For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Did you achieve the mark you need? Motivate others by sharing your story.
LCHU
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:55 am

For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by LCHU » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:37 am

Hey guys,

I thought it would be helpful for some if I shared my IELTS story. My case is a happy end (L9; R9; W8; S8.5), though the road was long and challenging.

Briefly about the context: I needed a minimum band of 8 for each section of the test (either GT or A) for migration purposes. I made my first attempt in April 2014 (GT) and got 7 in writing with 9-9-8 in other sections, but that was OK because I had been mentally prepared to make extra attempts in order to achieve the desired result. I then came across Ryan's channel on YouTube and quickly improved to 7.5 in both Academic and General Training modules, but that was still short of what I needed. After that, I took the test 5 more times in 3 different cities, but no success, as I could not beat the writing part no matter what I tried. The funny part was that my preparation never touched other sections, i.e. I was fully focused on writing, but kept getting the worst mark for this section. After failing the test 8 times, I decided to sit down and carefully think about what I had been doing wrong. My analysis revealed that I practiced far less than needed, and this was the major flaw. In addition, I jumped from one study resource to another as well as used different markers for my writing task attempts, which created an awfully great deal of inconsistency. Consequently, I adjusted my study practice by doing Ryan's video course from scratch and sticking to him as the only marker of my papers. After a month of intensive preparation, I took the test twice (two consecutive weekends), but the first one went wrong due to poor timing (got 7 for writing), while the second one felt great, and yet the result was 7.5 for the writing part. I appealed the result of the second test (I was pretty sure it was solid) and booked two more tests, one GT and one Academic. Funny bit, I did the Academic one in Istanbul, where I decided to go on holiday, but couldn't help checking test dates and booking one, even though GT was not available. You can't imagine how pleased I was when I recently found out that my appeal was successful (the mark for the writing part changed from 7.5 to 8) along with my last two attempts (both 8.5 overall with 8 in writing).

Now, a couple of points I'd like to add:

- Get a good grammar book. My best recommendation is Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, it's just what the doctor ordered, you can trust me on that. Do not use it just for reference, make sure you go cover to cover at least once;
- Consider reading the Economist or HBR. Not only will it improve your understanding of English, but also it will definitely provide you with valuable info to come up with examples in your essays;
- When watching Ryan's videos, make sure you write down what you see. Try avoid copying the script word by word. Instead, go paragraph by paragraph, it will improve your logical progression, even if unconsciously. Also, do not forget to highlight new words and expressions, this is the best thing you can do to improve your vocabulary, which really matters on the exam day.
- Try familiarise yourself with the whole package of Ryan's resources before sending your attempts for corrections. Otherwise, you risk to commit easy mistakes which are examined in one of the books/videos that you have skipped.
- Lastly, I'm not trying to advertise Ryan's resources, I am just providing the evidence that it worked for me. There are a few of good teachers on the Internet, but Ryan's system proved to be the most comprehensive for me. Also, you might think that the correction service is a bit costly, but, as far as I am concerned, it is worth every cent, great insight. Again, just my opinion.

Well, I hope this helps, best of luck in your efforts! Don't give up, keep your chin up and smile, everything else will do.

bas
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:31 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by bas » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:09 am

Hi LCHU,

Thank you for providing your story and suggestions, I am glad things worked out for you in the end.

I believe I am in a similar situation that you were in recently. I have taken the IELTS three times now and am currently awaiting my results for my last one. In each one, I have been aiming for a minimum band score of 8 in each section for migration purposes as well but I have come up short in the writing section in my first two attempts (6.5 and 7 respectively). After my second attempt, I came across Ryan's study material and I primarily used his methods for my last exam. I hope it goes well but I am not holding my breath.

If I score just under 8 again, I believe my shortfall is my grammar. I always believed that my grammar was good enough to score an 8 and it was the other three grading criteria that held me back, but I am having doubts about that now. Regrading is something I will consider, but I will also look into Michael Swan's resources to practice for my 4th attempt at some point.

Regardless, your story has inspired me to keep trying to achieve the score I desire. I thought my three attempts were a lot but they pale in comparison to yours. Congratulations on your score, I hope the migration process goes smoothly!

Yours sincerely,

Bas

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Bekhruz
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Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by Bekhruz » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:25 am

Thank You Guys ,,
you have inspired me a lot !!!!

LCHU
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:55 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by LCHU » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:10 pm

Hey Bas,

My best advice is keep calm and study hard. It is very important to practice as much as you can because practice will help you identify your weak spots and act upon it.

Mind you, the difference between 7.5 and 8 is rather thin, so you really need to be 100% focused on the examination day to be able to perform at your best. One more thing, doing the same module again and again might be frustrating as it becomes more and more challenging to find motivation to study, so you might consider switching to Academic if you've been doing General Training, and vice versa. But I really hope that this will be unneeded and that your last attempt was successful. Good luck!

Cheers,

LC


bas
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:31 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by bas » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:10 am

LCHU wrote:Hey Bas,

My best advice is keep calm and study hard. It is very important to practice as much as you can because practice will help you identify your weak spots and act upon it.

Mind you, the difference between 7.5 and 8 is rather thin, so you really need to be 100% focused on the examination day to be able to perform at your best. One more thing, doing the same module again and again might be frustrating as it becomes more and more challenging to find motivation to study, so you might consider switching to Academic if you've been doing General Training, and vice versa. But I really hope that this will be unneeded and that your last attempt was successful. Good luck!

Cheers,

LC
Thanks LC.

I just got my results back and I ended up with a 7.5 in writing (9, 9 and 8.5 in the other sections). I will send an EoR for a remark after the weekend but I will continue to study hard in case it comes back negative.

Thank you for the suggestions and motivation. I am confident I will get that 8 eventually!

Cheers

LCHU
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:55 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by LCHU » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:44 am

Hey Basier,

It looks like I am currently unable to send private messages, so I am going to reply to your PM question in this thread.

1) Yes, I had appealed my results twice prior to my latest successful enquiry. As you can understand, both were unsuccessful. However, the first two were 'just because', for I didn't feel the attempts were eights at all, just took a gamble.

2) I made 10 attempts with IDP (20% success rate) and 1 with BC (100% success rate). However, I would be careful in interpreting these stats as my BC attempt was the most recent, so I kinda performed at my peak.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Your recent results are fantastic, keep working hard, you are going to make it very soon!

bas
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:31 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by bas » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:03 am

LC,

Thank you for providing that info. This gives me a better understanding of the system.

I believe my grammar was a bottleneck to my writing score. However, I don't think it would have dropped me down under an 8 so I will proceed with the EoR. I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst haha.

Cheers,

Basier

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Ryan
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Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by Ryan » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:03 pm

Congratulations on the success, LCHU. I hope this performance has helped opened all sorts of doors for you. Thank you for the kind words about my work, too. I'm truly happy the videos helped you get results. :)
My blog: http://www.ieltsielts.com
My products: http://www.englishryan.com

(I have never been an IELTS examiner. The advice I share is based upon the experiences and successes I've had coaching candidates as an IELTS Writing instructor.)

OSCARICIOUS
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:55 am

Re: For those struggling with IELTS writing (9; 9; 8.5; 8)

Post by OSCARICIOUS » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:09 pm

Hi,congratulations on your success,I head you talked about video course,where is the video course,I can only see the ebooks.

Thanks,

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