Many professional positions and university courses require applicant to have a Band 7 IELTS Test Score.
Although this can be quite easily achievable in the ‘passive’ skills (Reading and Listening), it is more difficult to achieve in the ‘active’ skills (Speaking and Writing).
If you’re lucky, you will be asked for an overall Band 7, which means that you could get an average of 7 if you do better in Listening/Reading than Writing/Speaking.
However, often employers insist that you get 7 for EACH skill (Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading).
So if you have strong Listening and Reading skills, you will need to focus more attention onto your Writing and Speaking.
Mindset: Asking the right questions
Unlike many other language tests, the IELTS test simply tells you what level you are now.
If you want to get a piece of paper that confirms your level is Band 7, then you simply have to give evidence that you are Band 7.
So your question is not
How can I get a Band 7?
Your question is
How can I improve my English skills in order to become a Band 7?
That is a totally different question, because it is about the process that you have to go through to improve your level.
Is Band 7 possible for me?
ANYONE can get Band 7.
But if it was easy, EVERYBODY would get Band 7.
It takes time, consistent practice and patience.
But it also takes a mindset shift.
Language is not a subject that you can revise the night before the test.
It is a SKILL, and as with all skills, the only way to get better is to get out of your comfort zone.
When students tell me that my IELTS Vocabulary Booster course is too difficult, I say “Good – if it was easy, you wouldn’t learn anything new”.
You don’t get better at something by doing just the easy bits that you know and like and feel comfortable with.
You get better by dealing with the difficult bits – soon, they will become easy and you’ll need more difficulty to keep you moving forwards.
Are you interested or are you committed?
There is a big difference between being interested in improving your score and being committed to improving your score.
I see it in my students all the time.
The ones who are interested will join the Facebook group and not even reply to my welcome post.
The ones who are committed will introduce themselves, outline their goal, and continue to ask questions and comment and engage until they achieve it.
The students who are interested in my live lessons might make a note in their diary and “see how they feel” on the day.
The students who are committed will block off that hour, reschedule their appointments, and show up every week without fail.
Here are my very general tips on how to get Band 7 in each of the skills.
How to get Writing Band 7
Academic Writing Task 1
- Learn how to describe and analyse graphs, charts and processes and cycles (Academic Test) in 20 minutes and 150 words
- Use a variety of linking words naturally
- Use a range of vocabulary to describe change and make comparisons
- Use prepositions, tenses, articles and quantifiers accurately
- Be able to summarise and paraphrase
- Understand the Band Descriptors for Band 7 Task 1
General Training Task 1 Letters/emails
- Learn how to use an appropriate tone
- Develop your INFORMAL writing style
- Learn language for different types of letters e.g. a letter of apology, a letter of complaint, a job application
- Answer all the bullet points
- Use the correct form of greeting
Academic and General Training Writing Task 2
- Have sophisticated and relevant ideas
- Have plenty of appropriate and relevant examples
- Be able to organise ideas into a 5-minute plan in the exam
- Learn how to plan a clear structure
- Answer all parts of the question directly
- Give your opinion throughout, but show both sides where necessary
- Develop an academic, authoritative, formal ‘voice’ – avoid slang and informal features such as contractions
- Write every day
- Read good quality news articles and make notes
- Watch good quality news programmes and documentaries and make notes
- Act on feedback
- Fix your grammar and punctuation mistakes
- Increase your active vocabulary
- Use complex sentences
- Have strong arguments
- Read high-quality models and try to mimic (not copy) them
- Follow my Writing Advice for Academic Task 1 and Task 2, and General Training Task 1
- Understand the Band Descriptors for Writing Task 2
How to get Speaking Band 7
- Speak more often
- Record yourself and listen to the recording
- Get feedback
- Fix your grammar mistakes
- Have plenty to say
- Increase your active vocabulary (the words you use)
- Improve your pronunciation
- Identify which sounds are difficult for you
- Learn the phonemic alphabet and weak sounds
- Write down new words with their phonemic transcription
- Use an online dictionary to listen to the correct pronunciation
- Use contractions to sound more natural (I’d, I’ll, I’m etc)
- Listen to models
- Follow my Speaking Advice
How to get IELTS Reading Band 7
- Read the right kind of texts more often
- Do lots of practice tests with explanations
- Practice time-management – learn how to find the answers quickly.
- Get used to different types of questions and how they work (e.g. True False Not Given)
- Analyse why the answer is right/wrong
- Improve your understanding of typical IELTS-related vocabulary.
- Spell the words correctly on the Answer Sheet.
- Follow my Reading Advice and find lots of examples I’ve made specially for you to practice on my Instagram/Facebook feeds and on my Podcast.
How to get Listening Band 7
- Listen more often
- Listen to high-quality, relevant podcasts/news channels (BBC 4 Radio)
- Do lots of practice tests
- Read tape-scripts to understand the answers
- Increase your passive vocabulary (the words your understand)
- Spell the words correctly on the Answer Sheet – don’t leave gaps, make educated guesses
- Practise map-reading and following directions
- Study irregular word formation to improve your spelling
- Follow my Listening advice here and find lots of examples I’ve made specially for you to practice on my Instagram/Facebook feeds and on my Podcast.
How to improve your overall IELTS Band Score
If you’re struggling to do the preparation that you need to get a Band 7, The Members Academy will and give you practice, motivation, support and constant feedback so that you keep making progress.
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