IELTS Writing Tips
Not many people who have to write are able to do this automatically and without much thought – even professional writers. I am talking here about native speaker writers. So for those who have English as a second language think how much more difficult it will be to just sit and write.
How easy it will be to go off the topic, how hard it will be to see an overall pattern to the writing, how easy it will be to make many mistakes and how easy it will be to forget the time and not have enough spare minutes to check at the end of the test.
So here is my IELTS 10-step Writing Strategy.
The Ultimate Strategy for Moving your IELTS Writing from Band 6.5 to Band 7
One – make sure that you practise writing regularly. This doesn’t mean that you have to write lots of complete tasks every day. You could just begin by working on your introductions – use the question to do this. If you leave your writing practice to just before your exam your chances of producing a task that will hit band 7 or 8 are much reduced. Writing takes time to develop. Brainstorm the topics for task 2 and the letter or analyse the data for task 1 and write down some ideas that are connected. Look at the ideas and see which ones you can develop or write about well.
There seem to be lots of IELTS myths going around about IELTS writing. Let me tell you that in my experience (and I’ve been teaching IELTS at bands 7 and 8 for well over 20 years) there are no short cuts, tricks or quick solutions to writing. The best way to improve your IELTS writing is to do it! You can read, watch YouTube videos, speak to teachers, ask friends and even contact examiners and they will all give you lots of advice all of which might be very good BUT unless you put your pen on to a sheet of paper and write that task none of it will make the slightest bit of difference to your writing. It’s a fact. It’s rather like trying to learn to drive from a book or manual and then expecting to take a driving test having never been inside a car.
Students often ask me if grammar is important in IELTS. The answer is of course, YES. The IELTS exam tests your English language ability and grammar is fundamental to any language learning. The examiners will test your grammar as well as vocabulary, spelling, and any other aspect of language. Continue reading
I have had many students over the years tell me that the writing portion of the IELTS is very intimidating. Well I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! In fact, the writing section can be a section of the IELTS that you feel very confident in, and yes, even enjoy! Follow my tips below and turn your struggles into confidence. Continue reading
In a previous post, we looked at blogging, which is a great place to practise and improve writing skills, gain some confidence, and attract comments. These can be supportive and constructive, but they can also be very critical and even hurtful – this is the risk you take. There are, however, gentler and more modest ways of writing for a public audience.
If you are not ready for the level of risk in blogging or don’t feel that your writing skills are developed enough to tackle a blog, then here are other ways in which you can write online for a large audience. Continue reading
It will soon be a New Year! This is a perfect time to pursue new projects and rekindle commitments to long held goals. Perhaps this year will be the year that you achieve the band you desire on the IELTS. Perhaps you have always secretly wanted to start a blog. Well I am here to tell you that one of these desires can help you achieve the other. Starting a blog, written in English of course, is a great way to improve your writing skills and achieve the band that you need in the IELTS.
Writing a blog will give you excellent and invaluable writing practise, and it can also give you a critical audience to both correct and enjoy your writing. All of these things will help you make great strides forward in your mastery of the English language. All you really need to get started is some ideas on interesting subjects to write about, a computer with internet access, and a healthy dose of courage!
Before you leap in and launch your blog to an unsuspecting audience you need to consider three questions: Continue reading
In my blogs and in my lessons, I talk a lot about planning, and I feel very strongly that this is key to good writing. Checking comes next; you don’t want to throw away marks, or make yourself look stupid with silly errors. Of course, practise is always key and the more you practise the better you will become-at anything that you do and IELTS is no exception. Continue reading
This IELTS student was a doctor. Salim was from Syria. He had been living in the UK for some time and was very fluent in spoken English. He had spent some time at school in the UK so his English skills were quite polished.
When I first met Salim he was about to take the test for the second time. He was worried about his reading and just wanted a lesson to go over some techniques. He was very confident about the exam and was certain that only the reading would be a problem. This was unusual as mostly it is the writing that people want to have checked. I asked him about writing but he hadn’t brought any to the lesson and said that he was fine. He was looking for an overall band of 7. Working on just one part of the exam is not something I always like to do unless students are already getting high scores in other parts, I like to make sure that all parts of the exam are on track as none of them work in isolation and the reading and listening impact on the writing and speaking. By integrating the study, the outcome in all parts is more assured. I was a little concerned that he was concentrating so much on this one part when his previous scores were not very high. Continue reading