IELTS: Tips for Writing

International English Language Test System The International English Language Test (IELTS) is designed to help students work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. This includes countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA. One of the important ways students demonstrate their proficiency in a language is through writing. When working through the IELTS writing, it’s important to understand what the markers are looking for before tackling a task. In this blog, we will cover some helpful writing tips for the IELTS. Handwriting vs Typing IELTS criteria demands that students are expected to finish their writing assignments and mock writing tests by means of HANDWRITING, scan or take photos of your pieces of work and submit them in the format of JPG or PDF to a tutor. The speed of typing on a computer is very different to how fast a student can write words on paper by hand (with a pencil) so it is important to keep this in mind. Because computer programs seem to be replacing pen and papers, some people's handwriting has degraded terribly. If you notice that your handwriting is not looking good, start practicing as soon as possible. You should be able to write clearly and neatly so that the markers can understand what you write. General Writing Tips

  • In all the writing tasks, students must produce answers that are clear, fluent and easy to understand.

  • Good paragraphing and appropriate use of cohesive devices will improve a student’s score.

  • Students must choose relevant, appropriate and accurate words.

  • Students must use a variety of vocabulary and not just copy the words in the question.

  • Students must use grammatically accurate sentences and appropriate language structures.

  • Students must use a variety of vocabulary and not just copy the words in the question.

General Essay Writing Tips

  • Make sure you write in paragraphs: an introduction, one or two paragraphs for the body of the text, and a brief conclusion

  • Writing in English follows some basic principles: The basic pattern of an English sentence is: Subject + Verb + Object. This is the general rule BUT students should do their best to use various sentence structures in order to get a higher mark.

  • The connecting and reference words generally come at the beginning of the sentences and/or clauses: words like moreover/such/this/these/another measure is, etc.

  • English sentences are organised around the principle of old and new information. The reference words refer to the old information and the new sentence is generally at the end, but sometimes the structure is reversed for emphasis.

  • The impersonal phrase "there is/are" is used to introduce new ideas. Example: 'There will be many implications if this policy is introduced.'

  • Always check your work as you write.

  • Use the question to help you organize your answer.

  • Check the general topic of the question, usually: a problem, a point of view or a statement with two opposing views.

  • Check how many parts there are to the question.

  • Make a brief plan. Use the focus points in the question.

  • Make very brief notes about what you are going to write for each paragraph—one idea for each paragraph is enough.

Checking your Writing

Leave yourself 3–5 minutes to check your writing.

  • Be aware of the mistakes you usually make and look out for these. It can make a difference in a score band!

  • As it is difficult to check for all mistakes at one time, check for one type of mistake at a time.

  • Check your spelling first. Scan the text backwards rather than forwards. Alternatively scan at random, jumping from one paragraph to another.

  • You will see mistakes quicker as you are not engaging with meaning, but looking at word pictures. You may not spot all the mistakes, but you will get quite a few.

  • Scan quickly the beginning of each sentence and the beginning of each paragraph. Check if the linking words, the reference words or synonyms you use are correct.

  • Check the verbs—tenses, singular/plural agreement, correct forms

  • Check that your connecting/linking words are correct and that you have not repeated any of them.

  • If you tend to make other mistakes, like misusing the articles, study them and look for them in particular.

  • Practice so you can do these all at the same time while going through the text from the beginning.

In conclusion Writing in a new language can seem daunting. The best way to improve is get a pen and paper and actually write. Remember, practice makes perfect! If you are interested in finding out more about our English writing course offerings, call us at 2383 0300 or WhatsApp 9298 3538 for free assessment and consultation! Good luck!


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