Getting that coveted band-score of 8 in the IELTS writing test, does appear a daunting task – however, with the tips that we’ve curated for you, you’ll soon be well on your way to achieving it!
Tasks in the Writing Test
The writing test is comprised of 2 tasks, namely:
Summarizing the chart: You will be given a graph (bar, line or pie), table, chart, or diagram of a process – your task is to summarize the information represented therein, in at least 150 words. The purpose of the task is to test your ability to comprehend information visually presented and communicate the information through writing.
Essay-writing: You will be given a topic, in the form of a few statements or questions – your task is to write an essay of about 250 words. The purpose of the task is to test your ability to comprehend a topic, structure and communicate the information through writing.
The Grading Process
Your grade will be based on the following criteria:
- Task response
- Coherence and cohesion
- Lexical resources/Vocabulary
TIPS TO SCORE AN 8:
✔ PREPARING FOR THE TEST!
Build Vocabulary And Grammar skills
Vocabulary skills involve knowing a large number of words and more importantly, what they mean; it also involves knowing how to spell the words correctly, and the appropriate way to use them in a sentence. For the IELTS writing test, you need a strong vocabulary! Both, to comprehend the diagram/topic/question correctly, and, to form, structure and communicate your thoughts effectively.
Good grammar, including the correct use of verbs and tenses, punctuation, articles, pronouns, and prepositions, ensures that the sentences you build make sense to the reader.
A few ways in which you can build these skills are:
Read widely and whatever you can, particularly on topics that are often used in IELTS tasks.
Watch/Listen, particularly to news channels and other informative programs, and good movies.
Note down in a note-pad or journal, the new words you learn.
Build a Repertoire…
…of words and phrases that you can incorporate in your writing!
In the introduction: A few words that you can make use of, based on the topic sentence, include
discuss, instead of tell
e.g. “in this essay, I will be discussing the causes and effects of...”
demonstrate, instead of show
e.g. “in order to demonstrate this argument, I will be using a few examples.”
elucidate or illustrate or elaborate, instead of explain
e.g. “in this essay, I will elucidate some of the ways in which we can…”
To ensure coherence and cohesion: the following words/phrases are those which allow you to connect ideas well
In addition to or furthermore, to show that there is something else that is connected with the first thing that you have already mentioned
e.g. “furthermore, air pollution can also lead to lung cancer”
Thus, therefore, accordingly to show that something is the cause of something else
e.g. “thus, it is essential that we stop polluting the sea”
Differentiate or distinguish between, to indicate a difference between two things
e.g. “based on the color, it is possible to differentiate between a healthy and an unhealthy…”
In the end: to conclude your essay, you may use words/phrases such as – in conclusion, it can thus be concluded, to end with
e.g. “in conclusion, the cons appear to outweigh the pros”
The most essential tip, without which the former are not enough, is to practice!
You can begin with simple topics – practice writing, making use of the skills you have worked on. Next, shift to IELTS mock tests. These questions are more complex; but by now, you will have practised, and will be well-versed with writing well! You should practice with a minimum of 4-5 tests this way.
Make sure that you ask someone you trust to evaluate your writing – once you identify your problem areas, you will be able to improve.
Through practice, you will become familiar with the kinds of charts/topics that appear in the IELTS test.
You will also get used to writing within a time limit and a word limit!
✔ ANSWERING THE TEST!
Managing Time Limit
You will have a total of 60 minutes for both tasks. IELTS recommends that you spend 20 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes on Task 2.
You should organize your time so that you can take 2-3 minutes prep time for Task 1, and 4-5 minutes prep time for Task 2.
Note Down Your Ideas
Before you write your final copy, spend your prep time thinking about what you are going to write. You can use the rough paper provided to note down keywords, especially for the essay question.
Develop A Structure
A structure is essential for ensuring that your ideas develop well and make sense to your reader – haphazard writing is bad writing!
Number the keywords to form order and stick to it.
The order should be such that
- first, you introduce the main idea/argument/observation
- followed by the supporting ideas – 3-4 at the max – with examples or further explanation
- in the case of IELTS task 1 – follow the order you can see in the chart/graph etc. itself
Managing Word Limit
150 for Task 1 and 250 for Task 2 are the word-limits for IELTS writing – you must ensure that you do not write less than the word-limit, or else you will lose marks.
And while there is no upper word-limit, do not let yourself go beyond 20-30 extra words. Strictly keeping to the word limit, in the test and while you practice, will ensure that you do not end up rambling!
With these tips, by the time the IELTS exam rolls around, you will be well-prepared and ready to ace it!
At Hurray, we have trainers specializing in IELTS training, to help you hone these skills and put them into practice. With our experience and our specially-curated program framework, we have an excellent track record of helping our students achieve the perfect 8 score – and we can help you too!
To learn more, reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 8971357938 for more!