It’s a sad fact that there are many candidates who have a good enough level of English to get the IELTS Writing Band Score they need but who fail to complete the writing test.
The issue here is really about time management. In the Writing Test, you have exactly 60 minutes to complete two tasks; Task 1 (150 words) and Task 2 (250 words). I STRONGLY advise you to spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.in order to give yourself time to complete the test.
So, when you do practice IELTS tests at home, your aim is to get to a point of doing Task in 20 minutes and Task 2 in 40 minutes. Don’t worry about it at first; remember this is your aim for test day. I suggest that you take all the time you need for the first couple of practice tests and then gradually speed up. You need to strike a balance between grammatical accuracy, using great expressions and vocabulary and doing it all within a time frame.
You’ve also got to strike a balance between respecting that time is an important factor and becoming over-anxious about it. It is one thing to occasionally look at the clock to see how you’re going for time but it’s another to constantly clock-watch. Constant clock-watching eats away at your time. If you practise timed writing tasks at home, you’ll soon learn to feel what 20/40 minutes feels like.
Another thing that eats away at your time is counting words too frequently. Again, there are things you can do at home to help reduce this.
- Do a practice IELTS Writing Test.
- Count the number of words in 5 lines of your writing. Divide this number by 5 and that will give you the average number of words you write on a line (assuming that your handwriting is always of a similar size!).
An IELTS Answer page is just an average A4-sized piece of paper. A full page has about 20 lines; so if your average number of words per line is usually 10, you would write about 200 words on a full page.
These two simple tips can help you avoid wasting valuable time on test day.
Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!
4 thoughts on “Tips for how best to use your time in the IELTS Writing Test.”
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