Shina scores an overall band of 8.5! You need to hear this!

I love opening my email box and seeing messages like this:

Hi Ryan,
I wanted to share some excellent news with you. I finally cracked the writing test in IELTS and got 8.5.
My marks in the other sections are: Reading- 8.5; Listening 9.0; Speaking: 8.0. and the aggregate is 8.5
I want to thank you for your superb guidance all through. 
Thanks a ton!

Shina was kind enough to participate in an IELTS Cast interview.  Our conversation revealed some surprisingly unorthodox things about her preparation and testing strategies.  For example, Shina skimmed and scanned through her reading texts (underlining key vocab along the way) before even looking at the questions.

Shina also shared the resources she used to score so well in the different sections of the exam.  Aside from our online work together, she engaged the British Council’s self-study courses at and, and she studied from Louise Hashemi and Barbara Thomas’s IELTS Trainer book.

Listen to our entire interview by clicking here.  For other interviews, visit or search ‘IELTS Cast’ in the iTunes store.  Don’t forget to come and participate at, which is almost 100 users strong.

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:
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