How easy is it for a native speaker to get an IELTS band 8?
I'm applying for the Subclass 189 visa soon and since I'm pretty short on work experience (fresh-ish graduate), I'm going to need a score of 8 across the bands for IELTS.
I wasn't worried about this at all, but now I'm a little concerned. How difficult IS it to get Band 8...for a native speaker of English?
It's actually my first language; I speak nothing else. Would you describe Band 8 as 'fluent' or 'impeccable'? How much of a factor is the way you answer a question, as opposed to your actual command of the language?
Mostly I'm concerned because money and time is extremely tight for me (working two jobs plus study), and I can't really afford to spend more time and money on preparation than absolutely necessary.
If it helps - as I've said, English is my native tongue, but I'm also a newspaper copy-editor, English tutor, Law grad and Philosophy grad, and I previously attained top grades for English plus English Linguistics at O- and A-Levels.
I've glanced at the sample questions and they look long, but easy. I'm very confident in my actual ability, but...kind of afraid there might be something that blindsides me and robs me of Band 8.