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Writing tips

How to prepare for the IELTS Writing test, tips and techniques that help to raise your score

Avoid This Common IELTS Essay Mistake!

Avoid This Common IELTS Essay Mistake!

You sit down to practice and write an “Agree / Disagree” IELTS essay. And your first step is…

If you’re like many, you try to think of some ideas for your essay.

STOP right there.

Why? It’s a very common mistake many people make in their IELTS writing. They start brainstorming BEFORE they have taken the time to decide their position.

You need to decide whether you AGREE or DISAGREE, and only then come up with ideas for your essay.

Your position has to come first, because if you AGREE you need to think of some strong ideas why you agree, and if you DISAGREE, your ideas have to be on why you disagree. If you partially agree, you need ideas for both sides. Without knowing your position, you can’t generate relevant ideas!

Follow These 5 Steps Instead

1. Understand the Topic: Read it carefully. Make sure you understand what is being asked.
2. Decide Your Position: Agree? Disagree? Partially agree? Your position shapes your argument.
3. Idea Generation: Now, brainstorm. If you agree, think of strong supporting ideas. Disagree? Focus on reasons to disagree. Partially agree? You’ll need points for both sides. Remember, without a clear position, your ideas may lack relevance.
4. Begin Writing: Start your paragraph with a topic sentence, then explain your idea and support it with an example.
5. Proofread: Never skip this step. Find your mistakes before the examiner will!

Remember: For a well-structured essay, two strong ideas are typically sufficient for your two body paragraphs.

Need help with your IELTS essays? Get in touch today!

3 Strategic Steps To Guarantee  IELTS Band 7

3 Strategic Steps To Guarantee  IELTS Band 7

Just like chess, IELTS is a strategy game. When your future depends on that Band 7 in IELTS, don’t leave it to chance! Be strategic and make sure you GET IT!

What many self-prep students do is, they learn the format of the IELTS test, find some practice tests, do a few, then go to the test… only to find out that they are VERY far away from that Band 7.

Then they go back to studying, randomly picking some exercises to do, without a proper plan.

After a while they declare themselves ready and go for a second attempt… which often ends just like the first – no 7.

Instead of locking yourself into this depressing scenario, there is a better way.

How to take IELTS just once and get the score you need

Everyone has weaker skills and stronger skills. It is very rare to find someone whose Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking are equally strong.

Use this strategy for success: aim for lower scores (6 and 6.5) in your weaker skills, and for higher scores (7 and 8) in your stronger skills, and you will still get an Overall Band 7!

Here is a real life example: one of my students had a problem with Writing and Speaking, but her Reading and Listening were quite good. We came up with this plan for her. She needed to get:

  • Band 6 in Writing
  • Band 6.5 in Speaking
  • Band 7 in Reading
  • Band 8 in Listening

This was realistic and manageable, and she ended up with a Band 7 Overall, which satisfied her university 100%. You don’t need to get all 7’s to get an Overall Band 7!

Complete explanation of IELTS scoring

Your IELTS score is the average of 4 scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Here is how the overall IELTS Band Score is calculated: (Listening + Reading +Writing +Speaking) / 4 = Overall Band Score.

For example: (8+8+6+6)/4 = Overall Band 7

But this is NOT THE ONLY combination that results in a Band 7. You can get an Overall Band 7 in a number of ways:

1. 6, 6.5, 7, 8
2. 6,7,7,8
3. 6, 7, 7.5, 8
4. 6.5, 7, 7, 8

As you can see, achieving the Overall Band Score of 7 is possible if you perform well in specific areas. This means that by excelling in particular skills, like scoring 8 in one of them, you can balance out lower scores in other areas to reach an overall average of 7.

Strategy for success

1. Learn what your weaker skills are
2. Select a realistic score for each skill (from one of the 4 combinations above)
3. Average of those scores = overall Band 7