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It’s Jay vs IELTS: head-to-head in the ring for round two. Want to know how to get a high IELTS score? Learn all about Jay’s experience taking the IELTS exam for a second time. 

Watch this video: ‘Jay talks about taking the IELTS exam’

Jay reflects on taking the IELTS for a second time…

So, I took the IELTS again on the weekend. Why? Because I want to get straight 9s.

Hmmm, so I took the IELTS Academic about eight months ago and my IELTS score was:

  • Reading 9
  • Speaking 9
  • Listening 8.5 (must have missed a question or two) and…
  • Writing 6.5. WHAT! Yes, you heard me, 6.5.

I didn’t believe it so I sent it back to IELTS for a rescore. I then received a 7.5. Hmmm, they increased my score by one whole band, which is quite significant. To this day, I’m convinced that this was not a true reflection of my writing abilities. I’m a native English speaker and English teacher with a masters degree in applied linguistics! I am not an IELTS 6.5 in writing, nor a 7.5; I would like to think that someone like me could at least get an 8!

So, I took the IELTS again on the weekend. Why? Because I want to get straight 9s. I want to see if that is actually possible. From speaking to thousands of IELTS candidates I have never heard of someone scoring straight 9s and it should be possible, even in writing. Right?

What I learned the second time around

Writing Task 1

Writing Task 1 this time was seriously tricky! Instead of one line graph, this time the IELTS gave us three line graphs, each with two trends. Imagine seeing three of these on the paper in front of you:

IELTS score

Imagine the look on everyone’s faces when they saw not one, not two but three of these line graphs staring back at them!

Whoa! I made sure that I looked very carefully at the graphs. I carefully constructed my piece of writing and finished in 22 minutes. Overall, I thought it was a solid piece of writing but I could have structured it a little more elegantly. I reckon I would have lost .5 for coherence and cohesion.

My guess: IELTS score 8.5

Writing Task 2

Having spent 22 minutes on Writing Task 1, I had 38 minutes left for my essay. The question prompt was relatively straightforward. (Knowing the 7 question types really paid off.) It was a ‘to what extent do you agree or disagree’ prompt that asked:

Humans have invented many different things (including the wheel). Some people think that the internet is the most important invention.

 To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Okay, not bad. I completely disagreed with the question prompt and argued that while all inventions seem important at the time they are inevitably overtaken by the next big invention; so the internet is only temporarily important. I thought I wrote it extremely well. (Hopefully it was not too nuanced!)

The big take home message from this task though is that writing more than 250 words is hard work. And here’s the biggest trick of them all: You MUST use a second piece of paper. You see, the IELTS give you one piece of paper to write your essay on. You can use both sides but for me this allows me to write only 170 words. In my first test I thought I had written 250 words because I had filled both pages and hence the reason I scored 7.5.

IELTS score

If your handwriting is as big as mine then you will need two answer sheets to write your 250 word essay. Unfortunately the IELTS only give you one. Is it a trick?

I wasn’t so silly this time. I counted every word of every sentence of every paragraph. In the end I wrote more than 270 words. But make no mistake: COUNT YOUR WORDS. If you do not write more than 250 words then you will lose a point or more!

My guess: IELTS score 9

Reading

When I opened the test booklet for reading I was shocked by the first passage. It was about an Island in Greece that needed a desalination plant. It was really tough reading. I felt sorry for the non-native English speakers (I think I was the only native English speaker in the crowd!) I can’t believe how difficult some of those passages are…

I got a range of different question types including both TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN and YES/NO/NOT GIVEN. Overall, I thought I answered every question correctly, though, there were two questions that took me a long time to get right.

My guess: IELTS score 9

Listening

Listening might be my nemesis! I’m a native speaker and I understood EVERYTHING that was played in the audio, but coordinating the question types, writing the answers and listening to the audio was extremely tough! IELTS Listening is really a test of understanding the IELTS test questions, and less about listening; at least, that’s how I feel about it. Anyway, I missed one question right at the start in the easiest section, and perhaps one more later on.

My guess: IELTS score 8.5/9

Speaking

The first time I took the IELTS I was completely unprepared for the psychological experience of the speaking test. It was SCARY! I didn’t need a score and was only taking the test for experience but I still found the speaking test intimidating. I was completely fine for Part 1 and Part 3, but Part 2 — the two minute monologue — completely baffled me. In the one minute preparation time I remember staring at the task card thinking WHAT?!

This time I employed E2’s PPF method, which was EXCELLENT. I relaxed, thought of three stories and BANG, I spoke easily for two minutes without going round and round.

My topic was not particularly easy. It said something like:

Talk about an advertisement you recently saw. You should say:

  • What it was advertising
  • Where you saw the advertisement
  • What it looked like

 And say whether or not it was effective.

 I wrote on my piece of paper:

Bicycle

Car

Robot

Easy. Although, I must say that the minute preparation time FLIES. You barely have time to think let alone write anything down. I thought of three stories and wrote three words down and then the examiner politely said “Okay, now you can start.”

The PPF method worked beautifully: I told a past story about seeing an advertisement for a bicycle in a magazine when I was a kid. I then talked about the present, about how I have been looking at car advertisements online. Finally, I said one sentence about wanting to see advertisements for robots in the future, before the examiner stopped me.

We then had a very complex discussion about advertising and the psychological effects it has on people. The questions kept coming and I gave deep, philosophical answers being conscious of my grammar and vocabulary.

My guess: IELTS score 9

Well, now I have to wait to see what the IELTS gives me. I’m hoping for straight 9s, but you never know with the IELTS! I’ll let you know, so stay tuned 🙂

Read about Jay’s first IELTS score The Impossible IELTS: My IELTS Writing Test Disaster after initially receiving a 6.5 in the Writing test.  

 

Written by Jay. 

22 thoughts on “Jay vs IELTS: Round Two | Predicting my IELTS score!”

  • Hi Jay, you’re a really good tutor/coach/mentor. At the risk of sounding rude, may I dare to ask your IELTS score? I’m really curious to find out if you got 9 9 9 9!

    Cheers!

  • Hi Jay,
    I have just received my IELTS academic band scores and amazing I did it! All 8s and 7.5 for writing. I would like to thank you for all of your youtube writing videos. I am a mother of three little kids and thus had not much time to study. I spent three whole days watching your writing essay videos and kept writing with you. Thank you very much – it must have helped me so much. Before that I had no idea about essay writing in English. You are an excellent tutor. Thank you so much for your effort, time and great tips. Irena

    • Hello Irena,

      Congratulations! This is a remarkable achievement! 😀

      We are delighted that you were able to achieve your target scores and would be happy to get a quote/feedback on your experience. Please do share your scorecard and experience with us here.

      Best,
      AC

  • Hey Jay… All the best… I too gave my ielts speaking test today… I m nt sure wat to expect… Oh… I was soo nervous.. And my heart was beating soo fast.. I managed to speak but could hv done better

  • Hello Jay, quite coincidentally i’m also Jay. I recently took the IELTS Academic and earned an overall band of 8. L-8,R-9,W-7.5,S-7.5. Thanks so much for your zeal in teaching and coaching us through your Youtube videos. I couldn’t have achieved this without your help so thanks once again.

    • WOW! We have no words. Hearing success stories like this leave me SPEECHLESS! It is so kind of you to reach out and express your gratitude! The E2 Team as a whole is happy we could help you achieve success! If you would be interested in having the chance to be featured on our website (We want to showcase more success stories!) Please Email us your testimonial!!
      EMAIL: o.buba@e2language.com
      Can I also get…
      1. Your NAME (as you would like it recorded on the website)-
      2. A picture of yourself-
      3. Country of Origin-
      4. Country of Residence-
      5. Test
      6. Overall Score

      THANKS!
      Olivia, & The E2 Team

  • SUDHIR NALLAMILLI says:

    Hi Jay. Do you have any IELTS general material for purchase. I could not find it in your website. I can see only online courses.

  • Hi Jay. I was badly treated with no respect at all in the exam I attended today. I was marked as cheating in exam which was not true. Other attendants had discussions and thought the exam supervisor was so rude and but only one dared to speak up, then he was told to shut up. He wanted to write a complaint but I am worried that will affect his scores. Sorry to bother you.

    • This made extremely sad. We are in Australia, sat in a exam organised by Navitas. I was finishing off one error and putting pen down when bell rang. It is just so disheartening to be picked on and bullied in the room every one could see.

  • Can’t thank God enough that I stumbled upon E2 , specifically JAY. As a mother of 4, and with my last minute decision of doing IELTS , I was pretty much clueless and really short on time.I had hardly got about a week for prep, I went through almost all the videos Jay posted and BOOM.I get 8, with L8,R8.5,S8and W7( yes I still need to work on that).But I am truly and sincerely grateful to JAY..Thanks man…I’ll definitely be making a small contribution towards E2.Thanks once again.

  • Hi Jay. This is Ophelia again. Though I didn’t receive your reply, but I want to say I got over the incident and don’t want it to affect me much. I may not be able to change others much, but at least I won’t let the negativity from any corner of the world change me. Suffering burns away impurities, and being calm heals. A book I am reading named Calm for Life by Paul Wilson opened my view though it contradicts so much to all the conventional education so far I have received. I watched a few Videos of yours, herby to say thank you. Best regards!

    • So happy to hear that! Honestly, we are happy you were able to find light in a negative experience! We wish you the best in your future!
      -Your E2 Team

  • Hey Jay
    I am from India and i have cracked my ielts in my first attempt with the help of your you- tube videos and tips. I cant thank you enough. i scored a score of 8 in Listening, 8.5 in speaking, 7.5 in speaking and 8 in Reading. I couldnt find your email to thank you personally.

    • It is so kind of you to reach out and express your gratitude! The E2 Team as a whole is happy we could help you achieve success! If you would be interested in having the chance to be featured on our website (We want to showcase more success stories!) Please Email us your testimonial!!
      EMAIL: o.buba@e2language.com
      Can I also get…
      1. Your NAME (as you would like it recorded on the website)-
      2. A picture of yourself-
      3. Country of Origin-
      4. Country of Residence
      5. Your exam and scores

  • Sanobar Khan says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Today by mistake we chose and paid for OET instead of IELTS. I paid 200$ as well. I need IELTS academic. Kindly guide me how i can switch over to IELTS academic course.
    Thanks
    S.K

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