IELTSCast Episode 5 – Harris scores 8.5 in reading! (High quality recording!)

A few months ago, I had the privilege of speaking with Harris, a student who managed to score 8.5 in the reading section of his IELTS!  How did he do it?  Click here to listen to the entire interview!

The Task 2 question Harris faced on his exam was the subject of a contest I held a few months ago.  Click here to have a look.

During the interview, Harris and I refer to the IELTS Band Descriptors charts.  To get free copies of these for yourself and to watch a video describing the differences between bands 6, 7 and 8, click here.

To subscribe to IELTSCast and have these interviews automatically sync to your mobile device through iTunes, click here.  If you do not use iTunes, you can access former episodes here.

Have you scored band 7 or higher?  Contact me and consider sharing your IELTS related study and testing tips with the world through a recorded interview!  Don’t be shy.  The information you supply will help IELTS students in all corners of the globe.  



About Ryan

I have been developing online IELTS training resources for over 10 years. For more information about me and how I can help your preparation for the IELTS, please email me:
This entry was posted in Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to IELTSCast Episode 5 – Harris scores 8.5 in reading! (High quality recording!)

  1. Bahga says:

    Dear Ryan,
    First, I would like to say congratulation to Harris for a very respectable score, secondly, this was amazing, very clear record and it help a lot.
    Harris, if you would like to know how to cope with task one writing, believe in me you should buy Ryan e books.In the past, I usually worried about it but after I bought Ryan e books and read them carefully now I am planning to take my exam I am not worried any more.

  2. Denis says:

    Today the quality of the sound was conciderably better 🙂

    BTW how would you assess Harris’s speaking?

    Additionally, last time I have scored 7.5 in Listening and 8 in Reading in General; unfortunatly, the rest was 6.5. In case you want an interview.

  3. Ryan says:

    @Bahga Harris was a motivating person to speak to. Our Skype connection was crystal clear and I hope future recordings are as good. (By the way, thank you for your kind words about my work.)

    @Denis Harris is a very skilled speaker. Although there is quite a bit of hesitation in his responses, it is clear he understood most of what I was saying to him at a native English speed. He is a good example of a band 6 student. With a bit of grammar cleanup and an improvement in fluency, this mark will grow.

    Thank you for your offer, Denis. I would be happy to speak to you. I’m sure many people would be interested to hear your study strategies and what you did to prepare for the reading portion of your exam. Send me an email and we will arrange a time to meet on Skype.

  4. Esin says:

    its really futatrsring to fail the ielts.i dont have any matter how hard i work,i would never? catch up with others.committing suicide may be a better option for me.therefore,i would never disappoint my parents any could be a huge relief for them.

  5. Dipa Thapa says:

    Dear Ryan,
    The way you speak is crystal clear and so fluent . I be there are so many things even within your question there are so many information. It is always nice to hear such useful material in your blog/ website. Your voice simply inspire me to do improve my speaking more. 🙂
    Thank you so much Ryan.


  6. Ryan says:

    @Esin I hate suicide talk. It accomplishes nothing. Download some ESL podcasts from iTunes and listen and repeat what the speakers are saying. Do this again and again and again (…and again…). Do it until you can recite what the speakers are saying by heart. Then come back here and share 10 new phrases that you’ve learned.

    @Dipu Thank you very much. I’m sorry that the recording quality some of the other episodes has been questionable. I am very happy to hear you are inspired to speak!

  7. Reena Chetan Gandhi says:

    Hello Ryan,

    Firstly i would like to congratulate you for doing such a tremendous work for students struggling “IELTS”.

    I have been following your videos and have been able to see transparency through each type of task and have developed confidence( not overconfidence) to differentiate between my understanding before and now.

    I have given ielts for about 7 times now and since Iam always short by 0.5 (6.5 to 7 ) in Writing, indeed i need practice in writing.

    I had few questions to ask whether writing task 2 topics do get repeated throughout the same year in different countries. Would it be beneficial to follow past tasks??


    • Ryan says:

      Hi Reena,

      Thank you for your kind words on my work.

      IELTS essay topics do get repeated between countries. I have been told this by examiners and have also had students report the same questions to me from different parts of the world. However, I get the feeling questions are not repeated often (for obvious reasons). I also think that questions are occasionally altered when they are repeated. For example, sometimes students report questions to me and tell me the instruction words call for an argument essay response. Other students may report the same question but recall that they were instructed to discuss.

      Chris Green has some info on his blog about repetition within the exam. You can find it here: also reports repeated questions from time to time.

      Good luck,

Leave a Reply