Some people think Writing is the most difficult part of the test.
It requires a number of different skills such as
- good grammar
- good spelling
- good vocabulary
- good organisation
and the ability to
- think critically
- to argue well
- to answer the question fully
- to organise your thoughts so that they are clear
This all takes time, no matter what your starting point is.
Different countries have different writing cultures, so you may be an advanced English writer but you then have to
- adapt to the expected IELTS writing style and format
- keep within the word count limit
- do all of this within the very strict time limit.
It is a lot to improve, so you have to adjust your expectations about IELTS Writing – getting a higher score will take longer than you think.
With consistent action and by following reliable advice, you can expect to increase your Band score by 0.5 – 1 point in about 6 months.
Make sure that you leave plenty of time to focus on improving your Writing score.
How to improve your writing: general advice
1. Improve your general English skills
Here are some ways you can do this at home
- Discover your weakpoints – you can use AI tools such as Grammarly to give you feedback on your writing
- Do more practice on your weak areas, using a grammar book or online materials
- Build your vocabulary – use a specific IELTS-related book or IELTS wordlists as a starting point.
2. Read more
Read IELTS-style texts. Read closely and carefully, taking notes, examining grammar, checking vocabulary and asking yourself difficult questions about the text:
- What is the purpose of the text?
- What is the writer’s opinion?
- How is the text structured to help the reader understand the writer’s purpose?
- What is the aim of each paragraph?
- How does the writer achieve their goal?
Once you start doing this, it will be easier to apply the features of good writing to your own writing.
3. Use model answers
Use a reliable source for your model answers. I see a lot of “Band 9” models online that are nowhere near Band 9.
Analyse model answers closely.
Ask questions about the model answers – what makes them Band 9? e.g. for Task 2 essays:
- Is the language complex and confusing, or clear and easy to read?
- How is the answer structured?
- How does the writer argue their points?
- How does the writer support their arguments?
- How many words does the writer need to make their point clearly?
- How many points does the writer make?
I have many free model answers on this website, and you can buy more in my shop:
- IELTS Model Answers (2-part questions)
- IELTS Model Answers (To what extent do you agree or disagree?)
4. Get reliable feedback
You can’t improve if you’re not getting any feedback, or if you’re getting BAD feedback from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
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