In this tutorial we focus on Band 9 essay writing, specifically “what the examiner wants to see” and how to do it.
You will learn:
- Writing techniques essential for Band 9 (obviously useful for Band 7 and 8 too)
- What the examiner wants to see in your paragraphs
- When and how to use idiomatic expressions
What does an examiner take into account while evaluating your essay? They look for:
- Your personal views and ideas about the topic, these must be fully extended and developed, in other words, there is nothing else to develop on the issue.
- Your grammatical accuracy and vocabulary range should be precise, nuanced, and advanced.
- Is the essay structure is correct and nothing is missing? The essay should include an introduction, at least 2 paragraphs that expand and support the ideas stated in the introduction, and a summary paragraph. Also, cohesion must be seamless and draw no attention, ideas are perfectly linked, paragraphing is logical & ideas within the paragraphs are logically arranged.
- Do you have a good understanding of the topic? You should include convincing facts and evidence to support your idea(s).
- Do not forget to follow formal style rules while writing, and to make your essay easy and interesting to read.Here are key points to keep in mind if you’re aiming for a Band 9 score:
- If you have time before the exam, try to read as much as possible. Reading will not only contribute to your knowledge, but also enrich your vocabulary.
- Practice writing IELTS essays. For a non-native English speaker, writing may seem to be the most complicated task, since you need to think of how to express your ideas so they mean what you intend to say. Read through samples of Band 9 essays to see the style and vocabulary they use. Practice as much as you can. By doing so, you’ll gain confidence and expand the range of both your vocabulary and grammatical structure.
- Make notes on what you’re going to write about. Think about how to connect your thoughts together so that they look natural.
- You should be absolutely sure about the meaning of every idiom, word or grammatical structure you use. Do not use words or phrases the meaning of which you’re not sure about. In fact, by making an effort to impress the examiner with fancy phrases, you’ll only make things worse.
- Train your brain to think logically and critically. If you’re confused about the topic and don’t know what to say about it, ask questions about it (What? Who? Why?). Your brain, unconsciously, will get busy with finding answers and, eventually, ideas will pop into your head.
- Do not try to show off how smart you are. Choose what you think is the best idea, and stick with it. What’s most important here is not to fill your essay with complicated sentences, but to shed light on your personal experience in connection with the chosen idea. Try to make your writing simple and clear.
- Focus on the question you’re answering. The truth is, in most cases, people who take IELTS get a lower band for writing because they stray from the main topic (a very common error). However, be careful, the more you write, the more your attention can shift to ideas that have nothing to do with the essay’s main topic.
- Good online IELTS courses usually include essay correction services and tutorials on advanced writing techniques such as redundancy, parallelism, and persuasive writing.
- Take time to check and re-check what you wrote. Check the grammar and spelling. As the mistakes we make are strictly personal, you know best what your “weak spots” are. Even if you think that your essay is absolutely correct, look at it again. Since exams are stressful and the time you’re given to write is limited, it’s possible that you will make a few small mistakes. Of course, if you make small mistakes, it doesn’t mean your grade will be considerably lower. However, because of these mistakes, you may not get Band 9. Remember that Band 9 implies that an essay is exceptional and perfect in every way.
- Getting feedback on your essays is the fastest way to improve, when a native English speaker reviews your work they can identify your incorrectly used vocabulary and grammar. At IELTSPodcast we only employ native English speakers and Ex-IELTS examiners to correct your IELTS essays.
We hope the points mentioned above will help you achieve your goal of scoring a Band 9 on your IELTS essay. We wish you luck!
You can download or listen to the audio version here: