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.

 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.

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 ery 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 readymade 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 readymade 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

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.


3). Task achievement

i). Write between 150 to 200 words

Do you know IELTS writing Task-1 conveys less mark compare to tak-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.
Question:
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 examplesof "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 …

Conclusion

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 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
Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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.

3 Advanced IELTS Writing Techniques for Scoring Band 8.0

Are you ready to score Band 8 or higher in IELTS writing module?  Then you come to right IELTS blog post.

You can see some significant improvement of your academic IELTS writing once you meets some parameters for the examiner that they are looking for in your essay to score high.

#Avoid Generalization in your Writing

Good academic writers are careful that they don`t make statements which are too general. This is important in a piece of academic writing.

avoid generalization in IELTS Writing

We also use certain expressions to avoid making generalizations.
  • In many cases / the majority of cases, it is extremely difficult at first to integrate in a new society.
  • Generally speaking, moving abroad is a very difficult thing to do.
  • For many, the language barrier is a major problem. (= for a lot of people but not everyone)
Look at the paragraph below where a Band 8+ candidate has written a paragraph while answering a question in Task-2 relating Marriage & Divorce.

Generally speaking, getting married is one of the most significant experiences in a person`s life. It can be difficult at times, but you could say the same for anything that is worth doing. Sadly, in many cases, marriage ends in divorce. This is often because the couple got married at a young age.

In this example, the writing generalize the positive experience of marriage life. He is also saying “it can be difficult” means it may not be difficult for many people.

Using of this expression (it can be difficult) makes the statement beyond the question of any debate and that is what an academic writer will do in making any argument in his/her writing.

Now, look at the following answer where the candidate writes his/her answer by using modal verbs to avoid making over generalizations.

Question: What are the pros and cons of using public transport?

Public transport is being used by passengers which they don’t need to travel in their own vehicle. Nowadays there are many different kinds of public transport like hi-speed trains. buses. taxi. ferry, etc. They are very popular and provide good services. As a result. I encourage to use public transport. There are lots of advantages to use public transport.

On the upside, using public transport is more environmentally friendly. People like driving their own cars but they are choking the cities. For the environment, it is a good way to protect our Earth. Also public transport is very convenient for people who can't afford to buy own car. You can take a bus or train to arrive the destination in a cheap price. Another advantages of public transport is offering more jobs for drivers. It is a steady job. In my country, if you have a family member is a bus driver. you don't need to pay for take a bus for whole life. As a result. there are lots of pros of using transport.

On the down side, may be it is inconvenient for people need to change bus or train to arrive the destination. Also, trains and buses are crowded in busy time, may be passenger need to wait for a long time to get home. Another disadvantages of public transport is dirty. In some buses, you might find the seats are dirty and many tickets on the floor.

Obviously. you can see there are more pros of using public transport. I strongly agree people using public transport. Nowadays, air pollution is more serious, it is a good way to solve this problem. Also, it make for citizens to use and life more easier.


#Use Collocations to Generate ideas for IELTS Writing

A good way to improve the accuracy of your writing is to learn common collocations of key words of each IELTS task -2 topic. Accuracy is one of the component of writing that examiners seeks for.

Collocations are words which naturally go together and you should study how words fit together into chunks of language instead of focusing on individual words.

Collocations in IELTS writing
For example, you know the word decision. But by some brainstorming you can make some other useful chunks, such as:
  • make a decision about something (a job, a university course)
  • rush into making a decision about
  • take your time before you rush into making a decision about
The more chunks of language you can create, the more flexible your writing will be in the exam. You will develop this habit as you move through practicing with several Task-2 Questions in IELTS writing exam.

Start by looking at the following question of Task-2.

“Happiness is positively linked with good health. To what extend you agree or disagree with this point of view. "

Pick out and record some chunks you can imagine regarding health and happiness by combining words and phrases. For example.

To keep good health one must
  • not smoking
  • not drinking alcohol
  • getting enough sleep
  • avoiding stress
  • eating healthy food
  • taking regular exercise (makes one fit for work and industry is the key to success and success brings happiness)
Good health will leads to.....
  • keep in touch with friends and family ( A good health make one fit to socialize with neighbors and family members with in turns have psychologically positive influence to lead a happy life)
  • getting immunized against preventable diseases

Look at the above examples and you will be surprised to see how finding collocations make it easier to write about any topic with accuracy.

Therefore, before you write any IELTS essay, think about four or five collocations connected with the topic and generate your mind-map for writing the essay.

It is also good practice to maintain a notebook while you practice for the IELTS writing exam and write down useful vocabulary and collocations for tentative IELTS task-2 topics. You can use then use your notes to revise each topic before the exam.

#Contrasting Ideas with Linking Words

When you write a Task 2 essay, you need to contrast different ideas, this will make your writing more academic and show you can consider different points of view.

For example, if you are writing about a IELTS Writing Task-2 Topic of “Very few people aim to be a teacher in their life”; you can write:

Although teaching can sometimes be a tiring and stressful job, it is generally very satisfying.

Here you are contrasting your idea about teaching as “a tiring and stressful job” with the word “satisfying” (Look we use the word “generally” here to generalize the statement that we discussed in previous technique) and it is done with the linking word “Although”.

Contrasting ideas in IELTS writing

You can also use following linking words to contrast ideas in your IELTS essay.
  • However
  • Nonetheless
Example:
  • It is clear that prison is the best punishment for serious crimes, such as murder. However, some people may oppose with this idea and find death penalty to be the most appropriate mode of punishment for such crimes.
  • May people say that living alone can be difficult and lonely? Nonetheless, I think that there are more advantage of having your own place, such as being able to do whatever you like.
You should give emphasis about contrasting ideas in conclusion to show that you have considered the question carefully and that you understand different point of view.

Example:
  • To sum up, although it is true that exams can be stressful for children, I think that they are the best and the fairest way to consider assess students’ progress.

Conclusion

It is really important to know the different forms of styles of academic writing to stand out from the crowd and create a positive impression to the examiner for getting higher band score.

As you are opting for better score in IELTS exam, while practicing, try to use these techniques in essay writing particularly for IELTS task 2.

How to Prepare for the IELTS Test Day

Very few people like taking exams. However, all candidate must have a positive experience of taking the IELTS exam.

You can make the day of the exam easier if you know what to expect and want you will have to do before you go to the IELTS test center.

prepare for the ielts test day

Here are some important advice and information so that you know what to do if there are any problems on the day that you take your exam.

Make sure that you have read and understood all the information and advice below before you go into the exam.

Rules and regulations

For any exam you take, there are some rules and regulations about what you must do and why you mustn’t do during the exam.

Read through the rules and regulations below and if there is anything you don`t understand, ask your teacher or the administrator at the Test Centre.

You must...
  • Provide a proof of your identity (e.g. passport or national identity card) at registration and every examination session. Candidates taking the test outside their own country must produce a passport. This ID must contain a number, a signature, a date of birth and a photograph.

  • Provide two recent identical passport-sized photographs on registration.

  • Only have on your desk your identification, a pen/pencil and an eraser.

  • Switch off your mobile phone, pager or any other electronic devices and put them with your personal belongings outside the test room.(Any candidate who does not switch off their phone/pager or who keeps one in their possession, will be disqualified.)

  • Tell the test invigilator immediately if the conditions on the day of test in any way impede your performance.


You must not….
  • Impersonate another person or have another person impersonate you.

  • Attempt to cheat, copy the work of another candidate or disrupt

  • Use or attempt to use a dictionary, page, spell-checker, electronic recorder or mobile phone for the duration of the test. (Any candidate doing so will be disqualified)

  • Talk to or disturb other candidates once the examination has started.

  • Smoke, eat or drink in the examination room.

  • Use or attempt to use, a dictionary

  • Reproduce any part of the test in any format/medium. Any candidate doing so will have their test results disqualified and be liable to prosecution.

  • Remove any materials used during the examination. This includes, but is not limited to, examination papers, speaking task cards, answer sheets and working paper.

Make sure you attend on time

Provide what you need
  • Take into the examination room only the pens, pencils and erasers which you need for the examination.

  • You must not use correction fluid or highlighters.

  • Leave anything which you do not need, or which is not allowed, outside the examination room.

  • You may not give anything or borrow anything from another during the examination.

  • Do not bring valuables as the test center cannot be responsible for these.

Examination instructions
  • Listen to the supervisor and do what you are asked to do.

  • Tell the supervisor or invigilator at once:- if you think you have the wrong question paper & if the question paper is incomplete or illegible.

  • Read carefully and follow the instructions printed on the question paper and on the answer sheet.

  • Fill in the details required on the front of your question paper and on your answer sheer before the start of the examination.

Advice and assistance during the examination
  • If you are not sure about what to do, raise your hand to attract attention. An invigilator will come to help you.

  • You must not ask for, and will not be given, any explanation of the questions.

  • If you do not feel well on the day of the examination or think that your work may be affected for any other reason, tell the supervisor or invigilator.

Leaving the examination room
  • You may not leave the examination room without the permission of the supervisor or invigilator.

  • You cannot leave your seat until all papers have been collected and you have been told you can leave.

  • When you leave the examination room you must leave behind any paper used for rough work, clearly through and many other materials provided for the examination.

  • Do not make any noise near the examination room.


IELTS Results
  • Results are issued by the test centers, usually 13 days after the test

  • Results may be delayed or withheld where any rules and regulations have been breached

  • In exceptional circumstances, results may be delayed and you may be required to retake one or more modules where the pattern module results unusual.

Smart Ways to Score High in IELTS Speaking Part 3

In part 1 of the Speaking test, the examiner asks you questions on familiar topics about your personal life and interests. Note that this is not usually related to the topics that follows in Part 2 and 3.

But, this case is different in Part 3 of speaking test.

In Part 3 of the speaking test, the examiner asks further question to the topic of Part 2. These questions explore more abstract ideas and issues.

Here is an example of Task-2 question.

Describe a school or college where you were a student. You should say:
  • What type of school/college it was
  • where it was
  • when you studied there
and explain how you felt about it when you were a student there.

If you have this cue card in Part-2, then the examiner may ask you following questions in Part-3:

  • Do you think the school in your country are equally good, or some better than others?
  • How can a person’s education affect their future life?
  • Do you think there`s too much emphasis on exams in your country?

DO YOU SMELL SOMETHING HERE? 

The part 3 of the speaking test mostly consist questions relating to arguments. Argument means, you need to discuss both sides of the question.

Using linking words is a smart idea on this regard. For example, you can use
  1. But
  2. However
  3. On the other hand
  4. Although
  5. though
Example Question: Do you think there`s too much emphasis on exams in your country?

Answer (using linking words): Few people believe examinations are perfect way to measure ability of students. However, most education institution in my country use them.

Notice that in IELTS speaking part -3; the examiner can ask you question you may no prior idea to make arguments.

Do not worry! The speaking test assesses your speaking ability, not your knowledge of the world.

You won`t lose marks if you don`t know much about a topic, so admit this make a guess. You would not loose point for giving wrong answer.

In fact, if this happens that you are speaking out of topic, the examiner may move the conversation on to a related topic.

Trick

If you can`t think of anything to say immediately, it is useful to know some expressions for `filling in`. They can give you a few seconds to think about your answer. Look at the following 'filling in' expressions:
  1. I`ve never really thought about that
  2. Let me think
  3. Let me see
  4. That`s a good question
  5. I`m not sure
For Example if you are asked a question like this: Do you think Climate Change can the way we are living now? You can answer: I am not an expert of climate change but I think it will bring us no good.

ielts speaking don`t know

Clarifying your meaning is vital point in Part-3 long for getting better band score.

Several techniques you can use here to demonstrate that you are able to give clear, precise meaning It will make  your English sound more advanced and natural.

Remember, this is common practice among native speakers to ensure their listeners fully understand the points they want to make.

One thing you can do on this regard is to use conditional sentences to describe cause and effect. Look at the use of "if" as conditional sentences below.
  • If this city keeps growing, eventually it will join up with the towns around it.
  • It would have been better if the airport had been built further from the city.
  • If cities grow too quickly, they become chaotic and unhealthy places to live.
  • If the government spent more money on developing rural areas, people wouldn`t be so keen to move to the cities.
Another thing you can do on this context is to began a sentence with Personally...means you know that what you`re saying is only your opinion or preference, and may people will disagree.

For example, Personally, I wouldn`t want to live in a city, but I`ve lived in London all my life.

Part-3 questions are focusing on arguments as well as contrasting ideas. Good use of advanced, natural-sounding phrases for connecting and contrasting ideas is one of the things that can help get you a high score.

Here we will discuss two advanced way to contrast ideas.

1. Using "Having said that..." : This can be useful for contrasting ideas which are contradictory

Example: I think it`s very important to know what`s happening in your country and in the world. Having said that, I don`t actually follow the news carefully every day.

In this example, the candidate contrasts what he thinks with what she actually does. Note that you use a stress on saying "said" to sound more natural.

ielts speaking using contrast words

2. You can also use "apart from that" to contrast an exception with a general rule.

Examples:
  • They may be exciting for people who have a special interest in the subject, but apart from that, they tend not to have a lot of appeal.
  • I watch the news and some current-affairs programs, but apart from that, I watch very little TV.
  • Apart from checking the headlines on the internet, I don`t really follow the news.
Remember, giving complex, structured answers will gain you marks, but it may not always be possible.

The model answers given below are written to demonstrate a range of strategies, and only the most advanced candidates can consistently give answers like these.

Lean from these examples, but unless you need band 7.5 or higher, don`t worry about giving such complex answers to every question yourself.

1. Do you think the quality of TV in your country is generally good?

There are three or four channels which are quite high quality, and in particular we have an arts channel which produces some excellent programs. But the majority of channels don`t seem high quality to me. They show a lot of imported programs, moronic game shows and repeats there are far too may advertisement as well. On some channels, they take a half-hour program and make it up to an hour with advertisements and trailers for other programs.

(Here the speaker Gives a hypothetical scenario of how things could be different)

2. What problems do you think can be caused by watching too much TV?

Obviously, it`s not very good for the health to sit still for hours at a time. I know I always feel quite bad if I sit in front of the TV for an entire evening. In my opinion, there`s also a danger that watching TV can become a substitute for real life. It`s easier to sit at home and watch TV than to go out and meet people. But it`s obviously better to go out and do something more social and active.

(The candidate starts here with an obvious idea, then add a less obvious, more philosophical idea.)

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of showing imported TV programs?

The advantage is that some imported programs are very high quality. They`re well written, well acted and cost a lot of money to produce. In that respect, they`re of then much better than anything produced locally. However, the disadvantage of showing a lot of imported programs is that it means we haven`t developed much of a TV production industry in my country. If we made more TV programs. there would be more  jobs for actors, directors, script writers etc. and we might start making interesting programs rather than mostly just silly game shows, as I mentioned before.

(The candidate starts with the exception (high quality programs) and then describes the general rule.)

4. Do you think that the things children see on TV and in films can influence their behavior?

This has been discussed a lot in the media, especially the question "Does watching violence on TV make children violent?" In my opinion, children don`t have a problem distinguishing between fantasy and reality. I wouldn’t let my kids watch horror films, but that`s because I think it would upset them, not because I think they`d star: killing people! The area where I think TV and films really can change their behaviors is advertising. Children are very easy to influence. A lot of advertisements on TV are aimed directly at children, and some films these days seem little more than advertisements for toys or computer games.

(In this example, the candidate starts with an ongoing debate first and moves on to own opinion by contrasting with the popular idea)

5. Do you think Hollywood films can change local cultures?

Perhaps a combination of American films, TV and music can have an effect. A lot of young people dress in quite American-looking style, and a lot of English words and phrases have entered our language. Some habits have changed too. For example, young people drink more alcohol than their parents did. Perhaps that`s because of influence from the media.

(Here the candidate expands the focus of the question and makes sure it still includes what the examiner asked)

Conclusion

IELTS speaking part-3 is all about showing examiners your ability to break an argument with examples and appropriate logic. Here you need the ability to present you idea with complex sentences.

Linking words can be helpful on this regard to present in a logical sequence so that it could be easy for examiner to follow your conversation and this will eventually prompt for high band score.

The Definitive Guide to Score High in IELTS Speaking Part-2

The part 1 of IETLS speaking testy consist questions relating to your personal life. The examiner my ask you to discuss one topic for the first half of the Part 1 test, then switch to another topic for the second half.

This is normal and doesn’t mean that your performance for the first topic was inadequate to get higher band in IELTS speaking module.

During this time of transitional questions, the examiner may sound quite unclear. Example of these pair of question that can be asked here are as below:
  • Do you enjoy your occupation?
  • Have you ever had an interview for a job?
  • Is it easy to find a job where you live?
  • What`s the most difficult part of your occupation?
If you`re not sure that you understand the question correctly ask the examiner to repeat it. You won`t normally lose marks for doing this-after all, it happens in native speaker conversations too.

Rrepeat the question ielts speaking

From this point in the book onwards, the main focus of the Speaking units is on Parts 2 and 3, as they tend to be more challenging.

But, of course, the language skills you were using in Part 1 are also helpful for the rest of these parts.

In part 2 of the Speaking test, the examiner gives you a task card like one below. You then have a minute to prepare for one to two minutes, you are allowed to make notes if you wish.

Examiner: You have one to two minutes for this. Don`t worry if I stop you. I`ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?

Describe the job or career you have or hope to have in the future.

You should say:
  • What the job is
  • What the job involves
  • why you choose this job
and explain what you like or dislike about this job.

The first stage of preparation is deciding what point to include in your talk.

That`s why the examiner will give you a piece of paper to jot down the ideas within a minute. You will be then prompt to speak for 2 minutes.

Look at this typical candidates note below who is studying in veterinary science. Remember you will need enough notes to speak for a similar length of time and with similar amount of details.
  • Studying in veterinary science
  • Farm animals, not pets
  • Not just sick animals-also disease prevention and testing
  • Cows, TB from wild animals
  • Reason. Not I love animals. I like working outdoors in agricultural environment.
  • Good pay, job satisfaction, meeting people
  • Hard work, all weathers, repetitive, get up very early
One important thing you can notice in this example. While preparing notes it is important to follow the sequence of questions closely.

In this case, while making preparation for job, if you don`t have a clear ideas about your future career, perhaps imagine a s suitable job and talk about that.

IELTS Speaking-Future Job

Now let`s look at how to organize the answer. The first thing would be give an introductory statement.

"At the moment, I`m studying to be a veterinary scientist, so of course that`s what I hope to become when I graduate next summer. I`m almost certain I`m going to pass my final exam."

Now look at the notes we have taken and construct the speech after introductory sentence.

"Generally, there are two types of vet, ones who work mostly with pets and ones who work mostly with farm animals. I wouldn’t want to spend all day with cats and dogs, so I`d like to be the second kind." (farm animals not pet)

“The pay can be very good, especially if you set up your own practice rather than working for somebody else, and I think I`ll have a lot of job satisfaction. On the other hand, it`s hard work, you have to go out in all kinds of weather and it can be quite repetitive, Imagine vaccinating five hundred pigs for example. (good pay, job satisfaction, meeting people)

“Some people think I want to become a vet because I love animals, but that`s not really the reason. I do like animals, bit the real is reason is that I want to work outdoors in the real world of agriculture.. I wouldn`t be happy getting up every day to go and sit in an office.” (Reason. Not I love animals. I like working outdoor in agricultural environment.)

Remeber in Part-2 of IELTS speaking test, It`s often a good idea to construct opposite ideas. This can be a good way to demonstrate your ability to use spoken English for complex purposes such as developing an argument and explaining it.

Look at the second last paragraph of the example “The pay can be very good, especially if you set up ....." where we have used "On the other hand".

Look at the following examples again and notice each example begins with a useful word/expression for contrasting ideas.
  1. The hours are long and the pay is low. However...
  2. I`d have to for a lot of travelling, which I don`t really like, Apart from that...
  3. There`s not much job security in this type of work. On the other hand...
  4. I`m not brilliant with computers. Even so....
Contrasting ideas ielts speaking
Another most important twist that can increase your IELTS speaking score in this section is to choose the correct grammatical forms when taking about the future.

This is a very common mistake of candidate is to use will for all future sentences instead they can vary the sentences like as below:

For example look at the following chunk of sentences that can be commonly used in any typical expression in part of IELTS speaking exam.
  1. I am taking my final exams nest month.
  2. I am going to apply to companies in this country and abroad.
  3. I will not be easy to began with.
  4. It`s going to be hard to began with.
Using future tense in IELTS speaking
It`s often a good idea to give examples to illustrate some of your points, This will make the points clearer and will help you present a wide range of languages to get top score.

Like in this example. the speaker can say something about personal experience  of closely watching a veterinary scientist in past life and get inspired by it.

Conclusion

The IELTS speaking part 2 is a special part because this is the only part where the examiner would not interrupt the candidate.

You are free to speak for 2 minutes and at the end of two minutes you will be stopped by the examiner.

Therefore, the speaker will have the fill freedom to show their language skills like using simple to complex sentences, arguments, grammar and cohesive speaking ability to get high band score.

How to Win Over IELTS Speaking Examiner for High Band Score

Every IELTS candidate feels the anxiety to speak in front of examiner because it may be first time in their life when their speaking gets scored by someone!

ielts speaking fear

This nervousness comes over from certain unawareness of mind while a candidate has no clue how they are going to be marked by examiner.

Very few of us may know, adding some particular elements inspeech are helpful for getting high band score in IELTS.

Although there are several components to you need to consider in speaking exam, we are going to discuss one important point here to make you understand the implication practically.
ielts speaking high band score

All we that IELTS speaking exam is divided into 3 parts where in part 1 the examiner asks general questions about familiar subjects such as your home, family, free-time interests and occupation or studies.

It`s common for the examiner to begin with questions relating to the practical sides of your personal life, and then to move on to your leisure interests or other experiences of everyday life.

In Part 1 of the speaking test, the questions may include about your occupation or the way you spend your time I you don`t have an occupation.

The questions could appear like as follows:
  • Do you work, or are you a student?
  • What`t the most interesting part of being a student/service holder/businessman?
  • What`s the most difficult part of being a student/service holder/businessman?
  • Would you say it`s a good occupation? (Why?/Why not?)
  • What kind of work would you like to do in the future?

BE AWARE of the fact that giving a one line simple answer to these questions will reduce your marks.

For example, Don`t just say "I am a student or I work in a multinational company". Give more details in your answer.

ielts speaking in detail

Giving plenty of detail in description makes you smarter to get high band score. For instance:
  • I am a fourth year student of one of the reputed Medical College of the country called.......... (Name of the college)
  • I am working as an executive in a multinational company in the main CBD of the capital. You may have heard about it. It is called the HSBC.

But the trick does not end here by giving detail description. Adding your feelings and opinion can spice it up to the next extent.

This little twist will make your speaking more interesting and can help improve your score.

The examiner will generally ask for your opinion or feelings about your study or occupation. Your opinion can be positive or negative.

For example you can say, "It is not an easy subject, There`s a lot of reading and the exams are very difficult, but it`ll be worth it."

I`ll be able to serve a lot of people if I get graduate and the carrier prospects for doctors are excellent.

You can say about your job "It`s hard work and - I have to be honest - the pay is great, but it can be lot of fun, especially when the office get busy I work with some really nice people."

In this way you can add feelings to your speech. However, extreme and intolerant opinions should be avoided, especially concerning race and religion.

Remember, uttering words and feeling that advocates hates and violence is not tolerated in the academic world. You may have those feelings of hatred about something but it is better to demonstrate those in front of examiner.


Another common topic in Part 1 of the Speaking test is personal circumstances-the place where you live, your family and your daily life.

As with your occupation, it`s a good idea to prepare some ideas to talk about. What can you say about these topics that are interesting or unexpected and you can ass some personal opinion as well as basic information.

For example, while talking about the place you are living; you can say "It is the most beautiful place in the earth for me and living there give me perfect peace of mind."

Conclusion

Speaking Part 1 in the IELTS speaking test will be full of familiar questions. It`s a good strategy to prepare your ideas and learn useful language in this part.

But do not memorize a speech and then give in the test. It can reduce your marks. WHY?

Because, the examiner will understand if you say something by memorizing.

In that case, you will sound unnatural and your speech should not be spontaneous. However, adding some pause in the speech can minimize this with some extent and you can sound natural.

Remember, saying word in speed makes your speech uncomfortable and it demonstrate your nervousness.

Applying annotation in speaking makes it comfortable and easy to listen and that`s exactly what the IELTS examiner wants from a candidate.