your writing and you will see improvements in your IELTS writing skills in no time!