Part 1 in a series of posts on how to achieve better results in IELTS

Today I would like to talk about aiming for the highest band scores in IELTS.

Let’s look at how high achievers start out on their journey, let’s examine how to achieve the best results regardless of which area they are training in.

If I want to run a marathon and complete the course in the best time possible then I must do some research. I need to ask some of these questions:

How long is the course.

Are there any special things I need to look out for

Is the course flat or are there any hills

Who am I competing against

What are my strengths and weaknesses.

When I ran  it before, why did I fail, how far did I get, what should I do to go further next time, etc.

Allegedly, Einstein said” Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”

So surely, if we want different results we need to do something different, don’t we?

What are we going to do to change things, to get better results? The answer is of course to practice more often, for longer maybe, practice different techniques, different strategies and so on.

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT, know what you are up against, know it, learn it and then when you feel ready, STRIKE! Strike that killer blow, tell yourself  that you will not be beaten.

Now, back to IELTS, examine the criteria for SPEAKING being asked for to obtain the best results,  the criteria are available on the web and  freely available online. Read them, there are four, and each will carry weight in the marking process:

Fluency and coherence 25%

Lexical resource  25%

Grammatical range and accuracy 25%

Pronunciation 25%

So you can see the importance of obtaining the  best results in each and a failure in one or more will severely affect your band score.

Let’s examine each criterion in more detail, we will compare bands 6 through 9

Let’s start with Fluency and coherence, this means  “The ability to express oneself easily and articulately”

Here easily means “without effort” and this is measured on a scale, in our study here we are looking at bands  6-9,


Band 6 being “may lose coherence at times due to  occasional repetition.

Band 7 “Speaks at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence”

Band 8 “Speaks fluently with only occasional repetition or self correction”

Band 9 “Speaks fluently with only rare repetition or self correction”

These are some of the targets of the various bands.

                                       Next week we will  look at Connectives and discourse markers

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