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Gana’s tips for raising the score in Writing and Speaking

If you’ve just joined IELTS-Blog, let me fill you in – yesterday we started discussing Gana’s success story and this is the rest of it. Today I am bringing you his tips for Writing (where his score increased from 6.5 to 7.5) and Speaking (from 7 to 8). Gana suggests some pretty modern techniques for the people who prefer typing to actual writing and who prefer reading online to reading printed books, so I think you’ll find his ideas interesting. Here goes:

Writing

It’s paramount to learn the rules of the game here. Don’t ever assume that you write enough emails at work (very true for GT folks) and that will automatically take care of the writing part for you. Letter writing in IELTS has some rules that you got to play by and Simone has done a wonderful job in her book explaining all that you may need to know. The essay writing also requires that you adhere to IELTS rules, and it’s important to learn them. Again, Simone does a terrific job in her book (and did I tell you, I don’t work for Simone’s marketing department!).

If you are not writing a CBT (Computer Based Test), then you are allowed to use a pen for the writing section. Practice and evaluate relative advantages or disadvantages of choosing one over the other. This is very important if you are at disadvantage with your handwriting; I had a serious problem here and it turned out that writing with a pen was a better choice for me.

Practice to get an idea how many pages you may need to write to reach 250 words. This will vary depending on your handwriting. You can also check how many words you usually write per paragraph and that gives you an idea where you are.

If you have spelling problems, use a text editor with spell check disabled or write in paper and then later transfer it to a text editor that can do a spell check for you. In writing, you will usually employ a few words always thats regardless of the topic. Practice is the only way you can detect and correct a spelling error. In the worst case, you can at least use alternative words when in doubt of your spelling.

Speaking

Enough has been said before and I’m not sure I can add much value here. If you think, you are very weak in speaking, one way to improve is to read a lot of blogs. The reason is, blogs are usually conversations, and the language used is somewhat closer to how you communicate through speech.

The language and tone used in blogs are not excessively formal, but I would consider them to be informal for an IELTS writing. Still they help you with learning to frame complicated sentences. Of course, you should try to read blogs written by native English speakers.”

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