IELTS 7.5 - Muhammad Tajamal
I took my IELTS on 21st May 2016 and the purpose of taking IELTS was to apply for further education abroad. My overall score in IELTS was 7.5, Listening 7.0, Speaking 7.0, Reading 8.0 and Writing 7.0.
I am going to share my personal experience of taking IELTS and would share some useful tips that worked for me. I started preparing for IELTS about two weeks before my exam, in fact after formally registering for the test. I had to manage time along with my Job and I was only able to spare a maximum about two hours a day. I only used books of Cambridge IELTS for my preparation and did not use any additional material, each book contains four full-length tests with answer key in the end. I allocated about two days for each section and then, in the end, I spent two days to do two full-length tests to time myself.
I started with the reading section and the main reason to start with reading section was that different readings give you different ideas plus it helps you to learn some good English expressions which consequently help you to do better in the writing section.
There are three passages in the reading section and the total time allocated for all the three passages is 60 minutes. So there are about 20 minutes on average to do one passage. After each paragraph, there are questions based on the passages. All the questions can only be answered if you understand the theme of the passages and you should be well aware of how the author has developed and linked different ideas. Questions can be confusing, therefore it’s important to look for key ideas and keywords that help to choose the right answer. When I was practicing, I timed myself for 18 minutes per passage so that if anyone passage is long or consumes more time, I can finish it within the time limit.
After reading the section, I started with the writing section. Basically, the writing test is designed in a way to access a candidate on three main things:
- An appropriate response
- Organization of Ideas
- Usage of the variety of grammar and vocabulary
In order to do better on it I attempted seven tests and after attempting I went through all the key answers given at the end of the Cambridge IELTS book. This helped me to understand, what is expected of the candidate, it helped to get the gist of it.
For the Listening part, I practiced only three tests from the Cambridge IELTS book. The main problem in the listening part is that you need to focus on the conversation plus keep a track of main things while listening to the audio. I used to keep a rough paper with me so that I can scribble down the important points because once the audio is over, it’s difficult to remember the main points.
For speaking, I used to practice the exercises given in the Cambridge IELTS book. The best thing is to practice that with a friend. Daily in the morning, I used to go for jogging with a friend and used to practice daily two tests. The success of the listening part depends on the following:
- You do not need to make a fake accent, they understand that you are from Pakistan and not a native speaker. You should be clear and speak fluently.
- Do not try to impress by knowledge, but focus on whatever you speak is logical. Sometimes in the discussion even if you do not know a specific answer, you can simply mold the conversation. They want to test your speaking skills, not your knowledge.
My advice to all test takers is that IELTS is a basic test of language and above 7.0 is a good score, most of the high ranked Universities do not ask IELTS higher than 7.0. In order for the best preparation if one can spare two to three hours daily and attempt at least two full fledged test can easily score 7 and above.