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IELTS General Writing Tips

The IELTS writing test is the module that numerous candidates find the most troublesome.

This is on the grounds that in a short space of time (60 minutes) you need to compose an essay and a chart (academic task)

At ieltstester.com we’ll give you top tips and techniques to get the score you need in the test.

The IELTS writing test task changes relying upon whether you are doing the Academic Test (for college applications) or the General Test (typically for work/general visa purposes).

In IELTS Academic task you need to portray a chart or outline (Task 1) and compose an essay (Task 2).

In IELTS General task you need to compose a letter (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2).

The Task 2 (essay) is really worth a bigger number of imprints than the Task 1 (diagram or letter) so you ought to invest 40 minutes on the article and 20 minutes on the chart/letter.

This distinction in assessing is considered to in the quantity of words you need to compose, which is at least 150 for the Task 1 and 250 for the Task 2.

Task 1 General Writing Tips

IELTS General Writing Task 1 – Requirements and Instructions

You have to follow the below points to achieve a high band in the IELTS general writing task 1:

  1. The amount of words you write doesn’t matter. IELTS officials recently removed the restriction of having a minimum of 150 words. So, don’t focus on words count and focus on answering the question properly.
  2. Structure the letter with paragraphs. Failing to do this can lead to a lower score.
  3. Spend 20 minutes on writing your letter. Furthermore, check out this link to see how to manage your time for the IELTS writing test.
  4. IELTS General Writing Task 1 is ⅓ of the overall wiring test score. Writing Task 2 is ⅔ of the total score.
  5. The IELTS writing task is assessed by four criteria, each of which counts for 25% of the total score.
    • Task Achievement
    • Coherence and Cohesion
    • Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
    • Grammar

IELTS Letter Type – Formal or Informal?

The first thing to do when writing an IELTS letter is to determine the letter type.

There are two possible types of IELTS letters in this task, one formal and one informal. The tone you should use in your writing will depend on the letter type.

Now, let’s move on and find out how to understand which type of letter it is and how to write the letter.

IELTS Formal Letter

When you need to write to someone whom you don’t know or know but you are in a professional relationship, it is a formal letter. For example, if you are given to write a letter to your local council or make an insurance claim, it is a formal letter because you don’t know the recipient personally.

Another example is when you need to request a vacation from your manager. This is a formal letter because you are in a professional relationship with your manager. You are not friends. In the formal letter, you have to use a formal tone.

IELTS Informal Letter

When you need to write to someone you know personally, and you are in a personal relationship, it is an informal letter. For example, if you have to write to your friend and ask him to come and stay with you over the weekend, this is an informal letter. He is your friend, so you should use informal language.

IELTS Letter – Opening and Closing

Every letter must have an opening and closing section. You need to use an appropriate opener and closer based on the person you are writing to. For example:

  1. If you are writing to someone you don’t know, you should open the letter with Dear Sir or Madam and close it with Yours faithfully.
  2. In case you have to write a formal letter to someone you know, you should open the letter with Dear Mr/Mrs (Name) and close it with Yours sincerely.

How to Structure The IELTS General Writing Task 1

Now, we will learn how to structure the letter to achieve the best possible score. If you want to learn more about how the IELTS writing task is assessed, please check out this link.

Take a look at the above IELTS letter. Each IELTS letter has a topic question and bullet points. You should be able to understand the letter type by the topic question. In this case, it is an informal letter because you have to write to a friend.

We recommend that you write five paragraphs:

  • The first paragraph should explain why you are writing. For example, in this case, you should write to a friend and say that you are writing to give him advice or suggestion.
  • The next three paragraphs should cover all three bullet points. We recommend that you write one paragraph for each bullet point.
  • The last paragraph should conclude the letter. For example, you can say that you hope your suggestion could be helpful.

How to Write the IELTS General Writing Task 1

We recommend that you spend 20 minutes writing the letter. So, let’s look at how 20 minutes could be used for writing it.

  1. Make sure to understand what type of letter it is — formal or informal. Once you know the letter type and what you should write, you are ready to start planning.
  2. Spend up to 3 minutes on planning the letter. You have to plan your ideas, what you are going to write, and how you will cover all the bullet points.
  3. Open the letter appropriately. How you do this depends on the letter type. The first paragraph should clearly outline the purpose of the letter. Write one or two sentences in the first paragraph.
  4. Make sure to write three paragraphs to cover all bullet points. Write 2-3 sentences for each paragraph.
  5. Write the letter conclusion and close the letter appropriately. How you do this depends on the letter type.
  6. Proofread your written letter. Make sure you are not missing this step. You don’t want to lose score because of silly mistakes. For example, you could have a spelling problem while you are aware of how the word is written, or you could have a missing article which is easy to fix. So spend 2-4 minutes on proofreading.

How to prepare for the IELTS General Writing Task 1

Let us give you some hints, how you can study further and get a high score.

  1. Vocabulary: The vocabulary counts for 25% of the writing test score. This is less about IELTS and more about English. If your English language level is good enough, and you can use a wide range of vocabulary, this part should not be challenging. Keep expanding your vocabulary.
  2. Grammar: The grammar section counts for 25% of the writing test score. Again, this is all about the English level. If you can produce error-free sentences, it will be easy to achieve a high band from the grammar part.
  3. Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion is something that can be achieved by structuring your letter well. We provided tips and ideas on how you can structure your letter on this page.
  4. You can start writing letters. Initially, you should spend more than 20 minutes on writing a letter; then gradually reduce the time to 20 minutes per letter.
  5. Once you have your first letters written, you want to know what score they will likely get. You should have an experienced IELTS teacher who can give you an accurate score. However, if you don’t have someone who can review and correct your letters, we can help you with it. Our experienced IELTS examiners can provide you with a score that will be similar to the one which you will get in the real IELTS exam. Additionally, they will also let you know which areas you can improve and why you got a particular score. If you want to submit your letters to us for checking, please sign up and start sending them.

Task 2 General Writing Tips

The IELTS Writing Task 2 is an essay to write, for both general and academic tests. You have to write about a given topic using a minimum of 250 words.

In the general IELTS test, Writing Task 2 questions are easier to answer than those of the academic test.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Requirements and Instructions

You have to follow the points below to achieve a high band in the IELTS Writing Task 2:

  1. Make sure to write at least 250 words. Not less. All words are counted; even articles are counted as words.
  2. Structure the essay with paragraphs. Failing to do this could lead to a score of no more than 5.
  3. Spend 40 minutes on writing your essay. 
  4. IELTS Writing Task 2 is worth ⅔ of the overall wiring test score while writing task 1 is worth ⅓ of the total score.
  5. The IELTS writing task is assessed by four criteria, each of which counts for 25% of the total score:

IELTS Writing Task 2 – Essay Types

There are five possible essay types in the IELTS Writing Task 2.

  1. Advantages and Disadvantages: This requires you to write about the advantages and disadvantages of a given topic. For instance, you could be asked to write about the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
  2. Opinion: You should give your opinion about a particular idea. For example, you could be asked to write about whether or not the government should shut down factories to prevent environmental pollution. You should say if you agree or disagree with the idea, and why.
  3. Discussion: You have to discuss different views about a given idea. For instance, you could be asked to discuss different views about living in the city compared to a rural area. This essay type is a bit similar to the advantages and disadvantages essay.
  4. Problem and Solution: You will be asked to discuss a particular problem. You need to describe the problem, the reasons for it, and suggest how you think the problem could be solved.
  5. Two-part Questions: You will be asked to answer two questions. They are related to each other.

How to Structure IELTS Essay

You should write four or five paragraphs if you’re aiming at a high score. The essay should have an introduction, two or three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Depending on the essay type, you can use a different technique to structure it. Take a look at the links below to learn more about structuring each type of essay.

How to Write An IELTS Essay

We recommend that you spend 40 minutes writing the essay. So, let’s look at how 40 minutes could be used for writing it.

  1. Make sure to understand what type of essay it is, and the question you have to answer. Once you familiarise yourself with the essay type, you are ready to start planning.
  2. Spend up to 8 minutes on planning the essay. Planning is an essential part of writing a good essay. You have to plan your ideas, the structure of the essay, and what vocabulary should be used.
  3. Write an introduction. Try to write a maximum of two or three sentences for the introduction.
  4. Write two or three body paragraphs. If you are writing two body paragraphs, try to write 4 – 6 sentences for each paragraph. If you are writing three body paragraphs, try to write 3 – 4 sentences for each paragraph. However, we usually recommend writing two body paragraphs.
  5. Write a conclusion. The conclusion should be one or two sentences, no more. You just need to paraphrase the introduction.
  6. Proofread your writing task. Make sure to proofread your essay after you finish it — you don’t want to lose points because of silly mistakes. For example, you could have made a spelling error while you are aware of how the word is written, or you could have a missing article which is easy to fix. We recommend that you leave 3 – 5 minutes for proofreading.

How to study IELTS Writing Task 2?

Let us give you some hints for how you can study further, and which areas you need to improve to get a high score.

  1. Try to improve your vocabulary. The vocabulary counts for 25% of the writing test score. The vocabulary part is more about general English than IELTS. If your English language level is good enough, and you can use a wide range of vocabulary, this part should not be very challenging.

    However, if your English level is not good enough, we recommend that before you start learning about IELTS techniques, you should improve your vocabulary.

  2. Try to improve your grammar and write a good mix of complex and simple sentences. Again, this counts for 25% of the total writing score and is about English ability rather than the IELTS. If your English level is good and you can produce error-free sentences, it will be easy to achieve a high score in the grammar section.

    However, if you struggle with grammar, we recommend that you improve the level of your grammar, and then start studying techniques on writing IELTS essays.

  3. Try to learn various techniques on how to structure different types of essays. Once you are able to structure essays well, you are more likely to get a high score in the task achievement and coherence and cohesion parts.
  4. Once you are familiar with structuring different types of essays, it is time to start writing essays. At first, it will be difficult to write an essay in 40 minutes, so you can start with more time, for instance, 1.5 hours. Then gradually decrease the time to 40 minutes.

IELTS Writing – Task Correction Service

Once you have your first essays written, you’ll want to know what score they will likely get. You should have an experienced teacher who can give you a score and explain your mistakes, and tell you how to improve your score further. However, if you don’t have someone to review and correct your essays, we can help you with it.

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