Take it easy! There is absolutely no need to be in that pensive mood! Shall I take one module at a time? Of course, you will not agree with me everywhere, and there is no need to either. However, you may find some useful nuggets of information. So, here goes:
What is Band 7 in IELTS? The short answer is given below.
The above is the general definition only, and found in each book of the Cambridge IELTS series of sample tests. For a detailed study of 3 items - Speaking, Writing Task 1, and Writing Task 2 - you should visit:
To be a “Good User” of English in Speaking, you need to display good oral fluency; pronunciation that is free of undue MTI (Mother-tongue Influence); adequate ability to use synonyms; and skill to avoid repetition of words, phrases, and even sentence structures. Along with all this, you need to be relevant as well. Finally, your answers should be neither too short/abrupt nor rambling/meandering/too lengthy. Sounds daunting, right? But regular practice - even as little as 30 minutes a day for a month or so - should do you a world of good. Excellence is, after all, a Habit.
The more you do this, the better. Start with doing individual sections per day and graduate to doing the whole test in one hearing. This should happen over a period of about a week (7 days). It is very important that you not only do it correctly but also find out WHY you are making the mistakes that you are making. After checking your answers, go back and listen to that part again till you have understood exactly WHAT has foxed you. Only after this may you proceed further. In Listening, try to score no less than 18 in the first two sections. This is because the difficulty level increases as you proceed.
Periodically go back to your solved tests and redo the ones you had done wrongly. You will now realize that what looked difficult at that time is actually quite simple. This is a clear indication of the fact that you are becoming better at Listening. Aim for 35–36 in Listening which is 8 Band. If you consistently achieve 8 bands, then getting a 7 band in Listening (30/40) should not be a problem. Exam pressure can always spoil days of hard work. Therefore, always aim for 3-4 marks higher than your target band.
Not much required here besides understanding concepts and practicing regularly. But first, understand WHY something is wrong. Unless you learn that, you will continue to make mistakes. Once you have grasped the various types of questions, do one section per day. Make sure that you are high on accuracy. Don’t worry about time, not in the beginning at least. Time/speed is a function of practice. You can always gradually move up to 2 sections together and then finally the full 40 questions in one attempt.
Achieving a good score in IELTS - in any module - is all about being consistent. But it is equally important to score really well in the first two sections. Accordingly, in Reading, your target should be to score a 23/26 (IELTS Academic) or 25/27 (IELTS General Training). Simply because the third section is going to be a much harder nut to crack.
This is the toughest of the lot. What you need are good English writing skills. Follow all the rules that govern how to write an essay well. Templates don’t help beyond a point.
Ensure that you have done all that have been asked of you. Present a point, and elaborate it properly. Close it appropriately, and then move on to the next point. Each point must be 'extended', or in other words, 'fleshed out', as it were. Avoid repetitions - words/phrases/points/sentence structure, and so on. Do not make basic grammatical and spelling errors, and be relevant and to the point. ALWAYS. Do not worry about templates or formats beyond a point. The aim is to focus on content and on traditional techniques of writing English well.
A final word: Practice, Practice & Practice. Live Excellence. And it will be yours.