K, one of our students, recently scored 7.0 bands in IELTS exam. Scoring these bands was no small achievement for K since he belongs to a village and has never been to an English medium school.
Let me first remove all assumptions of any fairy tale magic. It took him about one year, a lot of persistence, commitment and dedication that are rarely seen among students (I’m not de-motivating anyone, but that’s an observation). He worked for more than 10 hours a day and obstinately kept writing or speaking when all other candidates had left for home. He was hell-bent on achieving seven bands despite all odds. Let us interview him:
ELTEC: How did you improve your IELTS writing score?
K: Working on IELTS writing was the most uphill task among all modules. When I started writing I didn’t even know the structure of a sentence. So, the initial thing I did was learn the basics. Yes, my first lesson was that a sentence should have a subject followed by a verb and then an object. Surprisingly, most students don’t know this even today. I went step by step. It made the foundation stronger. I had never been to an English medium school before, remember.
ELTEC: What was your strategy to learn tenses?
K: The tenses were difficult and learning them was full of ups and downs. However, unlike other students, I always kept an English grammar book (Wren and Martin) with me. It was a constant companion, and I frequently used it during writing module. I gradually learned the usage of the present, the past and the future tense and their appropriate usage in speaking and writing.
ELTEC: Can you offer some tips on the IELTS reading module?
K: Well, reading was not easy initially. However, I worked regularly on improving my vocabulary and read the newspaper (The Indian Express) daily. Students fail to understand that reading module is not a module, but a test to judge whether you can read an article or a report correctly. Don’t restrict yourself to IELTS reading tasks only. Make reading a habit and you’ll score well.
ELTEC: What about the IELTS speaking module?
K: My speaking and listening strategy were to listen to the B.B.C news daily and send an audio to Sartaj sir. I sent him an audio sample daily, and he corrected my pronunciation and style daily via WhatsApp. The best thing about entire ELTEC team is that they always stay connected with all students through various mediums. I’ll suggest all students strike a conversation with their friends in English language only and send your teacher your voice samples as frequently as possible.
ELTEC: Thank you so much for your time K.
K: It was my pleasure.
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