Get some handy tips that will keep you from losing points. IELTS is a language test but it also tests your test-taking skills so it’s important to have a good strategy when you are taking the exam.
Below find some of our tips.
- Start with task 2 always. Why?
- If you run out of time and don’t write your conclusion or don’t finish a sentence & leave it in the middle, you will not get higher than a 5 for Coherence and Cohesion.
- It’s worth double the marks so it’s worth spending time on
- Use the time before you write wisely. Spend 3-4 minutes reading the question. Make sure you 100% understand the question so you can do well in Task Achievement
- Spend about 5 minutes jotting down notes – an outline. What are your main ideas & what support do you have for them? Don’t forget to double check them against the questions so that you are in fact answering the question.
- Use a template. Examiners are trained in understanding memorized language but learn a template for each kind of question – key expressions for your introduction, conclusion & topic sentences. This will keep you from spending time on the structural elements of the essay and instead allow you to focus on topic development. We help you with such a template when you sign up to the online course.
- if you follow these tips, you still have approximately 32 minutes to write and review your writing. Learning a template will speed you up and allow you to essentially plug in key elements into your essay
- Make sure you spend the appropriate amount of time on different areas of the essay:
- Introduction – 4 minutes
- body paragraph 1 – 10 minutes
- body paragraph 2 – 10 minutes
- conclusion – 3 minutes
- review – 5 minutes
- count the lines, not words & figure out what your average word per line is so you can approximate your word count
- With task 1, here again, it is important to dedicate time to understanding the task. When does the information take place? Which tense should you use? Past? Present? Future? Highlight the key points in the graph – the highs, the lows and any other things you can group together. You are allowed to write on the booklet so use it for your notes BUT don’t write your entire essay there – just key words or expressions
- Write your overview right after the introduction. This way, if you run out of time you will have included this piece of information which is necessary to get at least a band 6 in Task Achievement.
You can download or listen to the audio version here: