Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

What does it take to score overall 8 on IELTS?

Today our guest Frankie will tell you!

He found our online IELTS course and used the strategies to succeed!

He scored overall 8 and today shares tips you can use on test day.

Listen in so you are ready for IELTS!

Frankie’s scores

We’re excited to congratulate Frankie on his amazing IELTS scores!

He scored an impressive Overall 8!

  • Listening: 8.5
  • Reading: 8.5
  • Speaking: 8
  • Writing: 7

Frankie’s IELTS journey

His goal is to move to Australia with his partner.

He took IELTS in the past, but had not yet received the scores he needed.

This time, he was ready to invest in himself.

He found the IELTS Energy podcast and then signed up for 3 Keys.

Speaking strategies

Frankie shares the importance of strategies on the Speaking exam.

It was extremely beneficial for him to know what types of questions to expect.

This gave him a lot of confidence.

He also learned tips about what the Examiner is listening for.

Reminding himself to be calm, he followed the steps he had learned.

Strategies Created By a Former Examiner

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How Frankie scored 8.5 on IELTS Reading

Frankie shares the importance of reading the questions first.

Use the strategy of identifying key words.

Many students make the mistake of reading the entire passage first.

IELTS Reading is not a comprehension exam.

He knew to not worry about understanding every word.

The strategies he learned in 3 Keys IELTS taught him the steps for answering different question types.

Losing track of the Listening audio

Frankie shares that during the Listening exam he lost track.

He knew that he should skip questions he had missed and move to the next one he heard.

The 3 Keys course had taught him to not panic.

He calmly figured out where he was.

In spite of losing his place in the audio, he still scored 8.5!

Expect the unexpected

As Frankie points out, you have to be prepared for the worst.

You need to know in advance that you might get lost in the Listening audio.

If you are prepared for something to go wrong, you can stay calm.

The key is to avoid panic.

If you calmly get back on track and it won’t affect your score nearly as much!

How Frankie scored 7 on IELTS Writing

Frankie shares that time management was key.

He admits that he’s a very slow writer.

Because of this, he knew it would be a challenge to write both essays in just one hour.

He knew that he needed to aim on specific timing.

  • 20 minutes for Task 1
  • 40 minutes for Task 2

Knowing what to write in advance for different essays helped.

He didn’t have to invent the structure on test day.

Time your essays

If you don’t have a feel for how long essays take, you may run out of time on test day.

You need to be confident that you can write both essays in one hour.

When you first start studying for the Writing exam, don’t worry about timing.

Instead, focus on learning templates and strategies.

As you get closer to your exam date, start to time yourself when writing essays.

Make sure you can write both in one hour, including time to brainstorm and proofread.

IELTS essay word count

Examiners no longer count words.

However, Frankie points out that it’s easy to write too much.

If you write too much on Task 1, you won’t have enough for Task 2.

Writing too much also keeps you from having enough time to proofread.

You are likely to add more ideas without fully supporting them.

Instead, aim for the “sweet spot” on word count.

  • 150-200 words for Task 1
  • 250-300 words for Task 2

This leaves you with plenty of time to brainstorm and proofread!


If you have strategies, you can get the scores you need on IELTS!

Frankie’s tips that he learned in 3 Keys IELTS will help you be prepared.

Even if you lose track during the Listening exam, you could still score 8.5!

Let his experience motivate you to put in the required work and invest in yourself!

Check out our online IELTS course 3 Keys IELTS.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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