IELTS tips from a band 8.0 achiever after just one month of preparation

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Phan Hoang Nam, one of the first graduates from Tan Tao University, shared his experience and techniques to achieve IELTS band 8 with students at the University.

According to the 2014 statistics from the website, there were only 2% to 4% of Vietnamese people getting band 8 in Academic and General IELTS. It has proved Phan Hoang Nam’s excellent result; particularly he prepared for the IELTS exam within just over a month. “I prepared for IELTS exam diligently from morning to night for one and a half months. I practised reading and writing skills from 7 to 9 am since two skills require attention and focus; thus, morning helped me effectively to grasp more knowledge and afternoon will be used to practice listening and speaking. Before going to bed, I listened to the IELTS recordings. “

Phan Hoang Nam

 Balance between knowledge and language skills

According to Nam, IELTS is a competition about English language. Therefore, it does not aim to seek out English teachers or language experts. IELTS requires learners’ English level to be able to work and communicate; thus, learners need to balance between knowledge and English skills to achieve better results.

Before taking IELTS exam, learners need to learn about contents and structure of the exam, which are available in all the IELTS preparation books.

Practice reading together with pronunciation

To avoid boredom in practising English reading skills, Nam said he often read breaking news at the English language site of Thanh Nien Newspaper. Although its English is not as good as the BBC or CNN sites, its articles contain information which is familiar with us.

Instead of following skills for preparation of IELTS exam, Nam practised speaking out aloud to improve his pronunciation and vocabulary. He said that speaking exactly like foreign presenters do on television is very helpful to practice pronunciation. He advised students to start with the IELTS Expert preparation book (at upper intermediate level).

Students who start preparing for IELTS need to set a target plan for each day and strictly follow it. Learners need to practise four skills at the same time as they relate and support each other. Speaking skill will help to improve Listening, Reading and Writing. When taking IELTS exam, learners should not use more time on difficult questions because both difficult and easy questions have the same score.

When being asked for the reason why he did not apply for a job at a big foreign corporation with his IELTS band 8, he said: “Each one has a different career path. I can learn a lot from accounting, marketing, human resources, finance and “. Currently, Phan Hoang Nam is manager and supervisor of Thi La Bistro restaurant in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.