Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

vanessa overcame obstacles overall 8Today you’ll learn how 3 Keys’ student Vanessa overcame obstacles for an overall 8 on IELTS!

She only had to take the exam once!

She got an 8.5 on Listening and Reading, 7 on Writing and 7.5 on Speaking.

Before taking the exam, she had quite a journey, beginning to prepare for IELTS a year and a half ago.

However, she stopped many times due to travelling, and had to wait to register for the expensive IELTS test.

Vanessa and her husband had been studying with a private tutor, but then this teacher fell ill and couldn’t instruct them anymore. That’s when they decided to register for 3 Keys IELTS.

Initially she had committed to following the 60 day plan, but again had to halt her studies to help her sick brother.

When her brother was healthy again, she recommitted herself to IELTS and followed the 30 day plan.

Listening was Vanessa’s biggest fear, and the section in which she got the worst scores in her practice.

Then, in one of our Personal Coach lessons on Skype, I asked her to track more– following all the information given and being a very active test taker.

Meditation also helped her get in the right head-space to understand and take the test without anxiety.

This practice also helped her on test day, as she was going through all the red tape required.

Regarding her 8.5 on Reading, she feels that being a lawyer helped her, as she’s used to reading a lot very quickly.


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However, she felt that the strategies of skimming and scanning helped her reach that high score.

Turning to writing, Vanessa was very worried about this before test day, and was having difficulty finishing the essays in the time allowed. The Personal Coach lessons helped her here as well.

I helped her in a Static question with tons of numbers, so she was able to choose only the most important numbers to include in her essay on her real IELTS Exam.

If there are categories that do not have any important numbers, you should still mention them at the end of your essay.

The week before her exam, she watched our video about Part 1 questions regarding smiling and laughing, and she got the same questions on her real test!

Vanessa noted that our class helped her with her vocabulary on the Speaking Exam, replacing easy adjectives with more interesting ones.

Vanessa’s husband also took the exam and his scores will help on their visa applications, just like 3 Keys’ students Ananda and Sergio.

What obstacles have you experienced in your IELTS journey?

Share your stories in the comments section below!

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