IELTS Writing Tips for Academic & General Training
Work with an Experienced Trainer
Write several sample essays and have them corrected by an Experienced IELTS trainer. You cannot prepare for the writing section of the IELTS alone, as you have no way of receiving feedback on your errors.
Read the questions very carefully
Often the question will ask you to do three or four different things, aside from the main question. Underline the keywords in the question and understand the main theme. Make sure you address all of them in your answer. The IELTS examiner will be checking for this.
Practice writing tasks within the given time limits
Obviously you can write a beautiful Essay in two or three hours. But in IELTS, time matters. (Essay writing – 40 mts).Always recreate the conditions of the exam as closely as possible, when doing any kind of practice exercises.
Draft Plan before you write
Even though you feel under pressure for time, spend the first few minutes to brainstorm the topic. Decide what you’re going to say and how you’ll expand on it. When you know what to write, you can concentrate on how to write it best. Experiment with the great variety of Essay topics and mind-mapping techniques to help you sketch out a plan quickly.
Write in an organized way
When you’ve planned in advance, you’ll end up with a more organized, logical piece of writing, which will earn you higher marks. There are many ways to be organized – linear, circular, etc. – but in the end the final product must be cohesive.
Stay on topic
You will be penalized if you deviate from the Main theme of the Essay. This is where the initial few minutes of planning can help you a great deal.
Divide your writing into paragraphs
Always divide your writing into paragraphs. It is confusing to be faced with a block of writing, with no divisions.
This is not the time or place to experiment with new vocabulary or idioms. Improve your vocabulary /Idioms / phrases well advance and practice several times and be thorough in usage to get your ideas across in a powerful way.
Though marks are not granted or taken away for poor or messy writing, the examiner should be able to read what you have written without undue difficulty.
Yes, this does affect your score so avoid careless mistakes. A careless mistake is when you have spelt the same word in various ways in the same piece of writing or when you misspell a word which is already given in the exam topic. Watch for this when you’re practicing and resolve to overcome it.
Don’t use slang
This is not the time to show off the best English you know. Find the correct way to express your thoughts and convey your ideas, without resorting to slang. Be aware that certain expressions, such as “kids” instead of “children” and “mom” or “Dad” instead of “Mother” or “father”, also fall into the category of slang and should be avoided.
Don’t use contractions in the Academic Writing tasks
In English, contractions are used in informal writing, and the Academic tasks demand formal writing.
Use rich vocabulary
You have learned English for many years and this is the time to use what you know. Stay away from over-used adjectives such as “increase” or “decrease”. Instead, use more dramatic, expressive words, such as surge, rocketed, or plunge ,plummeted etc. Choose the more precise word over the more general one. This will make your language come alive, in speech or in writing, and earn you higher marks.
Be aware of IELTS essay word limit
Writing too many will take too much time, and there is a greater possibility of making mistakes. Writing too few is worse – it will cause you to lose marks.
In the essay
Don’t repeat major chunks of the question in your answer. Instead, state what you understand of the questions and what you plan to include in your answer. Include practical examples to make your essay impressive.