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

How can you get the scores you need on IELTS?

Learn from other students who have found success!

3 Keys IELTS student Nick scored an overall IELTS 8, including an impressive 7.5 on Writing!

In this success story interview he shares what worked for him and how you can do the same!

Nick needed the magic 8, 7, 7, 7 but scored even higher!

He credits the strategies he learned in the 3Keys IELTS Success System.

The strategies work!

But there is more to it than that.

Nick put in a lot of effort and hard work preparing, even though he was extremely busy.

What scores did he get?

  • Listening – 8
  • Reading – 9
  • Writing – 7.5
  • Speaking – 7
  • Overall – 8

He could not believe it when he saw these scores!

He was especially surprised to get 7.5 in Writing because he had taken the exam recently and received 6.5, an entire band lower!

Strategies Created By a Former Examiner

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Sometimes you get lucky on test question groups

He felt the exam was easy compared to tests he had taken previously.

IELTS claims that each test is the same level and they are equally challenging.

Is this always the case?

Not necessarily, because different question groups may be easier or more challenging for certain students.

The question groups that you find difficult may or may not be on the exam you take!

Realize the gaps

Pay attention to which question types are the most challenging for you.

  • What type of question takes you the most time?
  • Which questions do you get incorrect the most?
  • Are the same things causing you trouble on each practice test?

Hone in on question groups that are difficult for you!

Only practice those types of questions until you feel comfortable with them.

How did Nick improve his Writing score so dramatically?

He knew he struggled with the Task Response score, so he devoted time to brainstorming Task 2 questions.

What are the steps for the Task Response brainstorming activity he used while studying?

  • Find a bunch of Task 2 questions
  • Make sure you have a wide variety of topics
  • Brainstorm each question for 5 minutes

Don’t write the entire essay for this activity, just brainstorm!

Once you are comfortable with brainstorming and know you can do it well for a range of topics, you can choose some of them for Task 2 Essay Writing practice.

What are some topics that will be repeated?

  • Education
  • Economics/Money/Jobs
  • Crime
  • Government

These types of topics apply to many different people, and will be related to a lot of Task 2 questions.

What was Nick’s schedule like while he was preparing to take the IELTS Exam?

He was working full time.

He spent evenings and weekends studying in his free time.

It was hard to give up weekends, but he was determined!

Even during study breaks, he continued immersing himself in English by reading and listening to English language media.

Stay in the environment you create!

The 3 Keys IELTS study plan provides you with specific instructions and activities.

Follow the study plan to create an environment of learning.

How can you stay in English learning mode?

  • Use the study plan and complete all required tasks
  • Dive into English! Seek every opportunity to listen, read, write and speak.
  • You may have to give up weekends and fun activities!
  • Prioritize your study plan! Make the time!
  • On your break day, watch movies or TV series in English.

Why is it important to take a break?

If you don’t, you can get burned out!

You don’t have to stop all exposure to English during your breaks.

You can spend that time doing something you enjoy, but in English!

Watch TV shows, read a book, and listen to podcasts.

Help your brain to learn and grow while you relax.

What English media did Nick use to prepare for the IELTS Exam?

He watched science fiction movies.

He saw entire seasons of Netflix shows like Friends, which feature native speakers in natural environments.

Watch what you enjoy and let yourself get into it!

Relax, unwind and become part of the world in the book, movie or television series.

You’ll become familiar with the characters and setting, and you’ll begin understanding why certain jokes are being made.

This will increase your confidence!

How did Nick get a 9 in Reading?

Completion of the 3 Keys IELTS Modules was a necessary foundation.

He then used the strategies and steps in the course to keep his focus where it needed to be.

What can you learn from his experience?

There will be distractions that draw your attention away from answers!

Be able to expect and prepare for tricks, traps and deceptions.

You’ll never be 100% confident in your answers, but you can be 100% confident in the strategies!

Quick tip to help with test day anxiety

Nick had car troubles the morning of his IELTS Exam, and it distracted him from focusing on any test anxiety.

Think about something else other than the exam.

Come up with a distraction!

Don’t worry about the score or if you will do well.

Know that you are prepared and be confident!


Everyone is capable of getting the scores they need on the IELTS Exam!

No matter how busy you are, you can make the time to study, practice and prepare, even if it means missing some fun activities and events.

Immerse yourself in the English language! Find what you enjoy to read and listen to and create a learning environment where your brain can continually absorb English.

Using the strategies provided in the 3 Keys IELTS Success System, you can know what to focus on to improve your scores, just like Nick did!

What questions do you have?

Let us know in the comments section.

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