If you’re preparing for IELTS, you know how important it is to get an 8 band in each IELTS task. Reading, Listening and Writing are the three major tasks that you’re struggling with. And almost everyone who contacts me for IELTS help asks for the same thing. ‘How to get an 8 band?” Well, in this article, I’ll talk about how you can ace your IELTS test easily (with a little bit of effort)!
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How to get 8 band in IELTS listening task
If there’s one thing almost everyone doing IELTS is bummed about, is the listening part. For some reason, writing and reading comes easy for India, but listening? Not so much.
Here’s the trick. Watch a lot of movies. I’ve been a movie bum pretty much all my life, so understanding US accent wasn’t that hard for me. But I used to watch all kinds of stuff. World cinema, Italian movies, Aussie movies.. everything! Unknowingly, I kinda developed a taste for listening to different slangs. But wait, just by listening movies, you won’t reach anywhere. It’s just a beginning. It can provide you a good base to start off with. It can prepare yourself to be a good listener. That’s all.
Here are some observations that might help you.
“People listen to argue. Don’t. Listen to understand.”
1. Practice focusing and patience
Listening is an art. No matter whether you understand the language or not. To listen well, you need to have a certain temperament in you. Being a good listener is a skill that many employers seek. For this, you need to focus a lot. There are different ways to listen. Listen and grasp nothing, or listen to understand. To be able to listen to understand (which is what is required in IELTS) you need great focus. Practice yoga. Or just be cool and calm. Don’t be on a “debate mode” when you’re listening. And being able to remember what you’re listening will go a long way.
2. Pace yourself
If you talk to people in the US, you’ll notice a significant change of pace. People are more calm and they talk clear most of the time (of course, I’m generalising here, but still). Communication is the key not making sounds. So, pace yourself slow when you speak and listen. When you listen, try to keep making mental notes of key points, so that you can answer it later.
3. Listen a lot
Some people ask me if they need to listen one hour a day? Well, my answer is always “Do you think that’s enough?”. Because, each person have their own listening abilities and it differs. Your one hour of listening may be good enough for you, but not for someone else. But, the key is to listen more.
4. Use YouTube
Many IELTS aspirants ask me if there are resources online. And my answer always is yes, go search on YouTube. It’s an excellent resource to find new stuff. For example, there are even lectures from Ivy league colleges available for free. That is the most realistic representation of your future. Try listening to those a lot.
Getting an 8 Band in reading
Reading is comparatively easy. The problem is speed. You can read a 100 words in 4 minutes may be, but 1 minute? That’s the trick. For this, apart from the usual advice of “read a lot”, I’d say, “read faster!”.
Try to time yourself. Ex: When you read a page, see how much time you are taking for it. Now try again. Once you practice the speed, you’ll notice that you’re able to read more. There is a common practice of “speed reading”, where there are tricks to read more in less time. Try to practice that. You don’t need super high speeds for IELTS but keeping that benchmark is always helpful.
Summary – Can you get an 8 band for all IELTS tasks?
Yes. It’s not easy. It depends on your background. If you are someone who’s been watching lot of Hollywood movies, listening might come easy to you. If you’re someone who reads a lot, then reading section will be easier for you. But to ace in each, the only way out is practice. Practice more, practice better! There more, the better!