How I got IELTS Band Score 9 Overall

Overall IELTS 9: A student’s Tips

Learn how Gokul, an IELTS student, got overall band score 9 in IELTS this year. He shares his useful tips and experience with you in order to help and inspire you to achieve your best in your IELTS test.

IELTS Test Results: Band 9

Date – 15th July, 2017
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Overall Band Score 9
  • Listening: 9
  • Reading: 9
  • Writing: 8
  • Speaking 9

Gokul’s Tips for IELTS Overall Band Score 9

This was my first ever IELTS attempt. I had never thought that I’d be required specifically to do IELTS, since my studies have only ever been in English. Even the university that I’d applied for my Masters seemed happy enough to accept me without an IELTS requirement. However, I was told by my destination country’s embassy that they can only issue a visa given that I show an IELTS grade of 7 overall or above.

I had barely 10 days to prepare and do the test, since the results would take roughly 2 weeks to be released.

I’m listing some of the things that I followed, and I hope that you find it useful in your own preparation.

IELTS Listening Band Score 9 Tips

I’d say that the listening test is all about practice. I did about 8 practice tests, and I as I was doing them I was able to see that I was getting better at picking up the points needed for the answer the more I practiced.

In my own test, I had a woman who spoke in a Scottish accent, and I’d say that this is one of the accents that people outside of the UK seldom come across. This is why I recommend that it’s imperative that you try out some practice tests by yourselves. This would enable you to get used to the formats as well as the intonation and accents used by the people that you hear in the recording. Liz has a number of excellent practice lessens on the blog at the IELTS Listening page.

You might sometimes find that you’ve missed the answer to a given question. If this happens – don’t worry! Panicking will only reduce your concentration and might cause you to lose more answers.

I also also recommend writing the answer in capital letters so that the examiner would find it easier to read what you’ve written.

Finally, make good use of the extra 10 minutes that you’re allowed at the end of the test. This can be used for filling out any answers that you may have missed.

IELTS Reading Band Score 9 Tips

I found the reading exam the easiest of the lot. You can read the passages on your own pace as opposed to following a preset sequence of events as in the listening test. I finished the test in about 40 minutes and had time to go through my answers again to check them for errors.

While there are some that say reading the entire passage is not worth it, I would still suggest that you at least skim the passages to get the gist of the content before you start. I recommend this in particular to people whose reading speed is high. This way, when you encounter a question, you’d have an inkling of where in the passage you saw the answer point.

Another point that I can’t stress enough is that you should never overthink the question. This was my biggest problem in the reading practice tests. Over-analysing the statement will often lead to incorrect answers. For YES/NO/NOT GIVEN type questions, if the passage explicitly agrees with the statement, say YES, and if it explicitly contradicts the statement, say NO. In all other cases, say NOT GIVEN.

Again, Liz has a set of excellent tips as well as practice questions in the IELTS Reading page.

IELTS Writing Band Score 8 Tips

My writing test for Task 1 involved a bar chart which compared bottled water vs. soda consumption in some western countries, while for task 2 I had the following:

Most countries want to improve the standard of living through economic development, however, others think the social value is lost as a result. Do you think the advantages of economic development outweigh the disadvantages?

I followed Liz’s tips on writing task 1writing task 2 to the letter and found that having a strategy helped me immensely. If you’re just starting out answering the tasks without a plan, it would likely end up costing you more time. As Liz rightly states, time management is vitally important in the writing test. I’d also recommend that you go through the answers you’ve written as well, which will help spot any errors that you may have made. A quick once-over may help you save points that you’d have lost if you’d misspelled any word.

IELTS Speaking Band Score 9 Tips

My speaking test went very well, and I almost felt as if I’d had a pleasant chat with the examiner as opposed to being graded.

My speaking part 1 was mostly about work/life balance (probably because I’d said that I was working full-time).

Then, for part 2, I was asked to speak about an important historical event and how it had helped shape the present. I picked the Assassination of Julius Caesar and it went without a hitch.

Part 3 then followed up on history and why it’s important to learn it.

For part 2, I took some short notes on the notepad given to me, which helped me marshal my thought before the test itself. You can also structure your own flow which would enable you to showcase your language skills without being held up by lack of content. This is important because pauses due to language limitations will negatively impact your score.

It’s also worth noting that what’s being tested is your language level and not the content you’re presenting. Hence, if you don’t have an answer, you can say no and take it as an opportunity to display your proficiency. For instance, I was asked whether I had any pets, and I said something along the lines of “No, I’ve never really had the chance, but my neighbour has a beautiful Labrador that I enjoy playing with..” and so on.

Be clear and confident, and you’d do fine.

Closing thoughts from Gokul

Lastly, though you’re probably here to prepare for your exams, I’d urge that you develop an interest in the English Language in general. Not only would you find that it provides you with new opportunities, it would also help you enjoy some of the finest literature ever produced.

Liz – I can’t thank you enough for your collection of resources and materials for prospective test-takers. They were invaluable to me, and doubtless to countless others as well. Keep up the good work.

Message from Liz: Thanks for sharing your tips and your experience, Gokul. You’ve done amazingly well and clearly understand IELTS. I hope this will inspire students to learn more about their test before taking it.

High IELTS Band Score Tips

Click below to read more success stories about students:

How I got band 9 in IELTS speaking

How I got overall band score 8.5

How I scores band score 9 in reading

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  1. Russell Brown says

    Hi Lizz!
    How can I get your all materials for a good practice?
    How can I take part in your classes either?

  2. akash paramhans says

    Thank you liz for this amazing effort, by showing up positive cases and help us in making us understand that we can also do the same, if given a right platform to learn.

  3. Good score.
    Hoping to get 8 band score in my upcoming IELTS Exam.

  4. raja atreya says

    Hi Liz,
    I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful lessons. They thoroughly helped when i totally lost and was looking for materials online. I achieved a band score of overall 8. I can attribute this score entirely to your lessons and tips. Thanks for helping students across the globe with your detailed tutorials.

  5. It’s really wonderful score.

  6. lionel nfada says

    Wooow, amazing score. I was just thinking that since it is the top score, it is unreachable. Gokul just proved the contrary, woooow, so I can do it too, thanks a lot for sharing.
    Liz, thanks for this website, I just discovered it, I will like to go in for a Band 9 score for my IELTS, I’m in Cameroon, soyou can imagine that my English language is far from the best. Please is there any advice on how to go about it, to accomplish such a feat? Thanks in advance.

    • You will 100% understanding of the IELTS test. This means you must know how the examiner marks your writing and speaking, how to showcase your language skills correctly, techniques, strategies etc. If there is anything you are unsure of, you will need to find out before your test. This page will help: Band 8 and 9 are all about a good range of English but also lack of errors. So, think about that carefully.

  7. Jaspreet kaur Gill says

    Hi liz,

    I am not able to find out the correct answer to this question, which was asked in bc speaking last week to one of my known.

    What is pop music ?

    Can you help me with the same, please ?

  8. Hi Mrs Liz,i just wish to ask how to write augmentative eassay.For example,when writing augmentative eassay!is it advisable to argue “for” and “against ” at paragraph 2 and 3. After the introduction.

    • An argument essay is actually an opinion essay (agree/disagree). Your task is a to present your opinion in full and explain your opinion fully – nothing more.

  9. memoona amin says

    Wondrous achievement Gokul…felicitation on your great and faboulas score…I want to take ielts test but now I have to practice please help me .. my email

  10. Hi Liz,

    I completed my exams today. I found your website was very helpful as I was absolutely fine with the examination. To share with others,
    In speaking exam, part 1 was with general questions about my hometown and dreams.
    Part 2 was about a swimming pool which I liked the most.
    I was asked questions related to leisure time and how youngsters finding to spend their leisure time in speaking – Part 3.

    I did my listening test very well as it was not so complicated as I expected.
    My worry is all about reading exam which was really wage. Identifying the paragraph came in both section 1 & 4. Found difficult in time management.

    Task 1 – writing test: The question was to write a letter to restaurant manager who is working at a restaurant which is next to your home stating that you have a plan to do some repair work at home.
    1. You should say about the problem
    2. How the work would be a disturbance for restaurant
    3. What suggestion you can give to the manager

    Task 2 :
    Some people say people having more money get more problems than people having enough money. Do you agree or disagree?

    I really want to thank you so much for your advice and tips which definitely helped me to a great extent. Hope to get good band score.

    Thanks a lot once again

    • Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m really glad my tips and lessons were helpful to you. Fingers crossed you do well 🙂

      • Hi Liz,

        It’s a proud moment for me to share my IELTS score.
        My overall score is 8
        I got 7.5 each in Listening and Reading.
        I got 8 each in Speaking and Writing.

        This score really took my heart somewhere. I really felt so proud and my heartfelt thanks to you and the way you guided me. Though I had very less time to prepare, I found your blog was completely helpful and you truly made my dream come true. Yes!! I got job offer in Canada and soon I would wobble across the globe.

        I wish to follow your blog regularly to improve my standards.

        Thanks a lot Liz!

    • Hello Gayathri , this was really helpful, however , i have an issue understanding the second Question , it seems a bit unclear to me.. Could you kindly be of help to explain better Please? … I might find myself with such a question and if i do, i might have absolutely No idea in answering it…

      If it is possible via this platform, an email will be great as well .. My mail is

      Thanks for your understanding and your response.

  11. That was an inspiring piece, Gokul. It has translated into a great confidence for me.
    Thank you.

  12. Hello Mam
    I tried most of the time to contact with u for my ielts exam and I always followed ur instruction about ielts test and now I have score 6.5 which is really tough for me to attain but ur guidelines I got it.
    Than a lot Mam

  13. It is really an inspiring IELTS score.

  14. Wonderful fabulous excellent remarkable brilliant performance Gokul!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the very informative tips.
    All the best for your future endeavours
    Indeed English loves you back when you start loving it.
    Faithful enough to give you a band score of 9

  15. Excellent work, thanks for sharing your insights about IELTS.

  16. I studied in Kannada medium my dream is to get score of 7 each after gokul experience I’m inspired let me try

  17. Wooowwww…..Congratulations Gokul…
    God I just request for Band 8 of Gokul ‘s score in my sitting.

  18. kishor banik says

    I got the same writing task 2 in Bangladesh April 16,2017

  19. Yet another genus on the loose. Congratulations dear, you did it, I tap from your achievement. Very useful tips.

  20. Gokul! Congratulations. You have an amazing result.

  21. Well done! Congrats !
    I’ve never seen such a amazing score before.

  22. Amazing Gokul. Thanks for sharing your exploits to us all. I personally find them quite useful and I hope to get something close to that… My exam is next month (9th of September) and my weakest point making the practice tests with a former IELTS examiner is reading so far…

  23. Fantastic,Gokul! I hope and pray that others and I will do the same on our exams. Congrats

  24. Rashanthi Gunasekara says

    Well done Gokul. Proud to be a Sri Lankan 👍.
    I’m also planning to do lelts academic exam. Can you help me. My email address is

  25. It’s only a dream for me. I’m struggling an overall 6.5 with no less than 6 of each.

  26. Congratulation Gokkul !
    I’d like to thank you for sharing your fabulous journey in IELTS .
    I was shocked when you said that the Ielts reading exam is the easiest , it’s the hardest part for me because I’ve never managed to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes .
    Liz, I really appreciate your amazing work and support .

  27. Excellent…

  28. That’s an impeccable result, am happy for you

  29. Excellent… u inspired everyone tq
    Ur imazing man!

  30. What an inspiring message I really tap into luck and hope to achieve it. My exam is on the 30th Sept. Am still having hard time to pick how many questions I will answer in my writing and reading please liz help.

  31. Aseem goel says

    Hi Liz!
    I got my ielts result today.
    Scored :
    L 7.5
    R 8.5
    S 7
    W 6.5
    Overall 7.5
    But I needed 7 in each module.
    Plz suggest me should i opt for revaluation? What’s the probability of getting a high band score?

    • It is possible to consider remarking if you wrote over the word count in both task 1 and task 2. Also if you wrote a clear overview for task 1 and a conclusion for task 2. I have know a student get an increase even when there were two bands different between writing and R or L. It’s not common but it is possible.

  32. Very inspired by brother Gokul.Now i can feel the motive,im geared to aim for the moon on my 26th of August Academic exam.Thank you Liz.

  33. Gokul. You be the Baddest. Wish you the best in your Master program.

  34. Excellent man! Your comments really inspired me to believe I can make it.

  35. Khushwinder says

    Hats off to you. my exams is on 18th(S) and 19th(others). Hoping for the best

  36. What a nice and touph band score he got!
    Good luck

  37. Great.. amazing score

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