IELTS is the most popular English Proficiency test among aspirants trying to study or settle abroad. Receiving the highest IELTS score, a Band 9, is a dream for every candidate as it can open a plethora of opportunities in places around the world.
You can achieve a Band 9 in IELTS if you practise consistently and work on every module to meet the criteria required for a Band 9 from the scoring band descriptors. Though this is not an easy task for a non-native speaker, it is highly achievable.
Let us examine the approaches that will assist you in achieving your desired perfect score of Band 9 in the IELTS examination.
How to get a Band 9 in Listening?
For achieving a Band 9 in listening, it is important to get acquitted to listening to a variety of different accents and types of talks so that you become more familiar with the language. Once your ability to comprehend the language improves, it will be easy to answer the questions.
It is also vital to practise all the different question types asked for IELTS listening. Each question type will proffer different strategies and methods, making it easy to crack the answers to it. It is also important to complete the listening test in one go, that is, in 30 minutes, even during practice as it will help you improve your concentration span from the initial time of practise itself. Staying focused for the whole 30 minutes into the listening audio without getting distracted is of high importance when it comes to securing a Band 9 in listening.
To achieve a 9 band score in IELTS, keep the following points in mind:
- The accents used for listening vary broadly, thus it is important to get yourself exposed to different kinds of accents by listening to TedTalks, podcasts, audiobooks and even watching movies.
- Spelling errors are perilous when it comes to the listening module, so take care not to make any spelling mistakes and correct and learn any errors in spelling you make then and there.
- If you are opting for the pen-and-paper mode, practice transferring your answers into the answer script before the real exam.
- Practise and gain proficiency in multitasking as the listening module demands a candidate to listen, read and write in a simultaneous manner.
- While practising you can increase the speed of the audio and try to decipher the answers, this will develop your capacity to comprehend information even while the audio is at a faster pace improving your listening skills.
Check out our blog to learn more about the types of questions and strategies for IELTS listening.
Strategies to obtain BAND 9 in Reading:
A habit of reading different types of texts will help you achieve your dream band 9 score. However, along with a reading habit, it is important to learn time management and also the techniques that should be used for each type of question asked in the reading section to gain a high score.
Reading is a tough task for most candidates as they find it difficult to comprehend the meaning of the passage, find the answer to the question and write it down all at the same time. These difficulties can be overcomed by careful planning and strategic practise which should be based on the strengths and weaknesses each candidate faces while practising.
Here are some pointers to help you master the reading section:
- Use the question-to-passage strategy as a large portion of the passage is useless when it comes to finding the answer for the questions provided.
- Make it a habit to read at least for half an hour on a daily basis as this will increase your comprehension skills to a great extent.
- Always set a timer while doing the reading section so that you will understand your pace and workout in par with it to increase your reading speed.
- You must keep aside at least 2 minutes at the end of the reading section to proofread the answers you have written in your answer script. This is important as even a minor spelling error will cost you one mark and a subsequent reduction in band scores.
- Monitor your score on a regular basis and take note of your strengths and weaknesses; focus more on the types of questions in which you tend to underperform.
Check the blog to know more about IELTS Reading
Strategies to get 9 bands in IELTS Writing:
An IELTS band 9 can be only achieved by exceptionally great writers as it the highest parameter in the IELTS examination. For a candidate whose current writing skills are above average, achieving a band ( would be possible in a short stretch of time if they practise using the right techniques and understand the band descriptors to meet all the criteria required for a band 9 score. Getting your writings evaluated by an experienced IELTS trainer would also be a useful tool in understanding your scores and improving on them.
For a Band 9, your writing should be completely error free without a single grammar , sentence construction or punctuation error. The content should be on par with the question and every aspect of your writing should be given in the right context. If you need a Band 9 then your use of vocabulary should be flawless and the sentences you write should flow without any block along with a precise and sophisticated style of writing.
The following techniques can help you catapult your IELTS writing task scores:
- Try to include real-life and research examples in your essay to make it more sophisticated and level up your score.
- Have your works reviewed by a qualified trainer to identify any flaws and improvement ideas that can help you achieve a band 9 score.
- For task one Academic, practise a range of graph, map, and process diagram questions so that you may comfortably attempt any question asked for the exam.
- For task one General, practise all of the key types of letter questions, using the appropriate structure and vocabulary
- For band 9, it is mandatory to use a wide range of sentence structures including complex and compound sentences.
- Read through a plethora of IELTS task one and task two questions as this will help you familiarise with all the categories of questions asked.
- Preset a basic structure for different types of questions such a agree disagree type, discussion type, problem solution type and so on. Formulating a basic structure beforehand itself will help you write with more confidence and at a faster pace.
- If opting for the pen and paper mode, it is vital to remember that the legibility of your handwriting will affect your score. So while practising itself it is best to try writing in a legible and readable manner.
Here is a detailed blog on IELTS Writing
Strategies to get a Band 9 in Speaking
A Band 9 in speaking requires a native-like accent with flawless fluency and perfect grammar and pronunciation. For an above-average speaker, this can be achieved by consistent practice with a trainer or a peer person with exceptional language skills. Along with that, it is essential to go through all the question types asked in the speaking module.
It is essential to have a peer partner or a tutor who possesses excellent knowledge of all the parameters that an examiner looks for in a speaking candidate to meet a Band 9 score. Part one and part three of speaking is an interactive sessions whereas part two ( Cue Card) requires you to speak for two minutes on a particular topic. This section should be practised well beforehand so that you will have no unwanted pauses or hesitations and lack of ideas while speaking.
Along with these aspects, the following tips will assist you in gaining a Band 9:
- Maintain a calm and cool demeanour at all times as panic and anxiety about the exam can affect your speaking scores.
- Improve your accent by watching films, listening to podcasts and so on and then practise by mimicking it. You can also take an accent training class to learn to speak with either a British or an American accent.
- All doubts about pronunciation must be rectified and learned on the go; the wrong pronunciation of commonly used words will reduce your score.
- Read all the repeated cue card questions asked for the IELTS exam and formulate answers for the questions you feel you aren’t able to personally relate or have no experience with. Making notes will give you enough ideas to present the cue card with confidence during the exam.
- Practise using complex sentence construction and high-frequency vocabulary which will lead you to a band 9.
- Incorporate emotion, intonation, stress and pause aptly into every response you give during the speaking test.
- Be very careful when you use a particular accent and stick to it, following a neutral accent would be most palpable.
- Avoid using excessive fillers like obviously, of course, and so on as it can give a wrong impression to the examiner that you lack ample lexical resources.
- Be vigilant about the pace of your speech, speaking fast does not correspond to fluency and talking in a hurried manner can make your speech unintelligible which will lead to a reduced score.
- Practise noting important keywords to speak during the one-minute preparation time for the cue card, this will help you quickly brainstorm the ideas to speak and later present it with cohesion and coherence.
Check out the detailed blog on IELTS Speaking
Obtaining a 9-band IELTS score can get you admission for any course into any top university in the world. It can even open possibilities to a variety of scholarships and at times a high language proficiency score can ease your visa processing too. However, it is not just enough to know the techniques and question types. To earn a high score, it is prudent to attempt mock tests, get regular feedback on your work, monitor your progress and follow a strict schedule for learning.