An IELTS examiner gives better score to writing that contains a range of academic vocabulary, arguments and example with minimal grammar and spelling mistakes. That`s good news because you want to write to get a better band score, right?
But, how do you write with such academic standard in a fairly short period of time?
Well, from the result of past exam experience, it can be said that students with considerable knowledge of English can find the IELTS writing part very challenging. A good example can be found in my how to approach IELTS writing task-1 post. But to sum up the overall strategy, I`ve come up with 5 Questions that are designed to help you to write with quality that your examiner will love.
Question #1: Is what you wrote relevant?
First and foremost, anything you write for both tasks must be stick to the question. For example, let`s say the question ask to write about the effect of smoking on public health and you are writing about effect of smoke from automobiles which is unrelated to the question. On the other hand, you should not write several sentences which basically say the same thing to maintain redundancy of your writing.
Question #2: Can you provide practical example?
On of the best ways to create a great writing is to provide examples of every argument. A good writing presents facts and figures that have known to the source of question. In the task-1, these supportive figures could be data from the table or graph. In the task-2 these are supportive examples of arguments.
Question #3: Do you take care of the grammar and spelling ?
Did you know your writing can easily get lower band score for common grammatical and spelling mistakes? The examiner will not be bothered with minor mistakes but if the whole writing is filled with such errors that it could be difficult for him/her to give you a good score. In fact you can eliminate that chance by a thorough proof reading after finishing the writing before time get expired.
Question #4 : Are you providing insightful information beyond the question?
Insightful information- It sounds good, doesn’t it? If you think that will improve your score, you are wrong. Presenting something beyond the scope of the question will be negatively remarked by the examiner. For example, you are writing about the population data in New York over the last 20 years and you are giving reason behind those data raise or fall. But, the question doesn’t state any reason for those changes that you completely create from your mind. So, something like this should be avoided in your writing.
Question #5: Do you satisfy the word limits?
In task-1 of IELTS writing the word limit is 150 while it is 250 for task-2 essay. A candidate may write a clear detailed, well structured essay in 210 words in task-2 and do you think examiner will mark it as a good writing. No, the writing will be penalized for lower word counts. In fact, you should write around 150-180 words in task-1 and 260-290 words in task-2.
Question #6: Do you attract the attention?
The attention span of humans is short. Readers always forget what it written in previous paragraphs of a passage. The secret is to keep your sentences sharp and snappy with cohesion and coherence in your writing. Coherence means organized writing, maintain a logical progression or skillfully manage the paragraphs. Cohesion is how you bring coherence to your writing by using range of linking words/phrases e.g. `subsequently`, `as a matter of fact`. Following these easy techniques, you will be achieving attention of examiner.
Question #7: Do you use wide range of vocabulary?
Using same word again and again can board the reader. So, you need sophisticated control of lexical resources which are suitable for the topic. A good writing should use right words together to convey precise meaning which is also known as `collocation`. Believe it or not, the examiners adore topic specific vocabulary.
IELTS Writing in very good or expert level takes time. It need continuous proactive with patience. But, the payoff for this hard work is worth it because it will not only be invaluable for your IELTS exam but for your academic and professional life.