How to Take 97% IELTS Preparation at Home (Step-By-Step Guide)

IELTS prepraration

Are you struggling to Prepare for IELTS exam at home? I’m about to show you a way to do that easily, using quality guideline.

In fact:

When you prepare for IELTS ; you get a lot of opportunities and flexibility to improve your test performance.

As of July 2015, about 3 million tests are taken around the world in 1,000 test centers with 48 test dates each year.

Look at the graph below to imagine how IELTS become the world`s most popular English language test over the course of time.

The number of worldwide IELTS test taker
How do you think, these millions of candidates makes them successful in this test?

Simple:  With Proper Home Preparation.

If you want to get the desired score in your IELTS exam, you have to go through the hardship of homework.

So what does it take to maximize your effort to prepare for IELTS at home? 

This in-depth article will walk you through four steps to improve your home preparation, so that you can optimize your performance, build a good impression during the exam, and boost your band score.

Ready? Let’s go

Step #1: Familiarize With Test Structure

When something is not fully known, the first step is to research and study it.  Smart preparations are based on in-depth past papers analysis.

Cambridge IELTS Student`s Books are good reference in this context, full with past IELTS exam questions. You can also go through online sources to have a look on the test structure.

Remember, in this step you are not actually practicing or giving any mock test. Just skim around the questions and get yourself acquaintance with the IELTS test.

Because 90% IELTS candidate complains that when they try to solve the questions at start up, they make mistakes. Making lots of mistakes in the first stage discourage them to try further and they end up with nothing.

IELTS students trying to solve the question

For example, if you want to know about the reading module but don’t know how, do not read the entire passage and try to solve the questions? 

You can, of course, solve the questions later but in the beginning it is not recommended. 

You can off course, just get an overview of the question types of IELTS reading test in this stage; like:  sentence completion, true/false/not given, multiple choice, paragraph headings etc.

In the same way, listening the audio recordings from CDs or internet of past IELTS exam is not like playing computer game– it’s a necessity, and should be the initial stage of IELTS preparation.

According to the British Council, “You will hear a variety of accents in Listening test.”

That means, youe hearing capacity need to be adjusted with typical English accents like British, American, Canadian or Australian.

Few years back, I got a job in Essex and it became nightmare for me to understand the Essex Dialects. But, month long social interaction with the locals made it easy for me to grasp their way of saying English.  

So, Just listen to the IELTS listening audio recording for a month and you will not find any accent unpleasant or hard at all to understand.

Good & Active IELTS Listener

And furthermore, by going through the writing and speaking section questions, you’re building up your awareness of the type of question asked in these modules.

Over time, you’ll become so associated with IELTS test that will build enough confidence in your mind to pay your full attention in the rest part of preparation.

Step #2: Practice Makes You Perfect

The basic of any test preparation hasn’t really changed. It all boils down to knowing what you will be asked in the exam, and how you usually go to look for answers to solve these problems (most often, using own wit).

There is really no secret to success in IELTS. It is just practice and practice.

Because, you cannot master this kind of international high stake test overnight. One has to give it a long study time to become efficient and master this exam.

Build Online Reading Habit

The American Life research project found that 42% of college graduates will never read a book again after graduating college. I bet, this is the habit which is common among most of us.

For example, how many full English Books you have read after graduation?

Reading can assist you in a many ways. In fact, Neuroscientists have discovered that good reading habit can improve brain function on a variety of levels.

The story is same for IELTS preparation.

According to the Quora respondent Sushil Jain ; who is student of Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany: reading practice of 1 month brings him 7.5 band in the IELTS reading section.

So, How can you built good reading habit for IELTS? Here are some good online sources that will built your reading proficiency in IELTS academic level.


Do you know why BBC News online generates around 40 million unique readers a week? It has several awards under the belt as best news site of the world.

Granted, BBC is a very popular and highly credible news site,. But another reason to read BBC is its in-depth, thoughtful news on excellent wide variety of topics.

Many news articles of this site are very similar to IELTS texts. like theses ones:

These though provocation news will hone your appetite of reading which will prepare your mind to catch IELTS reading passage information more accurately and quickly.

The Economist

As the name suggest, the content of this renowned online magazine does not cover news and article only in the area of Economics. Rather, it covers a wide variety of articles on culture, economics, science, technology, and politics.

IELTS reading articles also covers these topics. Therefore, if you are familiar with the language of articles in this magazine, you will considerably improve your chances of scoring well in the IELTS reading section.

On the other hand, The Economist has a Daily Chart section useful to prepare for IELTS academic writing task 1.

As you probably aware in this part of the exam, you will be given a chart or graph. You need to analyze that chart or a graph and then make a report of 150 words.

Look at the picture below taken from this section, where we can see a table exactly what we can find in IELTS part-1 writing.

You can read a brief report about these graphs here to notice useful languages like describing comparison and trends.

The Economist for IELTS Writing Task-1

Moreover, reading The Economist can built your general idea about talking about different critical issues usually discussed in IELTS Speaking Part -3.

When speaking about in-depth issues in this last part, candidates often miss to develop effective arguments.

Lets see how you can use The Economist cover page to develop arguments. Below is The Economist magazine cover of January 2014 issues with a interesting Title “Workers on Tap”.

The idea of “on Tap ” means you can have something exactly when you need it. So, you don’t have to keep it, you can have it whenever you want.

Therefore, we got an idea from here that workers are readily available in the market when a company need some of them.

That means, a company can hire some people only for a project in short time and then just flush them.

Now, if you look down in the cover picture, you can see words “Technology, Freelancing and Future of the Labor Market” which actually outline the cause and possible effect of this ready-made labor market.

That brings out the argument like “Technology and Freelancing are enabling labor on the Tap”. Now, think about the logics and examples behind this argument. Like:  through the use of internet workers can do work online & at the same time can be paid online.

This makes it easy for the employer and worker to find each other and serve the purpose virtually.

Now you can think about different facets of the future effect of “Workers on Tap”, like:
  • Is this a good thing?
  • How will this affect companies?
  • How will this affect workers?
Preparing yourself to answer questions like these will be helpful to prepare for IELTS speaking test or any academic discussion.

TED Talks

Do you want to enhance your listening and speaking skill above band 7 level? Then, TED Talks can help you out.

As we discussed earlier, IELTS listening test includes a range of different accents: Australian, British, Asian English like Indian or Chinese and North American.  It’s not difficult to find an online one stop site to listen to these different types of accent like Ted Talk.

Ted Talks contains useful and well-formatted academic lectures from experts of many different countries. These are the brief expert analysis of contemporary issues. They consistently update these conversations, so you can check the views of dominating persons of various fields.

Practice IELTS Listening in Ted Talk

Most of these talks have transcripts. You can improve your vocabulary form these transcripts and learn the use of these words in real world situation. It will show you the ways academicians convincingly present their opinions on the different modern issues.

But, how can you use these lectures to built your vocabulary?

Here is how to do this:
IELTS Vocabulary-Professor Word
  • Go to an interesting Ted Talk, scroll down and find the interactive script
  • Click on the “Run Professor Word” tab on your browser bar
  • The important words of the transcript will get highlighted, click on these words to know the meaning from professor word popup.
Ted also presents customized lessons on their TED-Ed section with carefully curated educational videos. Here are some lists of supplementary materials to prepare for IELTS that you can watch in your home:
Step #3: Sharpen Up Your Skills

Now, it`s the time for real battle. Practice test papers and justify your capacity to deliver correct answer.

Cambridge IELTS Book Series is filled with original IELTS test papers. Practicing from these books is my best recommendation. 

As I said earlier, you cannot master the test in a short time. That`s why first time you can see a lot of errors while you answer. But, don`t stop there. Give mock test continuously until you reach your desired threshold. 

You can easily judge your performance of reading and listening section from the score. The following infographic  tells you the band score of these modules for specific number of correct answers.

IELTS Band Score Calculator Infographic

Let`s take band 7 as the desired overall band score for any candidate. He/She need to answer around 30 questions in IELTS academic reading and writing section to achieve this score.

How can he achieve it?  Can he achieve it at this step of preparation? It’s a great question. One that deserves an answer.

The answer is “no”. Climbing a mountain often takes months or years of hard work. It takes time actually climbing it, and getting ready to do it. Getting band 7 or 8 in IELT S is very similar. It takes months of hard work to learn, experiment, and practice on the way to success.

I’m going to go through the major challenges you will be facing in this step of IELTS preparation.

The Challenge: Reading

The IELTS Academic reading test contains 3 paragraphs each with at least 3-4 thousand words.

That`s a lot to read and answer in just 60 minutes.  

So, can you make your endeavor to correct at least 30 questions? While It is not extremely impossible, they aren’t that easy either.

The first challenge is to enable you to digest a vast amount of material very rapidly. This technique is called “speed reading” that merely goes beyond quickly look over the passages.

These are some basic rules of speed reading; like these:
  • Skimming
  • Scanning
During normal reading 80% of the time spends in reading is devoted to physical eye movements. The human eye can focus on about 13 characters at a time which dramatically decrease the effective reading speed.

For this limitation of eye; most of us tend to read at about 200-400 words per minute. Speed readers claim to hit around 1000-1700 words per minute.

However, you don't truly understand those words while you read at this speed which defeats the purpose of reading in IELTS.  But, it is effective in pre-reading or reviewing the reading passages to get a general idea of the text.

In order to find the answer in the text, you need to master the skimming and scanning skills. Remember, in 60 minutes you have to read all 3 passages and answer 40 questions. That means you need to be get the information you need  very quickly.

Skimming is very functional to solve this purpose. It means glance through the text to look for a particular item to be answered. This method involves reading at a three or four time faster than normal one. The reader can move quickly through the texts in a passage with a conciseness of which parts they can skip over.

The skimming technique is particularly helpful to give answers to the question like match headings or finding writers view. Here is a very good video lecture describing skimming technique.

Speed Reading IELTS

When you look for any key words, phrases or acronyms of the question in reading text, you can apply scanning technique. In this process, your eyes move down the page to nail down the answer to specific questions.

IELST reading test contains gap fill or multiple choice questions that can easily solve thought this scanning method.

For example can you find the answer of the question from following passage.

You can find it easily, right? 

Because, the question contains the word percentage (which is the keyword or clue) and you were actually looking for it (%) in the passage and finally find the answer at the bottom of it.

I bet, you have heard a lot about these scanning and skimming techniques in almost any book or blog about IELTS. But, remember, the question cannot be answer by only applying these tricks. There are more challenges waiting for you there.

Most of the student daunts when they first look at an IELTS reading paper; the sheer volume of unknown and sometimes technical vocabulary makes it almost impossible to know the meaning of sentences and paragraphs.

It can seem like almost impossible task for students to attain this sheered volume of vocabulary, in such a limited period of time of preparation, to enable them to answer the questions.

But, there is a solution.

Nevertheless to mention that about 3000 academic words appear with great frequency in a broad range of academic texts. But there are many unknown words which can appear in IELTS reading passages beyond these academic words. 

IELTS learning academic words

The reading habit you built in step one comes in action in this stage. On the top of it, knowing all the vocabulary of Cambridge IELTS students book series guides reading tests can built your vocabulary up to 98 % ; this level of proficiency is enough to get whatever band score you want.

The Challenge: Listening

I’m writing this post under the assumption that you’re doing IELTS just for trying to get admission in a university or migrate in an English speaking country.

What is the first thing you will experience in those countries like UK, USA, Canada or Australia?

Listen to people speaking in English in every step of your foreign life. And, that`s exactly the spirit of IELTS listening test.

There are few hardships every non-native person goes through while staying in an English speaking country. These are:
  • Hardship of following Different Accent
  • Hardship of following the speed of speech.

How to Handle Different Accent

There are 3 major English accents that would cover in the IELTS listening Test.
  • North American
  • British
  • Australian
The best way to get familiarize with these accents is to travel and live some times in some major cities like Sydney, London, New York, Toronto,  Auckland. This idea of travelling may sounds insane but this is the best way to accentuate all major style of speaking English.

However, it is not possible for most of us mange time & money to travel around the world. In that case, secondary sources like all kind of media are the only way to get through.

Got any idea how English language could be sound like in different parts of the world? Just, if you are curious enough, please go through Speech Accent Archive of George Mason University and discover the world of English accent by clicking in different areas of the world map.
Most of us may know how North American accent would sounds like as most of the English movies comes from Hollywood. 

Yes, you are right.

Watching movies is a good way to earn foreign accent but it sticks to American jurisdiction. But, what about knowing British accent where IELTS listening tests covers at least 2 sections in British English. Again, BBC can help you in this case. Lets see how it can help you:
  1. Go to YouTube and type BBC Drama/BBC Documentary in the search box.
  2. You will find an array of videos to watch on
  3. Choose one, enjoy the show and learn English accents with pleasure.
IELTS Listening from Youtube

The same procedure goes for learning Australian Accent where YouTube can be helpful. Do not underestimate the practice test in Cambridge IELTS student`s book series where each tests contains a range of accent. Practicing Cambridge IELTS books would be helpful in this case as book as because each book contains listening scripts at the end pages.

How to Handle the Speed

Can you guess what the purpose of IELTS listening test is?

In an academic setting, students need to interact in tutorials, discussions, meetings with tutors and supervisors, group projects. They also take part in informal social interaction in and outside the campus.

The IELTS listening test sections are designed in that way, where there are 4 sections each contains 10 questions:
  • Section 1: A conversation about a daily life context e.g. a hotel booking procedure
  • Section 2: Individual Discussion about an everyday social context e.g. a speech about how to get local driving license.
  • Section 3: Discussion between two or more persons in an Academic setting. Ex: meeting or interaction of 2 students with supervisor.
  • Section 4: An academic lecture or seminar presentation.
The difficulty of IELTS usually lies in chronological order. That means, you can expect section 4 more difficult to listen and answer.

Guess, why section 4 is more difficult? 

One of the reasons is Speed. And, they won’t go back and repeat what’s said.

Students need good listening skills to interpret the subject matter of an academic lecture usefully delivered at speed and take necessary notes.

IELTS Listening-Academic Lecture

Just, try to listen to an IELTS section 4 audio track . While listening, suddenly realize you missed a phrase or sentence, maybe an important one. As I said earlier, in academic context, the speaker sometimes speaks a little too quickly.

While you practice listening test at the beginning, we will miss many chunks of the conversation.

Don`t feel bad.

After a few months of practice, you will again miss something you haven`t missed before and this  trend will continue in the future.

This is very normal. Even a native English speakers mind can wander or simply fail to hear something in a speedy speech.

All you have to make sure you miss as few words as possible when you take the IELTS itself.

There are few sites that can help you to take the challenge of speed. Like:
  1. ESL Lounge has audio in normal to advanced level British & American speakers with scripts. Practicing from this site will help you to comprehend English speech that is faster than usual.
  2. will allow you with advanced listening audios with Audio Script on contemporary topics. The advanced section in this site will enhance your listening speeds with read-along text.
The good news is that the speech you hear on the IELTS Listening section 1 & 2 is usually slower than English speech in other sections. This means, building your skills at listening to speedy paced English speech will prepare you for band 7+ score.

The Challenge: Speaking

The first thing you need to consider about IELTS speaking is the power of speech.
Remember, the driving force of humanity is verbal interaction or speech.

Speech is considered as the tool of creation in many religious sects of the world, as in: “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ “ (Genesis 1:3).

It might seem intimidating, but it isn’t.

In January 2008, Hillary Clinton defeated Barrack Obama in New Hampshire Primary Election.

However, Mr. Obama change the dice by his phenomenal speech that have won him the nomination and ultimately the presidential election.

IELTS Speaking-Barack Obama Speech

Through speech – with praise and encouragement – we can change or build our society. So that, we can get better score in IELTS speaking test.

Learn to speak well will improve in all areas of your life —one-on-one. It will bring you good friends, help you positively in family settings and above all bring high score in speaking module!

Do you think there’s no magic or luck involved in delivering good speech?

According to an academic research , there are some certain Rules of Thumb that shape an academic speech.

When you imply these rules in your speech, you`ll make positive impression with the IELTS examiner and drive your band score up.

It is true that a good speech matters on your words, tone and body language. But, IELTS consortium has set some criteria to evaluate your speech for the examiner. There are:
  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation
These are the basics of marking your speaking test. In the nutshell:

First, by fluency & coherence, the examiner will judge the pace & smoothness of your speech.

Second, in lexical section, the wide and powerful vocabulary usage will be credited.

Third, in Grammatical range and accuracy, your ability to deliver speech with grammatical accuracy and variation will be checked.

Fourth, finally in pronunciation section, the tone speech will be marked if you deliver each word with clarity that could be easy to understand.

In my opinion, you can practice IELTS speaking test in your home by keeping these 4 criteria in mind. But, it`s really hard to find a speaking partner if you are staying at home. Unless, you join any speaking club or IELTS couching center. 

Don`t worry, there are some alternative solution to practice speaking of your own. 

First of all, you can sneak in to the nearest British Council Library where usually the IELTS candidate gathers for registration or practice. Make friendship with them to go for a cup of tea or coffee and in the meantime practice speaking. 

You can also jump on certain Facebook pages about IELTS ; where you can find a speaking partners request through Skype ID.

As you can expect, with the pace of time, your capacity to speak academically in any topic will improve over time. If you are beginning as a novice in this speaking learning curve, I`ll tell you will become an expert speaker. It`s not that difficult to do, just keep the habit going on.

The Challenge: Writing

The IELTS academic writing contains 2 tasks. Task-1 requires less time; a 150 words answer you are suppose to write in 20 minutes while in Task-2 it requires 250 words answer in 30 minutes.

Just imagine being able to write a 250 word essay in 30 minutes.

This means that time management and planning is an integral part of the writing process, but the real work comes in the revision stage, where you give 10 minutes to perfect your writing.

IELTS Academic Writing Time Distribution
The IELTS academic task-1 contains charts, figures and tables to present visual information in a way that is accessible and understandable to the reader.

All you have to do is gathering important facts, changes, and comparison figures to built the foundation for your answer.

However, you don’t have to be perfect at this “fact-gathering” stage. But, you are required to present your answer according the set of standards set by the IELTS consortium. To know these facts please follow this post:
Although, writing isn’t all about arranging words to make a sentence – you’ve got to know what types of words or sentence structures you need to use for particular tasks. There are several ways you can use online sources to get familiar with how to structure your task-1 answer and use complex sentences and grammatical forms.
      One of these sources (I stated earlier) is The Economist websites Daily Chart section which is similar to the graphs and charts often used in Task 1.
        You should learn to use clear and specific Language to describe charts, table and diagrams. In the meantime, you are supposed to understand and write about following key points:
        • The purpose of the given table, charts or diagram
        • Determine which pieces of information are significant.
        • Describe the highest and lowest value of the dataset.
        • Make comparison between significant data sources.
        Go to this link  which is a nice learning source about how to write about these key points. 

        You should also focus on using appropriate adjective, adverbs and preposition to present the task in proper way. Here is a very good source to learn these words/phrases that fits with particular charts.

        Sometimes, task-1 question covers flowchart/diagram instead of table or graphs. Flowchart is the schematic visual representation of the “flow” of the process. Don’t get overwhelmed when you stumble upon these flow-charts.

        Just like describing charts and tables, it is important that you spend some time carefully looking at the diagram until you understand what it shows. Look for the following:
        • The main parts or blocks of the diagram.
        • How one block of process leads to another one in the diagram?
        • Are the stages shown in the diagram follow any sequence (what comes after what)?
        • Identify the keywords in the diagram that help you to explain it
        Remember, in the flow-diagram; you as a reader is active, while the visual itself is passive. This active-passive role is very important in describing it.

        That’s why; using the passive voice can add a more formal tone to your descriptions.

        Sometimes IELTS writing task-1 diagram express the cause and result relationship. In that case, using certain connective phrases like- (as a result, because of, consequently, due to, give rise to, on account of, results in) will give a natural flow to your writing.

        As I stated earlier, you should find more time in writing task-2 because it carries more marks than task-1. The IELTS Academic Task-2 questions comprise 3 types of discourse:
        1. The task will describe a problem and ask you write a solution
        2. It can ask you to describe the advantages and disadvantages of something
        3. The question can present a controversial issue and need you to express own opinion.
        Although, the main types of questions in task-2 can be varied among these 3 types, all you have to do the following things during first 5 minutes.
        • Brainstorming ideas
        • Organizing ideas in a mind map
        • Planning your essay
        The following infographic about IELTS Academic Writing Task-2 will show you how to organize your writing at the level of the paragraph and, finally, how to write a good conclusion.

        IELTS Writing Task-2 Stucture inforgraphic

        A good academic writing is that each sentence follows on logically from the one before it.  Your responsibility, therefore, is to be maintain this flow of ideas.

        But the logical flow is not what you need to consider alone. There are other things to consider in your writing for getting high band score. To know these fact, just follow the post below:
        That`s all about the challenges you are going to face in IELTS writing preparation.
        In the nutshell, your writing should be clear to understand and maintain an academic tone by including a few more complex sentences for getting band 7 or higher.

        Writing is an art and requires creativity. However, the IELTS test seldom justifies this act of creativity and demands certain rules to follow. I tried to give you a glimpse of these rule of thumbs. Without following these rules, you`ll be lost in the crowd.

        Step #4: Here Comes the Sun (Conclusion)

        Scoring high band score in IELTS isn’t a mystery.

        In case of speaking and writing, you just need to know its components & learn how to use them for the best answer.

        In the coures of time, you can incorporate some—ideally all—of these components into your preparation. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how your answering capacity increases during the final stage your home preparation.
        In case of reading and listening module if you get to score between 32 to 38 correct answer out of 40 questions, you are ready for the test.

        You can also justify the quality of your speaking, by recording it and listen if it satisfies the standard requirements. I will describe in detail of these elements of speaking test in the next blog post.

        However, you will still long for perfection and fear of unprepared before the exam day.

        Don`t worry! This is very common feelings among candidates.

        The practical proficiency of IELTS usually builds with everyday practice. This practice involves a good understanding of how the test structures, errors that may lead to lose scores etc.

        There’s nothing fancy about finding any shortcut to pass this exam. So don’t waste time or fret over it.

        Depending on your goal or the demand of your target band score, you may want to practice at least 1 to 3 hours per day. Practicing at this speed will usually take 3 months span to prepare you for getting a comfortable band score.

        However, if you want to stand out, you’ve got to add more and more practice in your IELTS preparation endeavor.

        When you’re practicing for the test, don’t lose sight of what matters most: hard work. The goal is to hone your expertise and intellect for the target band score.

        But understand that there is a difference between hard work and smart preparation. During hard work, you adjust yourself with the model test to score better; where you might end up with frustration.

        For instance. When preparing smartly as I guide you in this post, you focus on correcting yourself and achieve the level desired by any IELTS candidate.

        Scoring a good enough band score is tough. You’ve got to solve model tests and use the rules and techniques to answer them properly. You need to figure out what techniques works, and what doesn’t.

        But I’m confident that if you can focus on these 4 steps, you’ll be able to get a good band score that you can be proud of – within 3 months or less.

        12 Simple IELTS Writing Task-1 Secrets that will Boost Your Score Upto 100%

        IELTS writing task-1 scoring components

        A few weeks ago I got an email from an IELTS candidate.

        He said:

        "What facts should I consider in My IELTS Task-1 Writing to get 8+ band score?"

        In fact, the IELTS consortium has published these factors. Check out the official page of IELTS writing Task-1 band descriptor.

        Needless to say, these descriptors are originally checked by the examiner to score your writing.

        Do you think this descriptors are understandable “enough” to guide you to follow the rules to score high band score?

        I have posted a useful infographic to guide you properly for answering IELTS task-1.

        But, it turns out finding a more detail writing task-1 band descriptors would be more helpful to understand how to answer properly.

        Below, you`ll find these 3 different actionable writing techniques in more detail to use right now.

        And why you should consider these techniques?

        ..........because your writing will get unbeatable high score.

        Tactic #1: Cohesion and Coherence

        IELTS writing task-1 consists a graph, chart, table or diagram . Your writing should cover the main detail provided with attractive logical sequence.

        How to make your writing more attractive for the examiner?

        Just follow the points below:

        i). Make comparisons and not just present facts 

        To make your wiring attractive, you should not just present information but apply a comparative approach wherever it is possible.

        Notice that in most cases , IELTS Task-1 question says, “make comparison where relevant”

        IELTS academic writing task-1 question sample

        You can follow different ways to compare and contrast information in responding IELTS Task-1 question.

        Look at the example above where you can say:
        Between two companies in Turkey, Jack and Jones will make better sales in every month of the next year.
        You can then add more specific features about these groups, like:
        Jack and Jones will reach it`s best sales peak in December.
        Or you can identify similarities between different groups like:
        The projected market share of Mango Co. & Jack & Jones Co. are almost equal which are 20 percent and 30 percent respectively.
        ii). Skillfully manage paragraphs 

        It is insane to write all information one paragraph, because it makes difficult to follow your writing.

        Generally, it is better to divide your writing into at least 3 paragraphs: 1 introduction and 2 body.

        In fact, it is really easy, just follow the instruction below……..

        In introduction you should be precise and straight to the point in two sentences.

        ielts writing paragraphing

        First sentence of the introduction need to describe the task by paraphrasing the question and in second sentence you should include the overall trend that stands out.

        You can then divide the body into two paragraphs to describe the key features with specific figures, compare and contrast with evidence.

        iii). Present key features

        It is recommended to use 20 minutes in Task-1 as you have to save time to response task-2 which carries higher weightage in scoring.

        Obviously, you cannot describe features of the task within this limited time.

        Therefore before you start writing, highlight more important trends/features/highs and lows those are significant to describe this visual presentation.

        If we look at the official IELTS Writing task-1 public band 8 descriptor, it says "present, highlights and illustrates key features/bullet points clearly and appropriately".

        Now, It should be clear why you should include only sticking points.

        Tactic #2: Lexical Resource & Grammatical Range and Accuracy

        Candidates who score band 7 or above use a wide range of vocabulary and blend of grammar so that the writing becomes more professional and academic.

        i). Diversify words and grammatical structures

        While you write, diversify the sentence structure to make it more attractive and prove your knowledge of English as an expert language user.

        There are certain techniques to use a range of structures; just follow the points below.

        # Use passive

        Using passive voice is essential in academic writing to make it more ornamental.

        The candidate can write
        Cell phones are used more frequently in USA to browse webs than Canada in 2015
        rather than
        People of USA are using cell phones more frequently to access webs than Canada.

        # Make it more objective

        Look at the example below in writing about a table in Task-1.
        • Table indicates that…..
        • The same report found that......
        Here, we refer to the question (table/graphs/diagram) as a subject of the sentence rather than the person or people who write them.

        It makes the description more objective and appealing.

        # Vary sentence structure

        There are 3 types of sentence in English : Simple, Complex ,Compound.

        Using one type of these sentences repetitively would make your writing more monotonous.

        Thus it is better to use mix this structures and present a better reading experience.

        Compound sentences are often joined together with the coordinators such as and, but, or, yet.

        They could also use conjunctive adverbs such as "however, moreover, therefore'.

        Complex sentences on the other hand use one independent and one dependent clause which cannot stand alone as a separate sentence.

        These clauses are joined together by a subordinates such as"when/while/because/even tough/that" or relative pronoun such as "which/who/where".

        For example:
        In 2010. Forty three percent of US teenage respondents claim that they got a cellular phone primarily for browning webs.
        Simple sentence is the short one while complex and compound sentences are usually long.

        Remember that academic writing should include short and long sentences. If there too many short sentences, it proves the writing cannot use sentence forms.

        If there are too many long sentences, it is difficult for the reader to follow the arguments as too much information is given in each sentence.

        Therefore, make sure to bled simple, complex and compound sentence structures to present a spontaneous answer.

        # Use long noun phrases

        You have to use nouns more frequently in Academic writing task-1. Therefore to diversify the usage of NOUN by using long noun phrases is praiseworthy like:

        A critical period of cellular-internet use can be marked in the year of 2015.

        Similar to mobile onlline communication, phablets have created a perfect platform for adapting to better use of cellular technology.

        ii). Use correct tenses

        IELTS writing task-1 contains information and data which are most often presented in a time frame.

        Just look at the question sentences for a clue (for example in January 2000, the population of USA...) or X & Y axis of bar or line graph to establish what time frame you should use.

        IELTS writing correct tense

        Remember the tense you use will depend on time displayed in the question.

        If you are giving the IELTS exam in 2015; and the graph shows data of 90`s then obviously you should use part tense, like:

        The population of Montana was record low in 1930 and it was estimated about 50 thousand.

        But, you may stumble to a graph/table representing future data where you should use future tense. like:

        The economy of China will reach it`s peak in 2030.

        Sometimes, there would be no time frame mentioned both in graphs or question sentences. In that case use present simple or continuous tense, like:

        The population of Java is increasing and is now registering at 10 percent per annum.

        iii). Check for Grammatical mistakes

        # Using Plural

        In IELTS task-1 is that the subject usually comes in singular form, like:
        • The chart shows mobile phone sales in USA during last 10 years.
        • The table represents the number of female graduate in US universities in different states.

        But, look at the example below and notice while writing you might use plural form of these subjects.
        • In 2010, more mobile phones were sold in USA than any other time.
        • Texas has the highest number of female graduates among all states of US.

        That`s why you should not always use the same singular form of subjects mentioned in the question, rather you should concentrate on how to use them with grammatical accuracy.

        #Subject/verb agreement

        Every English sentence contains a subject and a verb.

        The verb form is changed with number and person change of subject. Look at this example:

        "He speaks in English."

        Here, "he" is a third person singular number; that`s why we put "s" after the verb "speak".

        The same rules applies when using "to have" verb. We use "have" for all person except the 3rd person singular number, we use "has".
        Italy has the highest percentage of tiles export in 2008.
        All these countries have suffered in export decline in 2010.
        In, IELTS writing task-1, a candidate can make mistakes in following these grammatical rules and loose marks.

        # Word formation

        You are not about to write a wide range of words in IELTS writing Task-1,rather the scope is very limited here.

        But, it would be lethal, if you use wrong form of words and come up with lower band score.

        Look at the following examples:
        The product of ready-made garments was highest in 2005.
        Here we use wrong form of word "product" which should be given with adding "ing" at the end So, the correct form is:
        The production of ready-made garments was highest in 2005.
        Therefore, the candidates need to be aware of word usage, Look at following usage of the word "product".
        • The production of car in China is increasing after 2010.
        • The increase of car export produces positive impact on Chinese economy.
        • Steven Spielberg is a great film producer of all time.

        Spelling mistakes became a very common among IELTS candidate. One of the reasons may be using Microsoft Word by students more frequently which automatically checks the spelling error.

        Frequent spelling mistakes will never lead you to higher band score no matter what would be the quality of writing.

        spelling check in IELTS

        So, what’s the solution?

        A good suggestion for improving spelling is to practice a lot with pen and paper before the exam.

        Click here to get the list of Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS Part 1 and practice those by writing in paper.

        # Unnecessary words

        A good academic writing should be clutter less.

        To achieve this, candidates should approach to more concise writing by eliminating unnecessary words.

        You are supposed to use 20 minutes in task-1. That means there is no logic to waste your space and time with lengthy words.

        Look at these examples:
        Worst : It is clear from the table that birth rate of India is highest in the world.
        Better: The table depicts the highest birth rate of India and it is around 1.8%
        Worst : As a matter of fact, China became the major exporter in 2013.
        Better : China became the major exporter in 2013.
        Is it clear enough?

        To make it clearer, follow these suggestions:
        • on a yearly basis (can be replaced with): yearly
        • the majority of : most
        • with the exception of:  except for
        • a lot of: many
        # Missing words

        Missing important words unconsciously or consciously is a bad habit. It creates problems for the reader to follow the answer.

        Below are examples of IELTS graphs description where candidate make mistakes with missing word
        Sentence with missing words: School improved from 2010 to 2015.
        Sentence without missing words: School attendance improved from 2010 to 2015.
        Sentence with missing words: Finland fell sharply in 2010.
        Sentence without missing wordsMobile phone export of Finland fell sharply in 2010.
        Go to this link of Examiner comments in Academic Writing Module to get more idea about how a writing get scored.

        # Incorrect inclusion/omission of articles

        Article means using "a, an & the" where "an" usually comes before nouns that start with vowels "a/e/i/o/u"; like: an umbrella. Otherwise we use "a" like “a car”.

        Remember, the examiner is looking for even a silly article mistakes in your answer.

        You therefore make sure that there is no misplaces articles in sentences.

        That’s the suggestion in a nutshell.

        A more detail tutorial of using article can be found here.

        # Missing third person `s`

        Adding "s" after verbs for the third person singular number is a common error made by IELTS test takers.

        The chart show (correct: shows) the percentage of University students in different European countries.

        Students also commit errors by adding "s" with plural subjects, like: All the students calls (correct: call) him a good teacher.

        Awareness about such errors while revising can help to get a better score.

        # Word order

        Using appropriate patterns of sentence structure is crucial in IELTS.

        To do this, you need to use correct word order. Look at the example below:
        • Female population decreased between 2002 and 2008 in Moldova sharply.
        In this example, "sharply" is an adverb that should be placed before verb (ad + verb).

        Therefore, the correct sentence with right word order would be:
        • Female population sharply decreased in Moldova between 2002 and 2008.
        Word order is also very important in IELTS speaking module for getting higher band score.

        Tactic #3: Task achievement

        i). Write between 150 to 200 words

        Do you know IELTS writing Task-1 conveys less mark compare to Task-2.

        If we use the suggested time frame of 20 to 40 minutes; that means task-1 carries half marks than task 2 (Because 20:40=1:2).

        That`s why you need to concentrate more on task 2 to get a better band score in writing module.

        time management in IELTS exam
        There are off course many students who make this silly mistake by writing a long 300 words answer and waste more than 30 minutes here.

        This is all wrong.

        Remember, there is no price for the length but the quality of answer produces high band score.

        Keep the answer between 150 and 200 words and save time for checking.

        Checking allows errorless writing and improves its quality.

        ii). Follow the question

        In Task 1, candidates are asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in their own words.

        Sometimes there would be two graphs or a table and a graph in the question. This type of question often says "make comparisons where relevant."

        IELTS writing task-1 making comparison

        If you do not give any comparative answer that marks you basically "you haven’t answer the question".

        The examiner will mention this in the report by mentioning that the candidate has not covered all requirements of the task sufficiently.

        iii). Mimicking in introduction

        It is strictly recommended not to use the same wording and sentence structure of the question while writing introduction.

        The examiner extremely dislikes it.

        We can, however, paraphrase the question by using synonym and different sentence structures.

        Take for example, following Academic task 1 question as a model and notice how the paraphrasing has been done.
        The pie chart below gives the number of tourists visited in different public places of Paris in 2014.
        Paraphrased version:
        The chart presents data of visitors in Paris during 2014.
        Notice how the sentence becomes shorter in paraphrased version by using different words and structures.

        Look at the following infographic to get more ideas about paraphrasing in IELTS writing task-1.

        Paraphrasing in IELTS writing task-1 infographic

        iv). Giving a clear overview

        According to IELTS public band descriptor, you cannot score higher than 5 without giving an clear overview in your answer.

        But, don’t mixed up the word "overview' with introduction.

        First, Introduction is the first paragraph which says what the data is about. But, overview comes in the second paragraph, described striking features of the data in 2 or 3 sentences.

        Look at the band 7 public descriptor:

        "...present a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages"

        In your answer sheet, the examiner will look for all important trends of the question and you must give them all.

        Not clear yet?

        Look at the examples of "overview" below :
        • The pie chart compares the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of 7 countries with the rest of the world.
        • United States has the largest GDP whereas the China and Italy shared the least (about 3%).
        Therefore, we can include these data in our overview. Missing these important trends will lose marks.

        v). Including irrelevant information

        The task-1 of IELTS academic writing demands to answer without going into too many irrelevant details.

        Including irrespective information may confuse the examiner because the sentences may be unclear, repetitive or inaccurate.

        relevancy in IELTS writing

        Therefore, you should not include facts and figures that are not on the graph/table/chart; just stick to the information presented in the question.

        Many candidates also include their own opinion; which is mainly part of task-2. Any opinion in task-1 would be marked negatively and the candidate will end up with lower mark.

        vi). Left no main features out

        When examiners score your writing, they also report something like this:
        The answer addresses the task, reporting the main features..........
        Or the answer not covers all key features……….
        That means you must describe the main features of the data.

        You can use interesting phrases to describe an important feature, like
        • The most important point to note is...
        • A striking difference is …


        Imagine that you could have considered all these facts I describe here in your writing.

        How much band score do you expect for it?

        Well, today, you may be not be able to consider all this features.

        But, in the long run, you can definitely do so.

        Academic writing isn`t about a day to master, it requires a lot of work and effort.

        This is why Euclid (300 BC) said, there is no royal road to learning.

        What other techniques would you recommend for IELTS candidate to write task-1?

        How to Get 7+ Score in IELTS Writing Task-1

        Did you know that IELTS writing taks-1 carries less mark weight than task-2 and so why you are suggested to spend only 20 minutes?

        Although you have allocated a minimal time here, don`t you think covering the whole writing in 20 minutes is bit difficult.

        In order to help you out, I have created an info graphic that will teach you how to be more precious in answering. IELTS writing task-1.

        Click on the image below for a larger view:

        ielts writing task-1 infographics

        You don`t have to spend hours to score 7+ Band in IELTS writing task-1. If you follow tips and tricks within the info graphic, you will become efficient.

        Just look at the IELTS writing  task-1 band descriptor, you will understand what you need to include or exclude in your writing to accomplish high band score,

        13 Proven Rules to Follow in IELTS Writing Task-2

        In IELTS writing task 2 , you need to write an essay of at least 250 words. First of all, you can write whatever comes in your mind about the topic but make it lead high band score there are certain rules to follow which are discuss here.

        Rule #1 : Identify the Keywords

        May be you can write with great vocabulary and grammar but if you fail to task response, all your efforts can turn vague.

        To overcome this shortcoming, you need to analyze the question first by slicing in little parts to understand it properly and save yourself from dropping down to poor band score.

        identify keywords in IELTS Writing Task-2
        Let`s see how you can do this from following example:

        It is better to eat food which is produced by small farmers, rather than food produced by 'factory farming' and transported long distances.

        To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

        First thing you need to do is identify potential keywords in the question; which are: food production, small farmers, factory farming and transportation.

        All you need to do is to write about these keywords which will make sure you are staying with the question and improve your chance to get higher band.

        Rule #2 : Preplan your essay

        In IELTS writing task-2, you are supposed to send 40 minutes on this task.

        Therefore, if you spend 5 minutes on thinking how you will organize your essay, it still remains 35 minutes to write 250-275 words.

        Without proper planning, you can stuck in the middle of writing and consume more time-that`s the very good reason why you should plan first.

        You can identify some vocabulary surrounding the identified keywords in Tips-1 and find some collocation words that will eventually flood you with ideas to write about any topics.

        Rule #3 : Include Thesis Statement

        This one of major facts what many IELTS candidate forget to add thesis statement while writing introduction.

        Including thesis statement is a good practice in academic writing where in one sentence the writer creates an appeal for the reader to read the rest of the essay.

        Thesis statement is what you want to prove in your essay with arguments and example. Click here to go through a great post  to guide to write a good thesis statement.

        Rule #4 : Organize Your Essay

        A reader will have a good experience in your writing if he/she do not have trouble to find what you are presenting.

        Human eyes are prone to find sooth in smaller chunk of texts than big paragraphs and in the later case, the examiners mind faced with a sea of ideas and arguments to identify the cohesion in your essay.

        IELTS essay structure

        If you write all things in one paragraph, then it looks messy and makes the writing less appealing for the examiner which will leads to low band score.

        Therefore, try to add at least four paragraph in your essay: introduction, two main body paragraphs and conclusion.

        Rule #5: Start with a Purpose

        It is better to start the first line of each paragraph (at least the body paragraphs) with a leading sentence.

        First of all, make it clear what you want to say generally. This general statement wills leads to reasons (how can you explain the general statement) and examples like:

        It is highly likely that the food production of local farmers will carry more food value than factory farming. The main reason why this will probably……….

        Do not consider yourself that the shortest sentence of a paragraph will be the topic sentence. In fact this sentence could be long simple or complex sentence.

        But, do not try to mingle reasons and examples in the topic sentence which will disorganize the sequence of idea flow in your writing.

        IELTS Writinginfographics

        Rule #6: Support with Reasons and Evidence

        As we said earlier, the first sentence of a paragraph will state the single unifying idea i.e. argument of what you want to the examiner to believe.

        The second sentence should state the reasons behind the argument which is not actually stated in the argument.

        For example, if you say in argument (the first sentence of a paragraph):

        The increasing ownership of private cars leads to traffic congestion and air pollution in urban areas of the country.

        This statement is not true for just because you think/say so, you need to unlock the potentials of this argument with reasons. Like:

        Because, more car will take more road space and exhaust more fumes to excel those problems."

        Adding the reason makes the examiner care for your argument and amplifies the importance of your claim.

        After giving your reasons, it`s the time to support it with real world examples like below:

        For example, in some parts of the world, people are discouraged to use private cars with high parking cost and pollution taxes to reduce congestion and pollution in central part of the city.

        You can see that our arguments gets stronger and stronger after stating reasons and evidence and that`s what the IELTS examiner wants from a candidate.

        Rule #7: Gather all points together

        It is better academic practice to summarize the most crucial ideas of your essay in conclusion by using new and interesting language.

        Think of it like a overview of your essay, no need to elaborate it with examples that is already done in the body paragraphs.

        It is better not to use phrases like "in conclusion" or "in summary" in this part of essay which can make it monotonous.

        Rule #8: Provide Wider Perspectives

        The purpose of a good conclusion does not finish by simply repeating the key points of the essay.

        It should go beyond this and provide a new way of thinking about the subject matter of the essay. It will also make glad the examiner that they read your essay.

        wider perspectives IELTS writing essay

        On this respect, you can include a provocative insight or quotation from the arguments, reason and examples that you have already mentioned in your essay.

        Rule #9 : Use impersonal language

        IELTS writing Task-2 essay should be written in academic style which means it should not written for specific reader and with emotion.

        To imply these strategies, you should limit the use of "I", "We" or "You". Don`t write for example: "As you can see air pollution is a big problem in our cities".

        impersonal language IELTS Writing Task-2

        You can use "there" to make the statement more impersonal like "There has been a significant concern of increasing air pollution in major cities of the world"

        Rule #10: Use Academic Vocabulary

        Most of the IELTS candidate makes the mistake of writing their essay like a newspaper, magazine or a blog article.

        But, academic writing style is different which follows more formal approach of writing by omitting slangs.

        Look at these examples:
        • We have seen an exiting movie this weekend (spoken English)
        • The film that has been watched this week is praiseworthy (academic English)

        Rule #11 : Avoid repetition

        Repetition means using same word or sentence structure again and again that lead the examiner to think that you have poor vocabulary and cannot use complex sentence structure to make the essay spontaneous.

        To prove your vocabulary range, use synonyms or different expressions. But, it is inevitable that you will repeat the key phrases of the question topic.

        Like, If you are writing about air pollution, then those words can recur in your essay. However, even keywords like "pollution" can be replaced by word like "contamination”.

        Rule #12 : Use Linkers

        Coherence is a key issue of marking IELTS writing which examines the logical sequence of the essay.

        The best way to get a feel about this cohesion is to use linking words or phrases to relate point/idea to earlier and later points. Here are some list of useful linkers and connectors you can use in IELTS essay.

        These signposting words are used to give a sense of natural flow in your writing without abrupt jumps or breaks between arguments, reasons and examples in the essay.

        Rule #13 : Use mix of sentences

        An academic IELTS essay must structured with mixed sentences between simple, compound and complex with varied lengths.

        Too many simple sentences can make it monotonous. Like if you are wiring about air pollution, it could be

        "Air Pollution is increasing in cities. It is bad for health. People are dying for this."

        or it could be

        "Air pollution is a persistence problem in many cities of the world. It is certainly bad for health as well as people can dye fast for this"

        So, which one is better? Notice the use of linked "as well as" in the second writing.


        Although there is no definitive guide of good or bad writing, but there are certain rules of academic writing. Using of these  tips make your IELTS writing task 2 essay more robust, natural and polished to lead in higher band score.