Best IELTS preparation – The IELTS Writing Test.

Power of WordsIn this post, I’d like to give you some tips on how best to study for the IELTS Writing test.

First of all, I suggest you read my post Best IELTS preparation -The IELTS Reading test and make sure you follow my reading tips.  Reading and writing ‘go hand in hand’ and one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read a lot.  Secondly, I suggest you write in English as often as you can, for example:

  • Keep a diary in English; you can use it for day-to-day things but also to write summaries of articles you have read or your opinions about them.
  • Join chat rooms and forums on the internet.
  • Write your daily ‘list of things to do’ and your shopping list etc in English

Planning and organization are extremely important in the IELTS Writing test so keep this in mind whenever you write.

Task 1

Academic

In IELTS Academic Writing Task1, you have to describe information from a graph, chart, diagram or table.

You can find this information in books, magazines and on the internet etc.  You can then imagine it s an IELTS Task 1 and describe it in English.  If you aren’t living in an English speaking country and find it difficult to find English newspapers and magazines, you can still practice.  Simply find the graphical information in your own language but write your description in English.

Don’t forget you are only recommended to spend 20 minutes on this task and that it carries less weight than Task 2.

I always recommend that my students purchase Adams & Austen IELTS books. These books contain so many useful practice exercises and sample questions for IELTS Writing.

General Training

In IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, you have to write a letter.  You are usually expected to request information or explain a situation.  You should practise writing this type of letter to different people; friends, teachers, your landlord, organisations etc.

Make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the following:

  • How a letter is set out
  • How to address the person you are writing to; you don’t start a letter ‘Hi dude’ to a future employer or ‘Dear Sir’ to your best friend.
  • The difference between formal and informal letters and when to use them.
  • Make sure that you write in the correct register.  You should also take care that you stick to the same register, for example ‘I would like to draw your attention to an incident that occurred during my stay at your hotel.  You’re never gonna believe this’.  The final sentence (apart from containing poor grammar) is clearly inappropriate in a formal letter.

Don’t forget you are only recommended to spend 20 minutes on this task and that it carries less weight than Task 2.

I always recommend that my students purchase Adams & Austen IELTS books. These books contain so many useful practice exercises and sample questions for IELTS Writing.

Task 2

IELTS Academic and General Training Writing Task 2 are quite similar in many ways.

The main difference is that Task 2 Academic requires a stronger approach to providing arguments, evidence and justifying opinions.  Despite being less demanding in these three areas, Task 2 General Training still requires you to respond appropriately to the question and write a coherent essay.

Here are my tips for both Academic and General Training Task 2:

  • Practise, practise, practise.  .

I always recommend that my students purchase Adams & Austen IELTS books. These books contain so many useful practice exercises and sample questions for IELTS Writing.

Don’t forget that if you buy these books here, I will mark an IELTS Task 1 Writing and an IELTS Task 2 Writing from the book you have purchased.

  • You are recommended to spend 40 minutes on this task and don’t forget it carries more weight than Task 1.  You should aim to spend this amount of time on task 2 questions also when you practise (the first few practice essays may take a little longer).  As an IELTS examiner, I have seen many examples of students running out of time; probably because they haven’t practised writing an essay in 40 minutes.
  • Count your words so that you learn what 250 words ‘looks and feels like’.

Also read my post How can I do self-study practice IELTS Writing Tests? and follow the tips to get the greatest benefit from your IELTS Writing practice.

Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!

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