All about IELTS writing & Tips and Tricks to Score beyond 6 Bands

11,000 institutions around the world. The IELTS exam is of two types i.e. academic and general training. The reason behind taking this exam is that it provides you the proof of your proficiency in English. So, the students whose native language is not English, have to take the IELTS exam in order to prove their proficiency in English language skills. That is why most of the institutions present in Anglophone nations accepts the IELTS exam.

IELTS exam contains four modules i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. These modules will test your wide range of English skills. IELTS writing is one of the most dreaded modules of IELTS exam, but first, let us know what the IELTS writing exam actually is.

What is IELTS Writing?

IELTS writing is one of the four modules of IELTS exam. IELTS writing is considered as a tough module compared to the other modules.

IELTS writing test basically assess your ability to:

  • represent the ideas and opinions
  • write in a structured manner
  • use accurate grammar
  • use good vocabulary

Further, the IELTS writing test is different for both the IELTS academic and general training. Let us have a closer look at the IELTS academic writing.

IELTS Academic writing

 
  

The IELTS academic writing consists of two tasks i.e. Task-1 and Task-2.

Now, let us have a closer look at both of the tasks.

Task 1

In this task, one has to describe the details and facts of given:-

  1. Bar graph
  2. Table
  3. Pie chart
  4. Diagram
  5. Map
  6. Process

In task 1, you will be asked to write facts and figures after observing the bar graphs, diagrams, pie chart or table. Sometimes a process or device may be given and you have to explain how it works. The test taker has to write in an academic style and also need to add all the relevant and important information required.

However, the test taker should not spend more than 20 minutes on this task as if you spend more time on this task, you will be left with less time in task 2. Furthermore, there is a word limit of 150 words but the student will not be penalized for surpassing the word limit. Also, one should not write the description in bullet points because you may lose some marks by doing that.

Way to write the task 1

The test taker should write 4 paragraphs in task 1 which includes: –

  1. Introduction: – In this paragraph you have to paraphrase a question from the given topic and must contain only one sentence.

  2. Overall: – It is generally added at last but it is advised to include it as the second paragraph This paragraph includes striking features about the graph or diagram.

  3. Body paragraph 1 & 2: – In these paragraph, the test taker has to compare the details in case of graphs. Also, one has to give the information step by step in case of the process. Remember that language used here is passive.

Task 2

In this task, the task taker has to write an essay on the given topic. This task basically tests your ability to demonstrate your knowledge and ideas in a well-structured manner. The test taker must be very specific about the description of the given topic. For example, if the topic is about the causes of global warming,             the test taker must only focus on the causes of global warming and not write about the global warming in general.

The test taker should not spend more than 40 minutes to complete this task. Also, one has to write at least 250 words and the test taker will be penalized if the essay contains less than 250 words.

Ways to write essay:

This task can be divided as the following paragraphs: –

Introduction: – The test taker has to give an introduction about the topic as usual in 2 sentences i.e. not more than 30-40 words.

Body paragraph 1 & 2: – In this paragraph the test taker must include opinions, causes, problems and solutions.

 

The structure of body paragraphs includes the following: –

  1. Topic sentence– First sentence of the paragraph.

  2. Explanation: – Here you have to explain the important information about the given topic.

  3. Examples: – Here you have to give the examples relevant to the topic. If not example then you can also add result as well.

  4. Conclusion: – This must be the concluding paragraph of your essay.

IELTS General training writing

In IELTS general training writing, there are also two types of tasks i.e. task 1 and task 2.

 
  

But here is a little difference as the task 1 here contains the letter writing instead of graph writing. The task 2 is same for both IELTS academic and general training.

So, let us have a closer look at the task 1.

Task 1

In the task 1, the test taker has to write a letter in response to the given situation in formal or informal style. One has to write the letter in at least 150 words. The situations given to write an essay are generally common ones.

The test takers are given some bulletin points that they must include in the letter. In letter, you may have to tell the general or factual information, express your ideas and opinions, make suggestions or give recommendations. The style of writing the letter basically depends upon the person you are asked to write the letter to. It may be formal or informal. You should not spend more than 20 minutes on this task. The word limit to write the essay is 150 words. However, you will not lose any marks if you write more than that but remember that the test taker will be penalized if he/she goes off topic and is not writing anything having relevancy to the topic.

Also, if found any plagiarism, the test taker will be severely penalized for it.

The format of letter must include:

  • Salutation
  • Body paragraph 1
  • Body paragraph 2
  • Body paragraph 3
  • Closing remarks

Task 2

The task 2 of IELTS general training writing is same as that of IELTS academic writing.

IELTS Assessment Criterion

The first and foremost thing that one should know to score higher IELTS band is to understand what the examiner wants, so to know that one must have an understanding of the marking criteria to develop the right skills to score good IELTS band.

There are total of 4 areas on the basis of which you will assessed on:

  1. Task achievement/ Task resource

This criteria contains 25% of the weightage. Here, the examiner basically checks the following:

  • Words
  • Structure of the paragraphs
  • Development of ideas
  • Opinions of ideas supported with the facts and examples
  • Presentation

So to score well the test taker must:-

  • Be relevant in the answer
  • Answer everything that is required
  • Be clear with the ideas and opinion by supporting it with examples
  • Be mindful of the presentation
  1. Cohesion and coherence

This marking criteria also contains 25% of the weightage. In this criteria examiner basically checks how well you can demonstrate your ideas and opinions in a structured manner so that it is easy to be understood. Also, the examiner checks here the connectivity of the paragraphs which is mostly done by conjunctions and prepositions. Some of the connecting words include also, however, as well as, furthermore, especially, therefore, although, such as etc.

To score well you must: –

  • Arrange your ideas and details logically
  • Be clear with your ideas
  • Proceed logically in every paragraph
  • Use conjunction and prepositions

 

  1. Lexical resource

In this criteria, the examiner checks the following:

  1. Spelling
  2. Synonyms
  3. Formal words
  4.  

It is also 25% of the weightage of marking criteria.

You can score well by:

  • Using wide range of vocabulary
  • Using topic relevant vocabulary
  • Using correct spelling
  1. Grammatical range and accuracy

This marking criteria also consists 25% of the weightage. In this criteria the examiner checks your grammatical accuracy as well as length and complexity of sentences. Also examiner checks the tasks on the basis of following: –

  • Simple sentences
  • Complex sentences
  • Compound sentences
  • Conditional sentences
  • Passive sentences.
  • Tenses
  • Subject verb agreement
  • Gerund as a subject
  • Passive sentence
  • Modals

     

Tips to Score IELTS Writing 6 Band

  1. Time Management

Time Management is one of key IELTS writing tips. In both the tasks i.e. task 1 and 2, you have to use your time wisely as there is only 1 hour to complete both of the tasks. It is recommended to spend no more than 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on the task, so that you can complete the tasks in the given time efficiently. Also remember that this time includes the planning and then rechecking of the tasks so be watchful of time. It will be better if you do IELTS writing practice test with a time limit of 60 minutes beforehand.

  1. Be careful of the word count

In the IELTS writing tips, the word count cannot go unmentioned. The word count will play a crucial role in the time management as well as the relevancy of what you have written. The task 2 is same for both IELTS academic and general training, so you have to write it in only 250-280 to maintain the relevancy of the essay. Furthermore the task 1 is different for IELTS academic which is graph description and for general training is letter. You have to write in only 150 words. However, you will not be penalized for exceeding the word limit but you can save time for task 2 if you will write only150 words.

  1. Be relevant

This tip is one of the most important IELTS writing tips. Whatever you are writing, make sure to stay relevant about the topic. If the test taker goes off topic than the examiner tends to give less score to that written part. For example, if the topic is about the solutions of corruption, then the topic should talk about the solutions and not corruption. Being specific with the details of the topic gives a good impression to the examiner.

  1. Structure your ideas

While taking the IELTS writing exam, keep in mind that you have to write in in structural and logical manner. Jumping off topic suddenly and making no linking in paragraphs can result in losing marks eventually. You can use cohesive devices in between the sentences or paragraphs to make the writing more structured such as also, however, furthermore, as a result, consequently, moreover, especially, therefore, although, such as etc.

  1. Understanding the marking criteria

If you know already that what the examiner actually wants from writing, then you can easily improve those aspects to score well. So try to examine your writing according to the marking criteria by following:

a.) Task achievement

This consists of 25% of the weightage. In this criteria, the examiner assesses how you accurately fulfill the task requirement with relevancy.

b.) Coherence and cohesion

It is also 25% of the weightage. This criteria assess that how fluently you can represent your ideas in the IELTS writing. The proper use of conjunction and prepositions is must. You can use linking words such as furthermore, moreover, however, as a result etc., to fulfil the requirement of this criteria

c.) Vocabulary

This criteria assess your knowledge of words. So try to improve your vocabulary which may include synonyms also, to score well in this criteria.

d.) Grammar

Here your grammar level is checked on the basis of the tense, sentences, subject verb agreement and modals. So try to have a good hold over your basic gramma

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