As we all know IELTS is a test required by universities in the UK as part of meeting the entry requirements for international students. Our previous articles on IELTS reading and speaking tests have given you a broad introduction to IELTS exams and university requirements. This article will help you to get yourself prepared to score a higher mark for the writing element of IELTS exam.
Out of the four components, writing is the most important element in the IELTS exam for international students but most of the students get lower marks for the writing element. However, some universities require a higher score for writing element depending on the subject and level of studies. Therefore, this article will be useful for you in scoring a higher band for writing test.
What is an IELTS Writing test like?
Writing test is one hour long in duration and comprises two sections. The writing test is all about essay or descriptive writing. The two tasks will focus on different text types such as report, description, discussion, argument, opinion etc.
Task 1 – In the first section you are given a task based on graphic or pictorial information and you are expected to write a descriptive report with at least 150 words. Usually for this section candidates are expected to spend about 20 minutes
Task 2 – In the second and final section of the writing test students are expected to write an essay on a given topic. This is more of a discussion with constructive criticism and arguments. You are expected to give some examples in elaborating your points. This section requires you to write at least about 250 words. Therefore, it is important that you give more weight to this section as you have to organize your answer before presenting it in writing. Candidates are usually expected to spend about 40 minutes for this section.
You will be assessed on your writing skills such as style of writing, grammar, ability of expressing your ideas, clarity, how well you have organized your answers and how well you can build a descriptive report on given information.
Tips to use at the exam
- Firstly it is important to stay calm and relaxed during the exam and maintain focus and concentration.
- Take time to understand what you are required to do, then analyze the questions and plan your answers. Come up with a mind map with the points you need to mention on your essay
- Highlighting key words will always allow you to understand the question well. Then focus on the backbone of your essay
- Use correct grammar and a formal style and formal language. Do not use bullet points
- It is also important to pay attention to your grammar, spelling and punctuation marks. The answer has to be well organized so that examiners should be able to grasp your idea at a glimpse.
- You are not required to write a lot. Marks are not given for quantity but for quality. Writing a lot more than the requirement would also incur more mistakes.
- Always select your best idea and present it with clarity. Do not repeat the same idea using different words.
- Using examples would help you to elaborate on your ideas in an easier manner than writing explanations.
- Always make sure time is managed effectively and that you fully complete your tasks.
How to get ready for the test?
The most effective way of getting prepared for the test is to keep practicing the past IELTS writing tests.
- Do not practice on whole essays or try to memorize the essays. Understand how ideas are penned on articles and on sample answers. Follow the style of writing.
- Build your vocabulary; improve your grammar and spellings. Reading books and newspaper articles would help you to improve these skills as well as to improve your knowledge on current affairs.
IELTS Writing is actually an easy element to score a higher band as there are no exact right or wrong answers. As long as you express your ideas clearly and use a proper English language in an organized manner, you will be awarded good marks.