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HOW TO GET A 7.5 AND ABOVE IN AN IELTS EXAM

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 While beginning your IELTS preparation, you may think, “Is 7.5 a good IELTS score?”. You will find many candidates aim at getting an IELTS score of 7 or 7.5, as it is the IELTS band through which they can get admission into the top universities of their choice. Even universities like Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy Leagues ask for IELTS band 7 for many of their courses. There are very few courses that ask for a band greater than 7.5, like literature and linguistic courses that are highly language-oriented.

Now that you know an IELTS band 7.5 is really a good score, you may now seek an answer to – “How can I get a score over 7.5 in IELTS?”. Here are all the important tips to score over 7.5 in your IELTS exam. The IELTS band depends on the sub-scores, which are the scores achieved in each of the paper’s four sections. These sections are as given below:
Reading
Listening
Speaking
Writing
To get a band of 7.5, you may need to score 7 or 7.5 in all four sections of IELTS. For example, Listening Band 7 + Reading Band 8 + Writing Band 8 + Speaking Band 7 = IELTS 7.5.
How Can I Get a Score Over 7.5 in IELTS?
To get a score over 7.5 or 7 in IELTS, one must aim at a particular band in all the four sections of the exam. One should target band 7 in all four sections. Here is a detailed description of how to score 7, in different sections to get an overall IELTS score 7 or 7.5.
Reading:
Aim at obtaining 30 correct answers out of the 40 questions for IELTS 7.0, and 33 correct answers for IELTS band 7.5.
Listening:
Out of the total 40 questions aim at scoring 30 correct answers for IELTS band 7.0, and 32 correct answers for IELTS band 7.5. The spelling of the answers should be correct with all the answers written within the provided word-limit.
Speaking:
This IELTS section is considered the toughest section as unlike other sections, it is held face to face with an examiner, and hence, it is a very spontaneous process. The following points will help you score 7 in the speaking module:
 
Speak fluently within the particular duration of the given topic.
Aiming at a band of 7.5 means that you are already proficient in English up to some level, therefore you must show your highest proficiency in English to score a band of 7.5.
For this, instead of using plain sentences, you can use less common and idiomatic vocabulary.
Stay concentrated to align your thoughts with your words.
Speak at a moderate speed. This will help avoid errors that are usually made during a faster speed or even at the slow speed that makes you more self-conscious.
Be sure of your pronunciations and utterances.
Writing:
Before writing, read the questions carefully and divide the total time for each of the questions.
Each question should have a central idea and some supporting paragraphs.
Make proper use of the higher-level of vocabulary you have learnt so far.
Proofreading is essential to answers. After completing the answers, check the grammatical mistakes.
HOW IT WORKS
IELTS Modules
IELTS consists of 4 modules: listening, reading, writing, speaking to test all parts of the language proficiency. For each module, you will receive a grade & the results will be valid for 2 years. The overall band is calculated from the 4 modules and is frequently used in university admission. Some universities also require a minimum in each module.
 
Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. It might happen, that you take the Speaking module on the same day, however, according to the number of participants (do not be overwhelmed if you have 499 other test takers with you in an auditorium), the conversation with the IELTS examiner can be moved to another day (up to 1 week time).
IELTS Listening
You will be listening to audio recording and putting down your answers into a booklet. There will be four different recordings of the native English speakers, including a range of accents: British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian. The recordings are heard only once.
EXAMPLES
1. Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context, e.g., about travel arrangements
2. Recording 2 - a monologue set in an everyday scenario, e.g., about the surrounding area
3. Recording 3 & Recording 4 are about educational or training situations
- a group discussion on the different academic topic, e.g., with a teacher and a student discussing a home task’s grading policy
- a monologue on an academic subject, e.g., a university lecture
Your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed information will be tested within 40 questions (multiple-choice, matching, sentence completion, plan/diagram/map labeling, note/flow-chart/summary/form/table comments).
Each section will be accompanied by a short introduction telling the test taker about the situation and the speakers. There will be a brief time to look through the questions.
At the end of the 30-minute session, you can transfer your answers to the answer sheet (10 minutes). Attention: incorrect spelling and grammar mistakes will be penalized with negative points. Do not write more than the maximum number of words required.
Get 30 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 7.0
Get 32 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 7.5
 
 IELTS READING
You will be reading different materials and you will be required to complete a set of exercises for each of the texts. This module will test you on a wide range of reading skills including main ideas hunting, skimming through the text, reading for details, and understanding logical arguments.
Examples:
1. Section 1 - two or three short texts or several shorter texts, which deal with daily usage. For instance, timetables or notices – things a person would need to understand when living in a foreign country or when enunciating in the English language
2. Section 2 - two texts in a work scenario: job descriptions, contracts, training materials
3. Section 3 - one long text about a topic of general interest. The text is generally descriptive, long and complex
All the three different sections with texts sum up to 2,150-2,750 words. The texts are coming from books, journals, magazines, newspapers and online resources written for non-specialist audiences.
Be ready to answer multiple-choice, short-answer questions, identifying information, finding out writer’s views, labeling diagrams, completing a summary with the use of text words and matching information/headings/features in the sentence endings. Be attentive with spelling and grammar once again to prevent from getting negative marks.
Get 30 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 7.0
Get 33 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 7.5
 
 IELTS SPEAKING
 
You will have a conversation with a native speaker at the premises of the Testing Center. Generally, the conversations are kept casual. You are being tested on your ability to communicate on any topic in a random scenario. 
Examples:
 
1. Section 1 - Introduction and interview (4–5 minutes). You will be asked about your studies, work, family, free time, hobbies & pastimes, computers & internet, etc.
2. Section 2 – Subject matter (2-3 min). You will be given a task card to talk about a certain topic with 1-minute preparation time for a 2-minute speech with Q&A at the end
3. Section 3: Discussions (4–5 minutes). You will communicate with an IELTS examiner about different topics, generally from Section 2.
Try to give critical analysis and open answers covering the topic. Speak fluently and at length on any given topic. Make sure to make use of the linking words, connecting your ideas. Refrain from using common and idiomatic vocabulary. If you are aiming for IELTS 7.0 or IELTS 7.0 make sure to speak with error-free sentences with good pronunciation and intonation.
IELTS Tips & Tricks
Save yourself time & money – follow the tips to make sure you score high. Where to start? First of all, do not get overwhelmed by the amount of available information. 3 million people wouldn’t take it on an annual basis if it was impossible. Passing IELTS is not only about how good your English language is, but also how attentive you are while reading the tasks (often the formulation is confusing on purpose) and how fast you are in prioritizing your allocated time during the exam. Before anything else, you need to get yourself familiarized with the test structure and the answer sheet patterns. 
1. Read the structure of the test (above) and learn it
You need to be fully aware of what is coming your way in terms of timing, types of tasks, breaks, expectations. Understand different question types.
2. Define your learning strategy
o Do you learn on your own? You can easily find IELTS mock tests, IELTS tests from the previous years. Check for free courses online or purchase the IELTS test study materials
o Do you prefer to learn with a tutor or in a group? OXFORD STREET ENGLISH CENTER’S IELTS classes are held individually with a teacher or in groups.
For instance, while encountering core vocabulary such as “emphasis” in our listening class, our teacher will clarify the meaning by paraphrasing, functions and related collocations for the students, and lead the students to practice more about it.
3. Set realistic goals but aim a bit higher! 
It is not necessary that you score well for the first time, but you can become better next time. Practice makes perfect. Do mistakes. Understand the reasons for making mistakes to prevent yourself from doing them repeatedly.
4. Practice every day
Structure your studies according to sections, prioritize your time. Plan and organize yourself for 45 min concentration on studies and 15 min on breaks. Put all the distracting devices aside and turn yourself off from social media. Do not disregard any module. Dedicate as much time for listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is highly advisable to focus on the Writing and Reading modules a bit more because they consequently will contribute to the other modules’ improvement. When you take IELTS sample tests, you will get to understand how much you have learned and at what level you are currently in. Practice multitasking, i.e., listening to the tape, reading the questions and writing down notes for you to be able to formulate the answers afterward.
5. Read in the English language
Do not know how to read diagonally? You will be able to do that sooner than you think. What to read? Journals, articles, and newspapers. Make sure to be informed of current events and issues. Once you feel comfortable going through a daily newspaper, consider yourself ready. This, consequently, will improve your vocabulary and grammar. Improve vocabulary to use synonyms. Familiarize yourself with them. Repeating words and using simple phrases will get you no extra points and in fact, could only bring you a negative score. Memorize 15 best practice words, phrases, and connecting words and keep them always ready in your head for every situation. This will help you in all the modules of the test. Improve your reading speed. When practicing the reading module at home, set yourself a timer. Do not be optimistic about the time, it runs faster during the exam. Excel in reading first, then you will automatically score higher in IELTS writing exam. The more you understand, the more you can eventually articulate
6. Speak English at least 30 mins per day out loud
Record yourself and listen to your own voice. If necessary, record yourself on video – the camera doesn’t lie. While listening to this record, you will hear your own pronunciation errors and mistakes. Use this knowledge to improve. If you can, find a native speaker around you to practice. There are a lot of tandem options and applications existing online to find a language partner (to teach you English while you are teaching your native language in exchange) free of charge as well.
7. Listen to podcasts & watch TV shows
There is plenty of great tv shows, alike F.R.I.E.N.D.S in the original version with the English subtitles. Master it until you no longer need the subtitles. Once you can watch movies without subtitles, consider yourself ready.
8. Play video games that involve active conversations with your team members in English
Counter – Strike, World of Warcraft, DotA! Switch to the American servers for your own good! It is a sacrifice you do for the IELTS. 😊
9. Learn the exam approach
In all parts, it is highly recommended to skim through the whole text/exercise first and to highlight the words, which you believe the emphasis will be on. This will help you navigate towards the question-answer later and to subconsciously divide the text into parts. Use question keywords to find the answer. Write an outline for the written answers – and follow it every time. Structured writing gets more points on the written part.
10. Be attentive and read questions twice
It is a common practice, that an answer can be hidden in the question itself. Read instructions carefully and always look at the example. Do not disregard the sample questions and answers.
11. Answer exactly what is required
Not more, not less. Do not go off-topic, do not go over the limit. 2 or 3 points for your reasoning is just fine. Do not overdo it. Give just one answer, unless you are specifically requested to give multiple options.
12. Filter out irrelevant noise
IELTS is about finding relevant answers in the big data volume. The tasks will be long and daunting, but do not let that confuse you – your task is to find the answers to those questions and that’s the only motivation you should have.
13. Practice transferring answers from the answer sheet to the ‘original’
This also requires time and efficiency in utilizing space.
14. Recheck your answers if you have spare time
We are all humans and might overlook something. Make logical guesses when unsure. Do not leave things blank. Check your grammar, spelling, and handwriting. If your writing will be confusing it will be marked wrong by default. Your answer may be marked wrong if the structure of your answer is not grammatically correct as well. Less is more! If unsure, use short but precise answers.
15. Consider IELTS test as a job interview
Sleep well before the test, arrive early enough and put on your best smile and attire. 
16. If you can, take a seat in the first three rows in the listening test
Experience shows those rows have the best audio access. Listen carefully. If you miss out on something, drop it and continue with the future tasks.
17. Do not be nervous
Keep cool and calm. Get yourself water and chocolate (outside of classroom). Try to maintain normal fluency. If you score well – great. If you don’t – great. Time to rehearse and learn, it is not the end of the world and IELTS has no retake limit.
18. Be yourself
The more relaxed and yourself you are the more appealing and comfortable the conversation with the IELTS instructor will be.

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