Math student scores IELTS 8.5 in first try

By Khanh Linh   August 17, 2023 | 04:00 am PT
Math student scores IELTS 8.5 in first try
Nguyen Hong Quan, a math student in northern Yen Bai Province. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Tat Thanh High School for the Gifted
A student majored in mathematics in northern Yen Bai Province has scored 8.5 in the IELTS test in his first try, besides other excellent English achievements.

Nguyen Hong Quan, who graduated from Nguyen Tat Thanh High School for the Gifted this summer, took the test after finishing 11th grade last year, and is all set now to join the Foreign Trade University for a four-year bachelor program.

The mathematics student achieved first place in the province’s excellent student contest for English and third place in the national excellent student contest while in 12th grade.

The 8.5 IELTS score came in his first try but was the "result of a long learning process, starting with my love for English movies and desire to communicate with foreigners," he said.

He began to prepare for the test while still in 10th grade.

In the case of the reading test, he said there were no "tricks" except to improve his vocabulary and reading comprehension. He said he read English newspapers on various topics such as science and technology, business and international issues.

In the listening test, he said examinees need to be highly focused and pick out key words.

To hone his listening skills, he said he often watched TED Talks and TED-Ed, which have diverse range of topics.

To prepare, he generally practiced for five to six hours a day.

He found writing the most difficult test and the hardest to increase the score.

"When you read and listen, you learn others’ ideas. I also learned formal and informal ways of speaking to use during the exam."

Nguyen Trong Nghia, Quan’s homeroom teacher, said Quan does not have trouble allocating his time for various subjects.

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