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Saturday, September 22, 2018


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Hi Simon

I really appreciate your efforts for everything that you give on your website. I have big problem related to a gap between the IELTS score not just in band also between Reading,Writing,Speaking and listening . I did my ielts exam last July and I had very bad score ,just 3.5 in reading, 5 in listening,5 in writing and 6.5 in speaking although I am not very bad and I really studied very hard .Right now I feel so frustrated exactly about reading, Please can I have your piece of advice.

Dear Sir Simon, I partially agree that there is a gap between practice exam and in real exam. However, it is entirely different when I practice listening and reading. When I practice speaking section mostly I get an average 8.5. Similarly in reading section I have been securing an average 7.5. In that case what would you like to suggest me that how much I can obtain in actual IELTS exam except writing section?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

gap is not there but score varies from test to test
like in speaking 6.5 to 8
in writing 7 to 6.5
how to be consistent pl?

Reasons for the performance gap:

1) Just plain exam nerves or lack of confidence it your own ability.

2) Exhaustion: the combination of travelling, and finding the exam center - registering, and then having to do Reading, Listening, and Writing one after the other - all this is quite different from practicing just one module at a time at home.

3) Strict time pressure.

4) No coffee or tea to hand !

Need to emulate exam conditions in practice to get the true picture.

@ Gandalf

Good Idea! I also suggest practicing the exact exam situation multiple times before the real exam!

Hi Everyone.

I am having gap problems.
I took an exam two weeks ago, and the result was overall6.5 (L6.5 R6 W6 S6.5). I thought I was ready to achieve score 7! Unfortunately, I did not get my desired scores... What I did not like in the exam was a countdown timer.
10 mins to go... 5 mins to go... 1 min to go... I did not like it.
I hope I will get better scores next time.

I quite agree with Simon and thank him for every piece of advice he gives. It's all practically applicable.

I think everyone who prepares for the IELTS test must take at least 5 mock tests (under exam conditions) and the average of these results would probably be the real one.


The statistics for IELTS results are here: https://www.ielts.org/en-us/teaching-and-research/test-taker-performance

Note that in general the writing scores are at least half a band below the reading band. This suggests that on average you would need to be consistently scoring over band seven in reading practice tests in order to achieve your desired result. This probably reflects the range of vocabulary needed across the board.

People who require a minimum of band seven in each and every module (the usual requirement for medical purposes) are often scoring band eight in reading by the time their writing crosses the boundary into band seven.

Onwards and upwards!

Thank you sir. Big gap is seen in score when practice at home and in real test.At home, there is no condition like real exam and time is less restriction . We are understanding more .Obviously, gap can be minimized by testing myself under exam condition at home and institute.


Please note that when I talk about "practising or studying at home", I mean without a time limit and with the option to use a dictionary, books, my website, the Internet etc.

The only way to 'stretch the gap upwards' is by aiming for perfection when you practise at home. If you need a 7 in writing, for example, you should be able to achieve a band 8 in the comfort of your home!

Remember: try to stretch the gap upwards, and then work to bring your exam performance level closer to your 'at home' level.

Hi Simon.

Thank you for the comment above.
I have to change my mind now. My aiming scores are band 7 in each module. When I practise at home, I must achieve band 8...
I was only looking at band 7, and I let me allow to make some mistakes. I must be a perfectionist to compleat all tasks now.

Also, Thank you, Gandalf. It is interesting about the satistication of scores.
I really focus to archive band8 now...


-> My target score ...

-> to complete [spelling]

-> score statistics

-> I must really focus on achieving [spelling]

If you need English for medical work, have a look at :


Hi Wanda

Thank you for your advice.
My goal is to be a registered nurse in Australia. That's why I must achieve score7 in each module.
I thought about taking OET before, and I am still considering whether I should keep trying to study IELTS or not. Because some international nurses said, OET is much easier than IELTS...
Are you studying English for medical purpose?




The marking criteria are fairly similar, but the tasks are specific to medical personnel:


Any groups in what'sapp for ielts?

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