IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is a test that is recognized internationally by hundreds of countries, and thousands of universities and institutions. It is a test you will be required to write if you (as a non-native English speaker) wish to migrate to a country with English as their native language. The IELTS exam has four parts which are listening, reading, writing and speaking. It has two modules also which are academic module and general training modules.
- The general training module is for those who want to immigrate for non-academic purposes.
- The academic module is taken by those who aim to study in higher institutions in English speaking countries.
The speaking and listening parts are the same for all the participants while the Writing and reading parts differ depending on whether you are taking the general training or academic modules. While there is usually no pass or fail in the IELTS exam, and no minimum score required in passing the test, results are issued to the participants with scores from band 1(non-user) to band 9(expert user). Different thresholds are set by each institution. There is a band 0 as well for those who does not attempt the exam. In this article, we will focus on how to prepare for and pass the IELTS Writing Test.
Things to Know about the IELTS Writing Test
The IELTS Writing Test differs for the academic and general module. Here are some things to know about them
The writing test is a 60 minutes test in which the participant is required to complete two tasks of different styles and texts.
Task 1: Here, the participant is required to write 150 words of descriptive report about the pictorial or graphical information provided. The graphical or pictorial information could be a diagram, table or chart. The time allotted for this task is 20 minutes.
Task 2: The participant will be given a topic to write an argument on. The argument needs to be 250 words and must be supported with applicable examples. This task should take around 40 minutes.
General Writing Module
The IELTS Writing Test for this module is different. The participant also has to finish two tasks oh 150 words and 250 words each in one hour. The first task will be letter writing while the second task is essay writing usually based on any allocated topic.
Tips to prepare for and pass the IELTS Writing Test
Here are some tips to follow in order to prepare and pass the exam. We have divided the tips into what you have to do while preparing for the exam and what you should do during the exam. Here are the tips:
Before the exam
- It will be great if you know people who have taken the test and passed. Meet with them and ask them for advice on areas to focus on and the topic trends of the exam. You can also get past IELTS Writing Test questions to familiarize yourself with the test. Also, try to get IELTS self-study books or even hire a tutor.
- Try to focus more on making what you write understandable. If all your tutor does is to write question marks on your essay, then you need to know that you are not making yourself clear enough. You need to perfect this because if the examiner fails to understand what you wrote, then you have not communicated and that can stop you from getting the high score that you were hoping to get.
- You need to learn to use your words and phrases well. You should not be preoccupied with trying to link them. Even though you need to use words and phrases efficaciously to score high, you won’t score high when you use them obscurely or unusually or if you place them wrongly.
- Another tip in preparing for the IELTS Writing Test is to try to imagine and develop different kinds of ideas and opinions on all the common topics in former tests. Study your course book, read newspapers, watch videos on YouTube, listen to news and make ideas book.
- Although you need to memorize a lot of vocabularies to score high, don’t go on to start memorizing long vocabularies you find in you IELTS book. Find some phrases instead and familiarize yourself with them until you are very familiar with them. You can use them in your writings, what you say etc. Also make sure you are using them rightly. Then keep at it and try more words.
During the exam
On the day of the exam, here are some tips to follow to score high on your IELTS Writing Test.
- One golden rule you need to follow is “Do not spend more than 20 minutes on task 1”. You need to have enough time to for task 2 in order to score high. This is because Task 2 carries more mark. This is a very important rule that must stick with you as you sit for you IELTS Writing Test
- Sometimes, you might not fully understand the question, if and when this happens, do no panic. Just make sure you read the question again and again. If you really, really, really find it difficult to understand the question, be calm still. Just take the most reasonable guess you feel the means and clarify yourself in the introduction. It will be easier for the reader to grab and he/she will get where you are coming from. If you write a very good piece, you will still get a nice score.
- To get a good score, try and scribble your main ideas. Make a very quick plan on how you are going to write the essay. This will make your writing look more organized and you will easily express yourself. There is a lot of mark awarded for neat and organized work. It will be very hard if you try to do it while writing.
- When you reach the end of your writing, and you immediately think of a very good idea that you should have put in, say the second paragraph, don’t try and put everything in the conclusion. In order to get the mark for the idea, after writing the conclusion, leave a space and then put down your awesome idea. After putting it down, link the separate idea with a long arrow to where it’s supposed to be in the essay.
These are some tips that will be useful to prepare for and pass your IELTS Writing Test. Take time to study well and rest when necessary. You can take a break once in a week to avoid being depressed. Also absorb English whenever you can, watch videos, TV, and listen to radios; and you will surely get a good score.