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How I Cleared the IELTS Exam in 2 Weeks

Hi my name is Syed Mashood Iqbal. I am an IMG from India, and I have recently cleared my PLAB 1 exam. In today’s blog, I am going to tell you about my experience in clearing the IELTS exam, which I hope will help many on their journey to the UK.

I will discuss in this blog the following:

● Get to know the exam

● How are our answers marked

● Know where you stand and drawing out a personalised plan

● Practise makes perfect

Getting to know the exam

Familiarising yourself with the exam pattern is the first thing you should focus on; it has four 4 aspects: writing, listening, reading, and speaking. The exam tests your proficiency in each domain in different ways. Listening, reading, and writing aspects of the exam will be held in one sitting; your speaking test may be a day or two before or after.

The listening part is for a duration of 40 mins, an audio is played, and you have to enter answers in context to the audio into a booklet. It has 4 sections with increasing difficulty. The reading part is 60 mins. It has 3 sections, each a paragraph followed by a set of questions that are of increasing difficulty. The writing part is 60 mins; it has 2 sections, summarising charts or graphs and an essay.

The Speaking aspect of the exam is a one-to-one interaction with the examiner; it has 3 sections, a brief introduction followed by a short question-answer conversation. Next, you’ll be given a topic to speak on for 1 to 2 mins, and lastly, a discussion on the topic you were previously assigned.

Equipped with the blueprint, you can tackle each aspect one at a time.

How are our answers marked?

This is the most critical part of your preparation; getting to know what the examiners are looking for will make sure you prepare accordingly and leave less to chance in your preparation and the exam.

You are grading according to set criteria, “The Band Descriptors,” and each domain of the exam has a very detailed band descriptor that clearly outlines what each band should be able to demonstrate; equipped with this, you’ll know what you need to incorporate to score a higher band. This personally helped me a lot. Where can you find these? Google search “Ielts writing/speaking band descriptors” and do an image search; you’ll find large tables describing each band in each domain. Now you know where to start.

Know where you stand and drawing out a personalised plan.

I personally had not joined any coaching for IELTS as most of what’s required is on YouTube, a lot a set number of days for each domain, and I would definitely say writing is where you must focus the most once you are sure you are comfortable with the other domains. Search for Ielts listening (or any other domain) on YouTube and go through all the content; you’ll by then have a rough idea, there are many practice videos. Once you are done with this process for all the domains, get started with the mocks.

Practise makes perfect

Give full mocks with a time limit; this will get you used to the exam pressure. I also suggest you write at least 2 essays every day with a constant emphasis on the band descriptors and learn to use complex sentences, coherence, and other requirements individually to rise up the bands.

Need more help?

Check out these other resources:

If you have any questions about IELTS or portfolio building, I would be happy to answer them at You can register using this link. Find me as an ambassador and follow my profile -Syed Mashood- to receive regular support and advice.

High-yield resources:


1. Writing band descriptors:

2. Speaking band descriptors:

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