The IELTS writing exam is challenging, but not impossible. I’ve listed a few important tips that every student should know, if they want a good score.
About the IELTS Writing Exam
The writing exam is 2 parts, Task 1 and Task 2.
Task 1 is a chart or graph. You should spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and write at least 150 words.
Task 2 is an essay about an academic topic. You should spend about 40 minutes on Task 2 and write at least 250 words.
Here are 12 tips for Writing Task 1 and Task 2.
1 – Organize your writing before you start.
For the Task 1 summary, circle important parts of the graph or chart. For example, circle numbers or percentages that are highest, lowest, similar or different. Also talk about figures that went up or down a lot. Do this in the first 3 minutes.
For the Task 2 essay, underline important words in the question first. These important words will help you plan your essay. To plan your essay, write an outline. The outline will be from the main words and ideas in the essay question. Write your outline in the first 7 minutes.
2 – Answer the whole question.
Look over the graph or chart to check that you wrote about all important parts.
Check both the essay question and your outline to make sure you answered all parts of the essay question.
3 – Leave time at the end.
Leave enough time to write a conclusion and to check your answer.
For the Task 1 Essay, you need about 5 minutes to do both. You need 3 minutes to write your conclusion and 2 minutes to check your essay for mistakes.
For the Task 2 Summary, you need 2 minutes to check your answer for the Writing Task 1. You do not need to write a conclusion for Task 2.
4 – Practice writing fast with pencil.
Writing with pencil is slower than writing with pen, so practice writing fast with a pencil. Time yourself when you write at home, to see how fast you can write.
5 – Know how many lines you need to write.
Some people write 10 about words per line. Others write smaller, so they may write about 13 words per line.
You must write at least 150 words for the summary and 250 words for the essay. If you know how many lines to write to get enough words, you will not have to spend time counting your words. Instead, you can use this time to write instead.
6 – Give examples.
You must give examples to support what you say.
For the Task 1 Summary, write about the figures (numbers, percentages) on the graph or chart. For example, if you say that percentages increased, tell by how much and when.
For the Task 2 Essay, if you have an idea for a solution, give an example of what you mean. For example, if you say that people should use less water, give an example of how they can do that.
7 – Learn linking words.
Linking words connect your ideas and make your writing better. Here are some linking words you can use.
8 – Know how to spell basic words.
You must be able to spell the most common words correctly. Otherwise, it will be hard to understand what you write, and you will lose a lot of marks.
The most common words are different for the two tasks.
Some common Task 1 words are: increase, decrease, similar, different, highest, lowest, more, less, percentage, percent, figure, and remain.
Some common Task 2 words 2 are: believe, because, opinion, agree, convinced, possible, prefer, problem, solve, contrast, agree, disagree, advantage, and disadvantage.
9 – Rewrite the question.
Never copy the exam question in your answer! You will lose points. Use words that are almost the same and change the order of the words, so that your introduction sentence is different.
10 – Make a good impression.
First impressions are important. To make a good first impression, use the proper format for writing.
If you indent, do not skip lines.
If you do not indent, start at the far left of the line. Write neatly and write your letters and words clearly. Also, do not write too large or too small.
11 -Do Task 2 first.
The Task 2 Essay is worth more points and it takes more thought. You need to be a little bit creative, so it’s better to get it finished first. Time yourself for 40 minutes and do it first. This way, if you run out of time for the Task 1, you will not lose as many points.
12 – Practice writing about ideas.
When practicing essay questions at home, you don’t have to write a 250-word essay every time. Instead, you can practice writing about one of the ideas.
Pick an essay topic, make an outline, and practice writing one paragraph or one part of the outline.
As you get closer to the exam date, practice writing more and more, and practice writing complete essays sometimes. However, don’t worry about writing complete essays every time.
I hope these tips help you to get a high score on the IELTS exam! Please feel free to share any other tips that helped you!