IELTS writing tips

Getting a high score in the IELTS Writing paper is the most challenging task for many IELTS test candidates. You need to use advanced grammar, a wide range of high-level vocabulary and plenty of great connectors. You also need to know how to answer the questions. 

Here are some essential tips that you should use when preparing for the IELTS Writing test. 

TASK 1

  1. Decide what type of graph or table you have in task 1 – is it comparing information or describing trends? This will help you decide what language to use.

  2. Remember to write an introductory statement in task 1 – this should introduce what is shown in the diagram.

  3. Always write an overall comment in Task 1 – this can go at the beginning or the end of the task and should summarise the overall trend/feature of the diagram.

TASK 2

  1. Plan your answers – taking 5 minutes to make a brief paragraph plan will help you to organise your ideas and ensure that your answers are well-structured.
  2. Make sure you answer the question in Task 2 – many candidates go off topic in their essay and this can result in a lower score for Task Achievement.

  3. Don’t forget to write an introduction and a conclusion for Task 2 – this is essential for you to achieve a high score in the Writing paper.

  4. Don’t over-complicate your essay – trying to include too many abstract ideas in Task 2 can result in a long and confusing essay.

  5. Don’t forget to separate the ideas into logical paragraphs – both tasks should be around 4-5 paragraphs

TASKS 1 & 2

  1. Remember to use a range of linking phrases for both tasks – this will improve your score of coherence and cohesion
  2. Check your work for errors – try and leave 5 minutes at the end to review your writing and ensure a high level of accuracy

Written by Jo Langford

Jo is a SLC's Senior Teacher. She is a highly experienced DELTA-qualified English teacher, academic manager and teacher trainer. She specialises in exam preparation (IELTS and Cambridge), business, general and specific purpose courses, including English through theatre and English for teachers. Jo has a degree in fine art, drama and theatre studies, and speaks fluent Spanish.