To succeed in IELTS writing, you must use the right techniques. You will need to take on lots of practice questions before the test so you can hone your skills well. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t ace the test once you understand what’s required of you and have had enough practice. Here are a few important tips to help you prepare for both task 1 and task 2 of your IELTS writing test:
Understand the basic structure
Before you can take on an essay, it’s important that you understand the basic structure required. For instance, approximately how many paragraphs should each essay have? How should one begin every paragraph? This can be learned from an essay writing book, or one of the numerous blogs that focus on IELTS writing. Take time to go through a number of sample essays while taking note of the structure used in both tasks.
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Tackle task 2 first
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While task 1 comes first on the question sheet, you might want to start with task 2. This is because task 2 is generally easier than task 1, and is also worth more marks. Keep in mind, however, than you’re required to complete both tasks. No matter how difficult the tests seems to be or how little time you think you have, you must do everything in your power to complete both tasks or otherwise get penalized.
Practice makes perfect, as they say. So it’s quite obvious that you’ll need as much practice as you can get in order to feel comfortable with taking on the test. Sure you may read sample essays and tips, but without practice, you’ll hardly be able to discover your weaknesses. It also helps if you have someone checking your writing so they can help you minimize mistakes. Test questions can be unpredictable, but the more you practice, the better equipped you’ll be to take on just about any question.
Have a time limit for practice sessions
It’s not enough to just practice writing the essays–you’ll need to have a time limit for every session. See if you can finish both tasks within 60 minutes–the time limit for your IELTS writing test. If you want to avoid some nasty surprises when taking the actual test, it’s vital that you get familiar with this time limit.
Enrich your vocabulary
IELTS writing requires a good range of academic vocabulary. One of the criteria for calculating your score will be your knowledge and appropriate use of vocabulary. Having a dictionary can help with enriching your vocabulary. Also remember that you’re required to write in a formal style. This means you must avoid informal elements of writing, such as abbreviations, use of first person and contractions.