Dakshita’s Tips for Band Score 8 in IELTS

Dakshita’s Tips for IELTS 8

Dakshita has generously written some useful tips to help all IELTS aspirants with their test. Dakshita has some great advice to share and I think you can benefit greatly from reading it.

I have added some links that Dakshita has mentioned in the list of tips 🙂

Dakshita Says: I am a doctor, just finished my undergrad course and wanted to qualify for IELTS in the first attempt to apply for PLAB 1 as early as possible.

Dakshita’s IELTS Results May 2018

Overall IELTS Band Score 8

  • Listening: 8
  • Reading: 9
  • Writing: 7
  • Speaking: 8

Dakshita’s Tips & Experience

Coming to my preparation tips :


Honestly, I couldn’t believe I scored a 9 in reading! I was very tensed about my answers because I got stuck in the last sentence completion task of the third passage and the clock was ticking away fast. I didn’t get to re-check any answers because of this and just prayed I’d hit a 7.5 in reading. My weakness was the TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN task and I went through Liz’s video on the tips for this which made me mindful of my mistakes and avoid repeating them.

I would say practice would be essential, after being aware of the different question types, of course. I went through all the tasks on Liz’s website and then did tests from other free websites with a timer. I didn’t score more than 7.5 on most of my reading practice tests because I’d get impatient and try to finish the tasks as fast as I could. The recommended division is 20 minutes for each passage, but I would suggest 15 + 15 + 20 respectively so there’d be some time left over. I also want to reiterate that you should read the whole passage! Sometimes there are answers which are hidden in a few simple sentences which may be missed while skimming the passage. It’d be easier to have an idea of the passage and then see then questions, as they can be tricky. Always circle the questions that you may have doubts about so you can go back to them at the end. Make sure to attempt every question (check the question number properly) and don’t leave the answer space blank!

Links: TFNG Video Lesson   /  TFNG Extra Practice


As most people (and Liz) have said, its vital to concentrate and pay attention to every single sentence in this task. Do not try to look at more questions than instructed (Ex. Look at only Q 1-5 and not beyond, etc) and make quick notes about the conversation if you’re not sure about the answer. I felt a couple of sections were a bit tricky so I noted some key points from the speakers so I could ponder over the answers later. You have to keep going with the recording so don’t get stuck and don’t worry if you don’t get an answer immediately! As soon as the recording stops, make sure to enter all the answers immediately in the answer sheet; changes can be made later. You’re instructed to stop writing as soon as the timer stops so please don’t leave any answer blank.

Link: Listening Tips


Ah, the dreaded task!! I must say, my heart was pounding for this one, as I needed a minimum score of 7. I am more than satisfied with my score because I made mistakes in my tasks and was slightly below the word limit in Task 1. I expected to lose points for that and hoped my second task would make up for it.

Task 1 : We were given a diagram of a process to be described. Personally, the mistake I made in the practice sessions was not being mindful of the tense while writing my report. Simple past, people! I reminded myself on the morning of the exam to make sure the tense was correct in Task 1. Overview in simple present, process/description in simple past. Please remember this while practicing. I spent the last 10 minutes fixing the tense and counting words when I realized I was under the word limit. And it was too late to add any more sentences.

Task 2 : Yes, it is important to spend time planning the points to be discussed in the essay. While you’re in the midst of the exam its usually a high stress situation but force yourself to stick to two points only. You wouldn’t be able to expand on more points anyway. I think Liz’s videos of the writing task are VERY HELPFUL, refer to them multiple times. Even though its been said that there isn’t a prescribed structure,  and introduction, opinion (if asked), examples and conclusion have to be clearly present. A very useful tip I got was to keep in mind your examiner has no idea what you’re talking about or explaining. So make sure they have no doubts by the end of your concluding paragraph.

Finally, you must print out the task sheets and practice writing on them to have an idea of the word limit and the size of your handwriting. It’ll help save time if you need an extra sheet during the exam.

Links: Answer Sheet for Writing with tips  /  Introduction Video   / Diagram Model Answer

SPEAKING : This was nerve wracking no matter how many times I was assured that the examiners are usually friendly and there was nothing to worry about. I went through all the speaking tasks on the ieltsliz website and spoke out loud about them to have an idea about what I was going to say. During this task, my examiner was extremely friendly and engaging, smiling and nodding at the things I said. I had immensely enjoyed speaking to her even though I slipped up a little in the second section. Just keep talking and smile through it! Most of us speak English on a daily basis anyway.

Links: Speaking Topics, Tips & Model Answers

I spent about 10-12 days of focused preparation for the exam and most of it was going through every single bit of ieltsliz.com. Thank you so much again Liz, you’re doing gods work here and helping thousands of us every day. I hope these points will help at least one person. Cheers!

Comments to Dakshita: Very well done with your results!! And a big thank you for sharing your tips and experience – very useful for everyone! I’m really pleased my lessons were helpful 🙂




    Please what is the exact difference between these opinion essays: “Do you agree” and “To what extent do you agree”.
    Thank you.

    • There is no difference at all. They are the same instructions.

      • Chinenyenwa says

        My question for Task two essay written on the 2nd of June was about means of getting the news. Although I can’t remember the question exactly but I remember what it was all about. It goes like this;

        “Despite the fact that a many people use the internet to get the news, a lot still think that using a newspaper to get the news is better”. Do you agree?

        My thesis statement was ” In my opinion I agree that although internet is a good source for assessing the news, using the newspaper to get the news remains the best”. In my first paragraph I wrote about the benefits of using the internet but in my second paragraph, I tried to buttress the fact that despite the advantages I mentioned above, using the news paper to get the news remains the best and I explained my points supported by examples.

        I got band 6.5. My thought afterwards was that I could had written on just why using the news paper is best since I had agreed and should had left out the internet.

        Please what do you think about this?

        Thank you.

        • No, that is not the reason you got band 6.5. You did the right thing. This means there is another reason for getting band 6.5 – also don’t forget that task 1 will play a role in your score.

  2. Hamza khan says

    Hi everyone,
    I am a doctor, finished my grad in march this year…I am also aiming for PLAB 1 and appeared for ielts on 21st of april…I got
    8, 8.5, 6.5, 8.5 in L R W S respectively. Although I fall 0.5 short of what is needed in writing but I adore liz’s content, it’s like a high quality one stop ielts prep where everything is so precise and explained clear. I bought task 2 lessons as well and find them really useful…I will restart my prep again by reviewing the lessons…

    Thanks for the feedback…Dakshita and liz..

  3. Anila Dilip says

    Hi Liz, your all pieces of information are useful. Thank you very much mam for your effort.

  4. Pankaj Sharma says

    recent ielts topics which i got in my past
    2 exams
    1. special ocassion when relatives visited
    2. mobile and computer apps

  5. Hi Liz, I had my speaking test on Tuesday my topic was mathematics,how I was in ,and what was the difficulty in it when you was in secondary class,I was bit confused, because I said I found Sin thita ,cos thita sum difficult for me in secondary class ,and explain little, whereas on other questions I spoke well ,is that possible to get 6 or less I am so worried I done lot of hard work but still afraid .

  6. Anunkor Chisom says

    Congrats Daskshita nd God bless you so much for sharing with us . i wil try what you hv done

  7. Hi Liz,

    Hope your health is fine and God bless you for your contribution.

    I joined IELTS classes, on my first day I wrote 6 essays. The teacher checked all students papers circled sentences with red marks, and told me I am doing lot of grammatical mistakes.
    But Grammar is so vast I am confused whats need to be improve.
    Could you please suggest me what can I do for forming correct sentences .


    • If you are aiming for band 6 or 7, your aim MUST be to avoid errors. The teacher is highlighting that you have a lot of grammar errors. Your task is to reduce those errors. This means stop aiming for very complex sentences, and start aiming for accuracy instead.

  8. congratulations Dakshita ! I need the same score at least 7 in each and 8 in both speaking and Listening. Thanks for sharing tips preparation techniques and now I really feel inspired and motivated.

  9. Ankush Jain says

    Congratulations Dakshita, and many many thanks to Liz

  10. Vivek aggarwal says

    Thanks for your advice

  11. congratulations Dakshita .Thank you for the tips

  12. Macarena says

    Liz, can you give some advice on speaking fluently? I recorded myself and I stopped talking too many times. I lacked of things to say.

    • This means you have not prepared ideas for topics. You need to go over A LOT of topics and prepare your own thoughts, your memories, your hopes etc etc. You need to do the work. The more things you have to say, the easier it will be.

  13. congratulations Dakshita

  14. Congrats darshita 😊
    Thanks Liz for such great lessons
    They are really very helpful

  15. Gratz, Dakshita. I did my GT exam on the 12th of the same month and was very, very disappointed at my score on Listening. His hint is useful, people: keep track of the recording otherwise you’ll lose yourself

  16. Congratulations..

  17. Mam should we read whole passage first..because I think it is not necessary we just need to skim it then go for questions..then accordingly should scan for the answers…

    • You should not read it in full. You skim read it and then go to the questions, except for matching headings which you read first.

  18. Mondida Engie says

    Hello LiZ I want to suscribe for your writing lessons I’ve failed twice

  19. Congratulations!

  20. Venishia says

    Reading : do not read the whole passage. Read the heading to get an idea of the passage. The answers come in order most of the time. They take advantage of synonyms so be mindful.

  21. Nitin sharma says

    But how did you get to know that you are writing perfectly while preparing writing task 2 before test.

    • Dakshita says

      Hi Nitin, this is Dakshita. I mostly went through model essays to understand what was expected of me in Task 2 and stuck to that. Like I said, introduction in the first paragraph, first opinion on para 2 with an explanation and example, same for second opinion in third para and a conclusion in the final one. You can always find ielts teachers who will give you feedback on your practice essays.

  22. Ezinne Evangeline Kazi says

    Thanks a lot for sharing. Aww this is for me. Thanks Liz for giving us the platform to learn. I am grateful.

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