Charles Branson Academy

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Chapter 1: The truth about IELTS

Let’s be clear; this isn’t the same book you’re reading ever since you have started to embark on this IELTS journey (the journey of chasing the highest IELTS band score possible to enter the country of your dream, get the job you so desire, or simply, to challenge yourself). 

I am no saint. I am not someone who ‘accidentally’ stumbled upon IELTS, especially IELTS teaching. I prepared for the IELTS test back in 2013, just like how you are preparing for IELTS when you are reading this book. The only difference is, I have failed this test 5 times in that same year, and two years later, got band 8.5 in just five days of revision. Hopefully, by picking up this book and bare with me through every word I have to say, you won’t meet the same fate. You won’t have to go through the trials and errors which I went through. You will, hopefully, skip ahead and get band 7.0+ right away.

I am by no means an IELTS genius. The fact that I am not a genius is the sole reason you should listen to me. I have experienced what you are going through, like a typical IELTS candidate. I have sat the test, struggled with the test, learnt from the test, and aced the test, unlike native speakers who only teach IELTS to earn themselves a place to stay in Asia or any country they have decided to stay, to escape. There is absolutely nothing wrong with native English speakers teaching IELTS. It’s just that from the beginning, native speakers have no idea what you are going through, as a foreigner, trying your best not to fail. When preparing for IELTS, your pressure isn’t usually understood by people who are already living in your desired country, who don’t have to take the test themselves, who are just, native. 

I had made every possible mistake anyone could make when revising for IELTS and after teaching more than 500 students by the time this book was published, I now know the formula to IELTS success like I know how to breathe.

I will try my very best to amuse you throughout this journey, for IELTS is boring enough as it is. My goal is to get rid of this dreadful time that you must go through and help you achieve your dream as fast as possible.

Shall we begin?

Chapter 2: Know your Strengths

Imagine you are making four omelettes at the same time.

When the task given to you was to make the most delicious omelette you could make.

The sheer number of omelettes you are making isn’t supporting the end goal at all. Why go through the trouble of making four omelettes when you have to make one that truly stands out?

This dilemma is a direct representation of what you are doing when revising for IELTS. You revise everything. All it is that you can find online, you dive in headfirst and study for it as if there is no tomorrow. After a while, you leave yourself with a redundant amount of information that you do not need, and unknown of what you must improve to get band 7.0 or above. 

To avoid this painful experience, simply do one thing. Know your strengths, focus on your weaknesses.

Go ahead and download this Actual IELTS’ paper which I prepared for you ahead of time. Yes, go ahead and click on it. You are reading a digital book, and I am not telling you to click on a link that doesn’t exist.


Sit in a quiet room and take the test seriously. Complete the test in the official duration of the test. You can look at the timeframe below if you are not familiar with IELTS test-taking format thus far.

  • Reading:
    • 60 Minutes
    • 3 Reading Passages
  • Listening:
    • 30 Minutes
    • You will have 10 minutes to fill in your answers to an answer sheet – Do replicate this step when you take the test. You can write your answers down again on a blank piece of blank in the last 10 minutes.
  • Writing
    • 60 Minutes
    • 2 Writing Tasks for both General Training and Academic.
  • Speaking
    • 11-14 minutes
    • There will be three parts to this exam; it is quite impossible to evaluate your current Speaking band score on your own. Thankfully, we have a FREE IELTS Speaking Evaluation service, IELTS Speaking graded by actual IELTS examiners and instructors. Within 3 days, get a full assessment of your current Band Score and how to improve them – for zero dollars. (link)

Once you turn to the next page, you will see all answers to the test you are about to take. I sincerely encourage you to take the test first before flipping this page over. Close this book, and take the test right now!

Have you completed the test? Good. Let’s give you the actual golden information I have been withholding from you for so long! (If you are cheating, looking at the lessons before taking the sample test, fine, but remember, you won’t get to cheat to skip steps in the actual test. Yes, yes, go ahead and turn the page over already)


I’m not going to waste your time, and drag this out, then end up not giving you any practical to apply to your revision. Let’s tackle the obvious first; the common question types students get wrong in IELTS Reading.

Matching Heading

True False Not Given

Predictable, isn’t it?

If you are new to IELTS, worry not, there are 5 question types in the IELTS Reading test. Knowing them all, memorising and learn to recognise them cannot be more boring yet IMPORTANT. If you genuinely want to get the band score you deserve as quickly as possible, I sincerely endorse you to memorise the 5 question types in IELTS Reading.

They are: 

Fill in the blanks

Short answers

True False Not Given

Choosing from the list

Matching Heading

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Chapter 1: The truth about IELTS Let’s be clear; this isn’t the same book you’re reading ever since you have started to embark on this

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