The IELTS Essay Writing Task is often considered to be the most difficult of the two writing tasks IELTS aspirants have to complete. However, whilst it is challenging, with plenty of practice, dedication and study, you can successfully pass the task. Here are 5 top tips to help you prepare and succeed in your essay writing task.
To begin with, you need to ensure that you have a clear and secure understanding of what an essay is. Make sure that you spend some time before your test familiarizing yourself with the structure of essays and study the different sentence types and the range of vocabulary used.
During the test itself, begin by re-reading the question carefully. Identify and underline the main keywords in the question. Ensure that you are clear about what is being asked. Similarly, make sure that you know what type of question or essay your need to be writing. For example, does your essay need to be a discussion, a solution, an opinion or a combination of these?
Although you might be tempted to start writing straight away due to time pressure, this can actually be detrimental to the overall structure and quality of your essay. Instead, spend the first 5 minutes thinking about your ideas and planning. Jot down some notes about your thoughts on the topic and any relevant examples that you might want to include. Then group your ideas into two or three groups, to create a plan for each paragraph of your essay.
Planning will help to ensure that your essay has a clear structure, which will enable you to core more highly in your test. It will also help to ensure that it is logical and that ideas link together well.
“Ideally, you want to aim to have four paragraphs in your essay,” explains Greg Mahon, an academic writer at Academized and Boomessays. “You should have an introduction, two separate paragraphs and a conclusion. A new idea should be discussed in a new paragraph. Within each individual paragraph you should include 2-3 supporting sentences and then a couple of development sentences that include examples.”
When using examples, it’s important to ensure that these are relevant to the question. It’s also important to remember to include your opinion, which you can do during the conclusion. Above all, it’s essential that you complete your answer and your essay.
It’s imperative that you use formal language during your IELTS essay writing task. Use of shorthand and informal expressions (including SMS and chat spellings) are prohibited and you will score poorly as a result. You should also avoid using repetitive words and language.
You will score more highly if you use a good range of vocabulary which demonstrates your command of the language. Similarly, avoid using only short simple sentences or bullet points. Instead, aim to use a range of sentence types.
“When it comes to grammar, spelling and punctuation, the best thing you can do is to practice. You need to ensure that you know how to punctuate sentences correctly and can securely write grammatically correct sentences. If you can, practice writing essays before taking your test and have someone who is experienced check your writing to help you improve,” says Nina Langston, an educator at Revieweal and Writing Populist.
The IELTS essay writing task is time limited to 40 minutes and it’s essential that you complete your essay within that time frame. As such, practice writing essays within the time frame to get accustomed to it prior to your test. Aim to split your time so that you spend the first 5 minutes planning, approximately 30-32 minutes writing the essay and finally, spend 2-3 minutes proofreading. Proofreading is extremely important to ensure that you can check spellings and errors you may have made in your hurry to write the essay.
Although challenging, by following these five tips you can successfully pass your IELTS essay writing task. Most importantly, ensure that you begin to prepare and practice for your test with ample time. Continue to read widely and expand your vocabulary to support the quality of your writing. The more you practice, the more confident you will be and the greater your chances of success.
Katherine Rundell is an accomplished academic writer at Essay writing services reviews and Assignment services, where she regularly shares essay writing tips and tricks with her readers. She is also an editor at Top Canadian Writers When not writing, Katherine enjoys spending time reading and staying up to date with the latest trends in education and attending writing conferences.