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IELTS Writing Test: Top Tips

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ACADEMIC TASK 1 REPORTS

1. Try to find interesting points to comment on but be careful not to invent details. You can only report on the information given in the chart.

2. Imagine that the reader of your report cannot see the diagram or chart/graph, so your overview providing a summary of the information given has to be absolutely clear.

3. Make sure you don’t repeat too many of the original words from the question in your introduction; try to paraphrase in your own words.

4. Make sure each of your main body paragraphs has a clear and separate focus which helps to make your report easy to follow.

5. You must include sufficient references to the data – you can use numbers and percentages but try to use a variety of numerical expressions as well.


GENERAL TASK 1 LETTERS

1. Think carefully about who you’re writing to so that you know if your letter needs to use formal or informal language.

2. Make sure you know how to start and end your letter appropriately, depending on the recipient.

3. Use the bullet points in the question to help structure your letter into clearly divided paragraphs (one paragraph per bullet point).

4. Make sure you expand each bullet point so that you include sufficient detail in each paragraph.

5. Aim to write more than the minimum of 150 words. We recommend 180-200 words to get a good band score!


TASK 2 ESSAYS


1. Take a few minutes to plan what you are going to write - this will help you to keep focussed on the task and write a better essay.

2. Consider your own opinion carefully before you start writing and brainstorm at least 2-3 reasons which support your own view.

3. You don’t need to justify your opinion in the introduction; you should do that with the reasons and examples you provide in the main paragraphs.

4. Even if you are writing a one-sided essay, you should consider the alternative viewpoint and include at least one argument against your own.

5. When writing your conclusion, don’t just repeat what you’ve already stated in the previous paragraphs. Instead, reaffirm your opinion and sum up your main argument.


If you need help with any of the language points mentioned in the tips, you will find useful exercises in our IELTS TOOLKIT

And if you would like to get your writing skills assessed by a professional IELTS tutor before your test, sign up for our IELTS WRITING COURSE


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Jessica Nunes - Brazil

Jessica Nunes - Brazil

Hi Nigel, I got my IELTS results today!
Listening 8; Reading 8; Speaking 7; Writing 7; Overall 7.5
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