Your IELTS Band 7
By Thomas Javanaud | Kaplan IELTS Trainer
How can I make my band 7 dream a reality? Do you need to have mastered English fully to obtain a band 7, or can you achieve a band 7 by developing IELTS specific skills which can push you over the band 7 boundary?
I would like to start off by emphasizing the value of long-term perseverance and commitment to anything which is worthwhile, of which learning English certainly is. Furthermore, the more fluent and generally proficient you are in English, the more likely it is that you will be able to adjust and incorporate the following tips and suggestions into your language arsenal.
Nevertheless, I don’t believe that perfection in English, or anything close to it is required in order to obtain the coveted band 7 so many students strive for. I suggest that you keep things simple when preparing for the IELTS test, and more generally in any aspect of your studies or life. Don’t be overwhelmed by ‘experts’ listing countless ways to improve your English. Therefore, I would like to merely suggest 5 things that you should implement into your test-taking strategy.
1. Listen/read carefully to genuinely understand the question(s).
When replying to questions in part 1-3 of the listening test ensure that you truly understand the question before replying. Take a few moments to reflect and then start your response. Equally, the importance of planning time cannot be over-estimated when preparing your written response to task 2 written questions. Remember that the most significant assessment criterion is task response which limits your upper limit scores in the 3 other assessment criteria.
2. Be honest and direct when speaking or writing.
How many times have you got yourself into a pickle or twisted a little story? Wouldn’t it have been much easier to have been honest from the start? Well, learn from these mistakes and start off by telling the listener or reader the things that you really believe. It can be tempting to twist a fanciful story, but you will probably become lost. I suggest getting to know yourself and your experiences as well as possible before the test, so that you are clear about questions that ask about your character, likes or dislikes.
3. Keep the listener positively entertained.
Nobody wants to be bored, even those boring examiners. Remember people prefer to be uplifted than brought down. Although you will not be judged on your content in the speaking test, your responses will be viewed in a more favourable light if you present yourself in a way that results in the examiner liking and remembering you.
4. Make vital connections using linking words and use vivid language devices.
Another important assessment criterion is the coherence element of the fluency and coherence criterion in the speaking test and the coherence and cohesion criterion in the writing test. It is essential to link ideas together using cohesive devices. Equally important is to try to find ways of increasing the range of your vocabulary in order to demonstrate your expressive ability.
5. Do not repeat the examiner’s words or ‘lift’. Try instead to paraphrase & use synonyms.
Demonstrating an ability to paraphrase is important in every section of the IELTS test. Remember to use alternative language in your responses when replying to questions in the speaking test and ensure that you do not ‘lift’ phrases in task 1 or 2 of the writing test from the title or question. as the ‘lifted’ words will not be regarded as evidence of your English-speaking abilities.
Mr. Thomas Javanaud
Kaplan IELTS Trainer
BSc in Philosophy (LSE)
- Strong in delivering test-taking skills and test tips to students
- Understand the needs of every type of students and eager to help them achieve their potentials
- Focus on teaching, academic management and course development
- Has experience in teaching IELTS, General English, Business English and TOEFL for more than 7 years
- Specialized in IELTS teaching in his TESOL
- Graduated from a prestigious university
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