IELTS Writing Tips

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

Write a blog, improve your english IELTSIt 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

7 Glorious Virtues
Here are 7 things that you absolutely must do when taking the writing part of the IELTS.

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

Over-Confident yet under prepared
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

Reading and Writing Accelerator

I know how hard getting the score that you need in the IELTS can be.  Sometimes it can feel like trudging through the freezing snow somewhere and going uphill both ways, there and back!  Studying for it is hard, you wade through all of those practice tests and read essay after practice essay.  You spend so many sleepless nights going over and over and practicing until you feel completely wrung out.  Finally, the day of the test comes and you feel pretty confident, but then when you get your scores they are not as high as they should be!  How disappointing!  How could this have happened?  All that practice for nothing! Continue reading

Step by Step Programme IELTSThere is so much information out there about taking the IELTS test and developing your language skills.  An overwhelming amount of information.  It can take months or even years to go through it all and to figure out what works for you!  What if there was a way that you could get focused training to hone in on the language skills that you need?  What if there was a way for you to have materials, advice, and tips presented to you that have been proven to really work?  What if you could complete this training and be totally prepared to conquer the IELTS in a matter of weeks-not months or years? Continue reading

For many IELTS students writing is the one skill that often seems to stick at the same band (most often 6.5) and not improve easily. There are many reasons for this including timing, organising your ideas and lack of practice. But there are three key things that must form part of your IELTS writing in order for it to improve and progress.

These are grammar, planning and getting it corrected (ideally by an IELTS teacher).

Continue reading

patience-with-ieltsYou may have heard the expression Rome wasn’t built in a day; it refers to the need for patience and having a systematic and steady approach to somethingI meet many, many IELTS students who are in a hurry to take the exam and because of this they are not really looking at whether they are actually capable of getting the result that they want with the English level that they have.

All areas of the IELTS exam require some patience to perfect the skills you need to achieve the band that you want, but I wanted to look very specifically at writing as this part of the exam for most people does require longer to get to the required score.

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ielts-writing-aIf you have ever worked with me or come to a webinar you will know that my one mantra when it comes to IELTS writing is plan and plan and plan. I insist on it from my students and I encourage ALL IELTS students to really practice their planning seriously.

I often hear these comments from students:

  • I haven’t got time to plan
  • I write better straight from my head
  • I don’t like to be restricted in my ideas
  • I want to let the language come as I think about the ideas
  • I like to get straight into the writing before I forget my ideas and vocabulary
  • I don’t know how to plan effectively

Continue reading

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