Have you taken your IELTS test more than once? Are you struggling to get that magic band 6 or above? The IELTS test is like a gatekeeper which sometimes stops you from reaching your goal of entry to university or immigration to an English speaking country.
How can you succeed next time?
Well, there is no point in just arranging another test in a few weeks as some students do. It can take a few months to raise your band score by a half a band e.g. 5.5 to 6. Language learning is a slow process and if you scored under band 6, you are highly unlikely to succeed a few weeks later, even with intensive study.
So what should you do?
Firstly reflect carefully on your performance in your last test and look at the breakdown of your band result in each of the four skills. See where your weaknesses are by looking at the descriptors that the examiners use to choose your band score. These are publicly available online.
Here is an example (which also has the descriptors in Chinese).
So for example if you scored 5 for “lexical resource” in your speaking test (or writing test) then you should work on improving your vocabulary. Our recent blog gives advice on this.
Once you have found your weakness, try to set aside time to work on it daily. There are plenty of helpful blogs and materials on our IELTS dojo website for practice.
When you think you might be ready, you can send samples of your writing to us to get professional advice on whether you are on target or we can run you through a mock speaking test on skype and tell you if you are ready. That way you can go to your next IELTS test cool, calm and confident that you will get the band you need 🙂