Since I started training candidates for IELTS in the past 5 years, one consistent factor I have noticed with my Band 7+ candidates is the state of their mind before they took the test. I noticed most of those who recorded high test scores are those with strong desires to succeed.

My Band7+ candidates usually come with firmly set goals and were never over-confident. As a result, I have seen very average candidates score 7.5+ while the very brilliant but over-confident struggle with 7.

I will readily refer to the case of a young man who came over a year ago to take IELTS Academic. He had graduated from the university with a pass. As a result, he was very low in confidence but nevertheless had a strong desire to succeed.

I personally took in this guy and decided to train him through our programme for a period of 4 weeks. Along with the training, I also gave a lot of motivational talks.

 Fast-forward, two weeks after, his result came out, he had a cumulative Band score of 8 which was one of our best results during that period. Whereas, those with supposedly better grades from school and who are more intelligent didn’t score as high.

Another attitude to imbibe is SIMPLICITY. Many candidates came with the mindset that IELTS is a Do or Die affair. Due to this, such candidates are often desperate and try so hard to impress.

IELTS can be likened to the golf course. If you try to overkill your shot, you miss the hole.

After learning the structures and knowing your grammatical rules, try to be yourself when answering your IELTS questions. One of my Band 8 candidates in IELTS was annoyingly simplistic. She was a Mass Communication graduate. I often reprimanded her for being too simple in her sentences. But what you’ll never miss was her message which was conveyed in a clear and concise manner.

In other words, in attempting your next IELTS exam, you should never downplay the role of determination and cultivating the right mindset during your preparation for the test. From experience having the right attitude will always serve you better than knowing all the theories. This is, in fact, a recurrent decimal in all my years of teaching IELTS.

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