4 tips to get you from a band 6 to a band 7.

Did you get a band 6 in your IELTS but were aiming for a 7?

Well it's easy to think that if you quickly retake the test,

you might just "get lucky" and get that higher score.

But before you rush off to book another test,

here are some tips that might help:

Put the spotlight on your weakest skill.

Be clear on what you need to improve on the most

– is it speaking, listening, writing or reading?

Once you've identified the skill,

look at how to improve specific areas within that skill.

Remember, if you've already scored a 6.5,

you may only need to improve in a few areas to lift your score to a 7.

It could be answering all components of the question,

improving your spelling,

or increasing the range of English words you use.

Study the assessment criteria.

For Speaking and Writing,

the examiner grades you against assessment criteria.

The criteria is very detailed, and if you look at it carefully,

you can get a very good idea of what skills you need to be able to show.

You can download a copy of the assessment criteria here.

In the Speaking test, for example, to get a Band 7, you should:

Speak comfortably without having to stop while you search for your words.

Be able to use a wide range of words to explain your ideas.

Be able to speak in full sentences without making too many mistakes.

And communicate the sounds of the English language clearly.

Remember, having an accent is OK.

Look at sample responses.

It's always helpful to learn from others.

Visit this website to take a look at examples of work

from people who have scored a band 7 or above.

Go to class!

Don't spend your money on another test just yet.

Take some time to go to an advanced English class to get started.

You'll be able to get personal feedback on your English.

With hard work and a clear understanding of what skills you need to show

you'll be well on your way towards improving your IELTS band score.