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How to Achieve an 8.5 Score in IELTS

Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain

Jan 15, 2024

9 mins read

How to Achieve an 8.5 Score in IELTS Cover Image

How to Get a High Band Score in IELTS?

So you’re planning to study abroad and have been asked for your IELTS score.  But the catch is, this is your first time preparing for something this important and you are overwhelmed not knowing what to do.  You’ve come to the right place as we will explain everything there is to know about IELTS and how you can do well while attempting the exam.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most widely used English language test for work, study, and immigration. IELTS evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in four areas of the English language: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. IELTS can be given on a computer or on paper and is the only language exam score accepted for immigration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.

Suggested: Top 5 Strategies To Ace IELTS Speaking & Listening Section

IELTS Band Score Explained

You know you want to have a good IELTS band score but don’t completely understand how it works. That’s okay because this section will make it easier for you to understand how the IELTS scores work. Your competency in the English language will be assessed on a scale of 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest band score that can be achieved. Your final score will be the average of the Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing portions of the test. There are specific rounding-up requirements that must be followed in the event of an unqualified result because your overall band score and skill band score can only be shown as the whole band or half band, for example, 5, 6.5, or 7, 8.5. Your final score is rounded to the closest half-band if it finishes at .25 or higher. Your grade is rounded to the next whole band if it ends in .75. So let’s dissect all the individual scores:

Test TypeDurationProcessDissection
Listening Band Scores30 minutes- You will only get one chance to listen to audio since once it’s begun, it can’t be stopped. 

-You have an additional 10 minutes to transfer your answers from the question booklet to the answer sheet after listening to the entire audio
- Both Sections 1 and 2 deal with social circumstances that are commonplace which includes one dialogue about an issue that people face every day and one presentation or introduction about a particular place or event. 

- Sections 3 and 4 cover environments for education and training, such as debates between lecturers and students or a formal presentation on a subject.
Reading Band Score60 minutes - You will be required to read three lengthy texts from books, newspapers, journals, or periodicals for the test. 

- 40 questions with a variety of tasks (e.g. True/False, Multiple Choice, etc) must be answered. 
- Section 1 will have multiple small texts 

- Section 2 includes two texts 

- Section 3 has a lengthy text 
Writing Band Score60 minutes- Candidates are expected to compose a letter for the first part of the test. They will be asked to give information outlining a situation once it has been presented. The letter’s style can be informal, formal, or personal.

- Candidates are required to respond in writing to a point of view, argument, or problem in the second portion of the test.
- Task 1: Candidates are expected to compose a letter detailing a situation which has been presented to them. 

- Task 2: Candidates are required to respond in writing to a point of view, argument, or problem.
Speaking Band Score11-14 minutes - Participants in the test response to a series of questions about themselves and everyday topics such as their homes, schools, jobs, routines, and habits. 

- You will be assigned a topic to discuss in this section, and you will have one minute to jot down some notes on paper regarding that issue.

- You will be presented with some argumentative questions in this section, and for each one, you will be required to provide your perspective along with justifications and pertinent examples. 
- (Introduction and Interview) Part 1/Task 1: The examiner confirms your name and introduces themselves. The examiner will then give you a series of basic questions about yourself and several well-known topics. (4-5 min)

- (Individual presentation) Part 2/Task 2: The examiner hands you a task card in writing. Prior to speaking for 1-2 minutes, you get one minute to prepare your thoughts. After you finish speaking, the examiner may have a question or two. (3-4 min)

- The third section or task (two-way discussion): Discuss more abstract issues and concepts with the examiner that are connected thematically to the subject of your lecture in Part 2. (4-5 min)
*The average of these four separate criteria scores, with rounding-up regulations in place, will be your final result.

How To Improve Your IELTS Score?

Now that you’ve understood what IELTS is and how the tests work, you must be curious to know how to improve your score. All is possible with consistent practice and cracking the IELTS is no different. Here are a few things you can do before your test to ensure an 8+ IELTS Band Score.

Understand The Evaluation Standard

You will receive a grade from your examiner based on the evaluation standards. Spend time learning about these standards and criteria. You will have a clear knowledge of the particular skills you need to exhibit in your IELTS Exam thanks to this preparation. Additionally, it will help you pinpoint your areas of weakness so that you may put more effort there. In order to effectively express your ideas, you need to have a wide range of words at your disposal.

Suggested: Top Universities Without IELTS Requirement

Work On Grammar

Use good grammar to make sure the reader or listener understands what you’re saying. Therefore, you must concentrate on your grammar if you want to convey a coherent message or idea to the examiner and improve your IELTS score. Additionally, employing fluent language can help you to confidently and effectively convey your ideas. Your writing and public speaking will become more confident as a result. There are also courses available to guide you through this: 

Stick To A Study Schedule

You need to have a well-thought-out plan if you want to achieve the top IELTS score. Creating a suitable study schedule will help you gain valuable information rather than just going in blind. Additionally, it’s important to recognize your weak areas and concentrate more on them while you study for the IELTS Exam.

Improve Your Listening And Speaking Skills

The IELTS exam’s listening section is crucial because it tests your ability to listen to and respond to people effectively. You may quickly develop better-listening skills by practicing on a daily basis. Online platforms are a terrific way to practice completing tasks fast and effectively. You should spend time working on your speaking abilities in addition to honing your listening skills. You’ll improve your ability to communicate effectively and persuasively throughout the exam by practicing your grammar every day. 

Work On Your Vocabulary

Whether you are performing a written assignment or a speaking one, your vocabulary and word choice are very important. You must choose the proper words to convey your views if you want to impress the examiner and earn a good score. Reading will also help with adding new words to your arsenal. You can also watch shows and movies in English to help understand their pronunciations along with learning vocabulary. You can also take up online courses to help you out like these:

Read More

Your reading needs to be accurate and clear if you want to impress the IELTS examiner and get a good score. By consistently reading books, newspapers, and magazines from various sources, you can fast improve your reading skills.

Suggested: IELTS Guide

Use Reference Books

In today’s day and age with the Internet having the amount of knowledge it does, finding relevant materials to improve upon your weak areas isn’t hard. But if you are one to thrive better with physical books are hand, here are some you can use to help prepare for the exam:

  1. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS Student’s Book with Answers 
  2. Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module 
  3. Barron’s IELTS with MP3 CD, 4th Edition 4th Edition
  4. IELTS General Training & Academic Study Guide

To give test takers flexibility and convenience, IELTS test dates in India are available four times per month or 48 times a year (for paper-based), and they are typically held on Saturdays and Thursdays. If you wish to take the IELTS on a computer, you can choose from a range of dates and time windows, and you’ll get your results in three to five days. The open dates, however, may change according to the IELTS test type and module you’ve selected—Academic or General Training.

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Dhruvin Jain
Dhruvin Jain

Dhruvin Jain is the co-founder of MastersBuddy, a tech-first platform that has helped over 2500 students find and apply to top master’s programs globally. He is a master’s graduate from IE Business School, and is passionate about education, technology, and entrepreneurship.

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