Best IELTS Last Minute Tips for the Writing Test

depositphotos_7932028-Quill-pen-and-ink-well-with-paper-scrollI often receive emails from readers of this site saying something on the lines of ‘Help, I have my IELTS Test this Saturday, what can I do?’

This is the third post in my series ‘Best IELTS last minute tips’.  You can also check out my Listening Test and Reading Test tips.

Now, I think I always make it quite clear that I believe in starting your IELTS Test preparation way in advance of the test but in this post I’m going to give you my best IELTS last minute tips for the Writing Test.

•    Make sure you organise your time carefully during the hour-long Writing Test.  Stick to the following suggested timing:

Task 1 – 20 minutes
Task 2 – 40 minutes

Remember that Task 2 is worth two-thirds of the total marks in the Writing Test  so don’t do what some people have done in the past; spend so long on Task 1 that you have insufficient time for Task 2.

•    There is no rule about which task you do first (as long as they are clearly marked Before the exam think about which task you would prefer to do first; I have had many students who have started with Task 2.  Just make sure you mark your answers clearly on your answer sheet.

•    In Task 2, make sure you organise your time well; this means planning, writing and checking and editing.   Read the article The best IELTS essay writing procedure to look at my suggested timing for each stage.

Planning – 5-10 minutes
Writing – 20-30minutes
Checking and editing – 5-10 minutes

•    In Task 2, before you start planning your essay, always circle the key words in the question.  This will ensure that you stay focussed on the topic.  If you look at the Task 2 Band descriptors in the links section on this site, you will see that one of the criteria the Examiner marks your work on is ‘Task Response’.  Part of getting a good score in ‘Task Response’ is giving a relevant answer.

•    In Task 1, make sure you organise your time well; this means planning, writing and checking and editing.   Read the article The best IELTS essay writing procedure to look at my suggested timing for each stage.

Planning – 3-5 minutes
Writing – 10-15 minutes
Checking and editing – 3-5 minutes

•    When answering Academic Writing Task 1, circle the significant data on the graph. Then choose the order you are going to write about this data. Write the numbers 1, 2, 3 etc. on the graph to help you write the information logically in your answer.

•    When answering General Training Writing Task 1, circle the key words in the question to keep your answer focussed. Make sure you include all of the information requested in the bullet points. Finally, as a general rule, each bullet point will be a separate paragraph in your letter.

Finally, good luck on Saturday!

Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!

7 thoughts on “Best IELTS Last Minute Tips for the Writing Test

  1. can the tasks first be written on another paper and than being copied to the answer sheet?

    Is only the use of a pencil allowed or other pens too?

    x

  2. Sorry for the delay in my reply. I have just returned to Australia, after a few months in the UK, due to a family tragedy.

    You are given as many answer sheets as you require but I do NOT recommend first writing your answer and then copying it. It wastes a lot of time and sometimes you can make mistakes when you are copying. It is better to write neatly (maybe on alternate lines so you have room for any amendments) and neatly cross out anything you do not want the Examiner to read.

    You can use either pencil or pen in the writing test.

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