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IELTS Writing: Failing to plan is planning to fail!

One reason the IELTS Writing test is challenging is because of the time constraints. You only have one hour to do two tasks. This means that using your time efficiently is vital. It is very important to plan what you will write before you start writing. This might seem an obvious idea but many candidates, perhaps consumed with test-day nerves, see the test question and immediately start on their answer.

Kishore Roy, Exams Manager, British Council Egypt

IELTS Writing: The 4 keys to success

Whether you are taking IELTS Academic or General Training, you will need to write a 250 word essay in the Writing Part 2. You will perform much better if you understand what the examiner is looking for — and then deliver it. First, let’s look at the IELTS assessment criteria: Task achievement. This means you should answer all parts of the question, your answer must be relevant, and you should provide supporting ideas for the points you are making. Coherence and cohesion. Your writing should be structured so it is easy to read and understand. This means you need to organise your ideas into paragraphs. You also need to link … Read more

Bryan Dowie, IELTS teacher, Hong Kong

IELTS Writing: Boost your score by reading

‘Reading and writing cannot be separated from each other: the more in-depth reading you do, the more in-depth writing you will eventually do.’ The University of Washington points to a clear link between reading and writing. Reading exposes you to different styles; it shows you how grammar is used correctly; and it helps you to build vocabulary and use it accurately. But to get the maximum benefit for your IELTS Writing test, you need to use reading as a source for focused writing activities. Read on for an example of how you can do this.

Andrew Stokes, IELTS specialist, ClarityEnglish

IELTS Writing: The most difficult paper?

It’s difficult to go seriously wrong with the Reading and Listening tests in IELTS. Even if you have trouble understanding the text or the audio, the question paper gives you a pretty clear idea of what you need to write. And if you’re not sure, you can always guess. With the Speaking test, you’ll be asked a series of questions, so even if you make a mistake with one of them, you’ll get another chance with the next question. Writing Task 2 is different — If you fail to understand the question, and go off on the wrong track, you could score no marks at all. And that could mean … Read more

Andrew Stokes, IELTS specialist, ClarityEnglish

IELTS Writing: How important is spelling?

In this post I will focus on two areas where it is easy to lose marks in both General Training and Academic Writing. The first is the word count, and the second is spelling and punctuation.

Peter Hare, Manager, British Council Ethiopia

IELTS Writing: Writing overview sentences

“In Academic Writing Task 1, it is very important to start by providing an overview of the data. If you don’t do this, you will lose points.” Simon Cockell, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman In this post we will look at what this means, and how you can use your data overview to get your IELTS Writing test off to a flying start.

Bryan Dowie, IELTS teacher, Hong Kong