IELTS is an English test run by the Cambridge University English Language Testing System in the United Kingdom. There are two types of exams for different purposes, the Academic Module is used to go on to university or graduate school, and the General Module is used to prove the English proficiency required for employment or migration.
In this article, we will introduce the level of IELTS 8.0 and explain in detail the study time and recommended study methods.
What is the level of IELTS 8.0?
IELTS is an English test that has been adopted by more than 10,000 institutions in 140 countries around the world, and comprehensively evaluates the four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. In recent years, the number of Japanese test takers is increasing because it is being introduced more and more in Japanese institutions.
IELTS scores are calculated in 0.5 increments according to the number of correct answers. First, I will introduce a case where you can use the level of IELTS 8.0 as a guideline for your English proficiency.
IELTS 8.0 English proficiency
IELTS is an English test for studying abroad and immigration in English-speaking countries and Europe, with a perfect score of 9.0. The difficulty level is extremely high compared to other English exams, and it is said that even if a native speaker takes it without any measures, the score will be about 8.5. You can get a perfect score only if you have no spelling mistakes and have a complete understanding of the grammar structure. Therefore, in order to take IELTS 8.0, you need to have English proficiency close to that of a native speaker.
With IELTS8.0, you can take lectures at overseas universities and have professional discussions without any problems. It can be said that this is a score that only advanced learners of English can obtain. In particular, in order to get a high score in speaking and writing, it is necessary to take very careful measures and take time to study.
It is possible to apply to a leading overseas university
In many English-speaking universities, the overall band score is 6.5 to 7.0, and even in the difficult school, Oxford Graduate School, it is 7.5. The IELTS 8.0 score is a level that can be applied to the world's leading universities, and is a proof of a fairly high level of English proficiency.
In addition, since the academic module is designed for life in an English-speaking university or graduate school, it is possible to acquire practical knowledge. At university, not only taking lectures, but also the skill of expressing one's opinion in English is important. Taking the IELTS test is also effective in training your writing skills, which are essential for writing a dissertation, and your speaking skills, which are the basis of discussions.
It works quite well in business! Opportunities for overseas employment
With IELTS8.0, you also have a significant business advantage. IELTS has a large number of test takers and has been introduced in many countries and institutions. Therefore, it can be said that it is a useful English test to expand the chances of finding employment overseas.
Many institutions set a band score of 6.5 or higher as a guideline for overseas employment, and obtaining 8.0 will also lead to differentiation from rivals. Foreign-affiliated companies in Japan and those who want to work abroad will be able to greatly increase their options by targeting IELTS 8.0.
Compare IELTS 8.0 with other exams!
How difficult is it when you compare IELTS 8.0 with other exams?
I compared it with the TOEIC / Eiken, which has many Japanese test takers, and the TOEFL iBT / Cambridge Eiken, which can be used for study abroad and overseas employment as a practical English test.
When converted to TOEIC / Eiken?
IELTS 8.0 has a high degree of difficulty, and the required English proficiency is higher than that of TOEIC and Eiken. Therefore, in order to obtain IELTS 8.0, you will need a TOEIC score of 990 or higher and an Eiken level of 1 or higher. Even if you get a perfect score on the TOEIC or pass the first grade on the Eiken test, there are cases where you do not reach the IELTS 8.0 score.
For example, TOEIC L & R measures listening and reading skills with a mark sheet, while IELTS requires practical skills in speaking and writing. Since the skills to be evaluated are different, it is not possible to convert the points unconditionally, but for reference, the guideline from 6.0 to 8.0 is summarized in the table below.
|Not applicable (990 points or more)
|Not applicable (1st grade or higher)
|Level 1 or above
TOEFL iBT / Cambridge Eiken
TOEFL iBT and Cambridge Eiken tend to be more difficult than TOEIC and Eiken.
TOEFL is an English test that is especially useful for studying abroad and finding employment in the United States and Canada. There are two types: iBT for individuals and ITP for groups. The Cambridge Eiken is an English test developed and operated by the University of Cambridge. In addition to the four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing, the Use of English (grammar) skills are also evaluated.
IELTS is calculated by band score, while Cambridge Eiken is judged by pass / fail. Also, the IELTS score has a two-year expiration date, but the Cambridge Eiken certificate is valid for life.
For reference, the table below summarizes the guideline for the band score of 8.0. Basically, in order to get 8.0 in IELTS, you need a level close to the perfect score for both TOEFL iBT and Cambridge Eiken.
|TOEFL iBT 120 points
|Cambridge Eiken CPE (Highest Grade)
Study time required for IELTS 8.0
A minimum of 200-300 hours of study time is required to increase your IELTS score by 0.5. Generally, you can increase your score by 0.5 in about 3 months, but the difficulty will change if you reach 5.5 to 6.0 and 7.5 to 8.0.
First of all, let's know how good you are now and figure out the required study time. Once you have determined the required time, calculate the learning time per day until the target date. By giving yourself even a little time to study every day, you will definitely improve your English. Let's aim to improve the score while checking the progress regularly.
How to study to get an overall band score of 8.0
What kind of study method is suitable for getting an overall band score of 8.0? In this chapter, we will introduce the characteristics of the exam questions and the points of countermeasures for each skill of reading, listening, speaking and writing.
Reading problems tend to come up in many academic fields. It covers a wide range of topics such as natural sciences, culture, and the world economy, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with academic English. The IELTS reading will have three long sentences. The number of words is as many as 700-900, which is the format of articles and dissertations. You also need quick reading comprehension, as you need to answer 40 questions within the 60-minute exam time.
As for the band score for each section that you should aim for, answering 35 or 36 of the 40 questions correctly is the key to acquiring IELTS 8.0. Japanese English education has strengths in reading and listening, so if possible, try to limit yourself to one or two mistakes and aim for 8.5 or higher.
Learn academic English words and expressions
It is said that "English has no honorifics", but the expressions used in private and formal are different. In addition, there are some words that should be replaced in academic exams such as IELTS, so it is important to acquire this knowledge. Expressions such as "good," "bad," and "say," which are frequently used in everyday conversation, can be replaced with the following academic phrases.
|Expression in everyday conversation
|positive / beneficial / favorable
|negative / poor / ineffective
|discuss / suggest / explain
Learn skimming reading
As a concrete study method when aiming for 8.0, be aware that you will not improve your English skills as much as possible, but will focus on IELTS. For example, if you want to acquire the skills to read long sentences in a short time, skimming reading is recommended. Skimming reading is a technique that allows you to grasp the entire content of a sentence while reading it diagonally without having to understand all the written English words.
Key points of skimming reading include "grabbing the theme and outline from titles, headings, charts", "focusing on the first and last paragraphs", and "finding key sentences in each paragraph". If you acquire the technique to properly scoop up the main points in the text, you can expect a significant increase in your reading score.
Repeatedly solve and review the official workbook
IELTS also has a collection of official questions. Once you've learned academic expressions and learned quick reading comprehension, try solving formal problems repeatedly and reviewing them. For those who want to study in Japanese, " [with audio download] IELTS British Council Official Questions " is recommended, and for those who want to study in English, " IELTS 16 Academic Student's Book with Answers with Audio with Resource Bank (IELTS Practice Tests) " is recommended. ..
[With audio download] IELTS British Council Official Problem Collection
|Price (tax included)
IELTS 16 Academic Student's Book with Answers with Audio with Resource Bank (IELTS Practice Tests)
|Price (tax included)
For listening problems, in addition to the mark sheet format, there is also a type that writes English words in the blanks. You may be asked for a person's name or place name, so it's a good idea to check spellings such as "Charles" and "Wales". The ability to look ahead to problems is also important in IELTS listening. Learning a wide range of academic knowledge should make the conversation easier to hear.
For listening, answering 35 or 36 of the 40 questions correctly is the key to acquiring IELTS 8.0. Limit mistakes to one or two questions and aim for 8.5 or higher.
Grasp the frequently-used words in each part/question scene
IELTS listening answers 40 questions in 30 minutes. Listening is divided into four parts, each of which has a frequent word. Knowing the characteristics of each part will make it easier to make predictions from the context, even if there are words that you cannot hear.
|Figures, numbers, time, money, frequent verbs, frequent adjectives
|Facilities / traffic / direction / location
|School / organization / university subjects
|Health / animals and habits / environment / nature / politics / energy / other frequently used words
Training to acquire retention skills
"Retention" is a training that improves listening skills. Unlike shadowing, which is chasing and uttering, retention is a training method in which the voice you hear is stopped once and reproduced accurately by yourself.
If there is even one word that you cannot hear, it will be difficult to reproduce it accurately, so you will be able to acquire more accurate listening skills. IELTS listening has a conversation pattern for each part, so it is recommended that you find your weaknesses and focus on training your retention skills.
|Daily conversation by two speakers
|Everyday story by one speaker
|Conversations in educational settings and training by up to 4 speakers
|Academic story by one speaker
Learn words and pronunciations often used in British English
As there are dialects in Japanese, there are cases where the pronunciation and spelling of the same word differs from country to country. For example, "often" is pronounced "Ofun" in American English and "Offten" in British English.
Since IELTS is run by the Cambridge University English Language Testing System, it is also important to learn the words and pronunciations commonly used in British English.
Speaking will be conducted in a one-on-one interview with the examiner. The exam consists of three parts: self-introduction for about 4-5 minutes, speech for about 3-4 minutes, and discussion for about 4-5 minutes.
In order to get 8.0 in IELTS, it is important to devise measures for each part. If you can appeal "fluency of daily conversation" in Part 1, "skills to speak effectively in a fixed time" in Part 2, and "acquisition of academic English ability" in Part 3, You can expect a high score.
Record your answer and find improvements
As a measure against speaking, it is recommended to record your own answer and give feedback. Even if you can construct a sentence well in your head, you can often find discomfort or grammatical mistakes when you actually say it.
Especially if you are not accustomed to speaking, you tend to overexpress and make roundabout words. Instead of being happy that you didn't make a big mistake, find and brush up on improvements to improve your speaking skills. For speaking measures, focus on using concise and appropriate English.
Practice expressing your opinion and its rationale
Part 3, which requires academic speaking skills, is a point that you want to take special measures to get 8.0 in IELTS. Focus on practicing to state your opinion and its rationale logically.
However, there are limits to how much you can practice speaking on your own. In some cases, using professional lessons will improve your skills, so you need to devise a study method. Before taking lessons, make sure you can practice academic speaking for IELTS.
Acquire a way of speaking that suppresses the characteristics of English-like pronunciation
Efforts to speak fluent English are essential for IELTS speaking. Study native speaking styles and acquire correct pronunciation as knowledge. Points for speaking fluently include rhythm, intonation, and liaison. Liaison is a voice change caused by the connection with the preceding and following words, and there are three types: connection, assimilation, and omission.
What rhythm, intonation, and liaison have in common is that they emphasize the smooth utterance of sentences rather than the correct pronunciation of each word. If you are accustomed to Japanese, the native way of speaking may seem exaggerated, but let's start by imitating the native pronunciation without being shy.
Supplement: Speaking scoring criteria
The following four items are set as the scoring criteria for speaking.
・ Fluency and coherence
・ Lexical resource
・ Grammatical range and accuracy
The table below summarizes the specific evaluation items for acquiring IELTS 8.0.
|Fluency and coherence
・ You can develop the theme in a coherent and appropriate manner.
・ You can speak fluently with occasional rephrasing. ・ There
are almost no words or grammars
・ Flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary ・ Can
master uncommon academic idioms
・ Can be paraphrased appropriately according to the scene
・ Slight inaccuracies can be seen
|Grammatical range and accuracy
・ Various syntax can be used ・ Minor/unsystematic mistakes are occasionally
made ・ Sentences with few mistakes can be constructed throughout
・ In rare cases, there are inappropriate grammars and terms
・ A wide range of pronunciation characteristics can be used.
・ Sometimes mistakes are made. ・ The pronunciation is reasonably understandable.
・ There is almost no adverse effect of accents.
Speaking is divided into two parts. Task 1 requires skills to process and summarize information from graphs, tables, diagrams, etc. Task 2 requires the skill of writing an essay on general current affairs for candidates who wish to go on to university or register for a profession.
Of the four IELTS skills, writing is particularly difficult, and getting 8.0 is not easy. Therefore, one method is to aim for 8.5 or higher in listening and reading, which is relatively easy to get a high score, and 7.0 to 7.5 for writing.
Touch a lot of ideal sentences
In order to get 7.0-7.5 in writing, it is important to know the scoring criteria and touch a lot of ideal sentences. You can refer to the high-scoring sample answers as an easy method, but it is also effective to read high-quality sentences written by professionals such as industry magazines and books.
By touching on the structure and techniques of academic writing, you can also use it for the IELTS writing test. " English for Writing Research Papers (English for Academic Research) | Wallwork, Adrian | Words & Language " is a book series that supports writing and presentations in English, and is one of the recommended books for writing measures.
English for Writing Research Papers (English for Academic Research) | Wallwork, Adrian | Words & Language
|Price (tax included)
Learn the rules of academic writing
In the academic module, you also need to pay attention to the writing style of the answer. If you can't write in a semi-formal and neutral style, getting IELTS 8.0 will be pretty difficult. Therefore, it is important to learn the rules of academic writing.
Academic writing requires the skills to write straightforward and scientific writing. Specifically, it is required to have a high academic level, such as "to convey specialized content to the other party in an easy-to-understand manner" and "to be able to present objective grounds to support the claim". As with Japanese university dissertations, adopt the structure of the introduction, main theory, and conclusions, construct sentences in the order of assertions and grounds, and compose sentences according to the rules and points of academic writing.
Have an English professional correct the English text you created
To improve your writing skills, it is effective to repeatedly create English sentences and have a professional correct them. You can learn the rules of academic writing on your own, but there is a limit to how much you can check if you can practice it by yourself.
It is difficult to judge the correctness of writing corrections by yourself, so if possible, ask an English professional to correct them. Unlike everyday English conversation and business English conversation, IELTS requires academic knowledge on the part of the teacher. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider where to take the lesson before making a selection. You may also use the academic paper correction service.
Supplement: Writing scoring criteria
The following four items are set as the scoring criteria for writing.
・ Task Achievement
・ Coherence and Cohesion
・ Lexical Resource
・ Grammatical Range and Accuracy
The table below summarizes the specific evaluation items for acquiring IELTS 8.0. Since the evaluation criteria are different between task 1 and task 2, task 1 is mainly described here.
・ Sufficiently covers the requirements of the task
・ Can describe the main points appropriately ・ Can
explain clearly while incorporating emphasis
|Coherence and Cohesion
・ Analysis and opinions are arranged logically
・ Sentences are summarized from a comprehensive point of view
・ Paragraphs are properly divided
・ Flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary
・ Use of academic words
・ Occasionally inappropriate word selection
|Grammatical Range and Accuracy
・ Various syntax can be used
・ The sentence is finished without any
mistakes ・ In rare cases, there are mistakes or inappropriate grammar