Word count for IELTS writing tasks

ielts word countWhat is the ideal word count for IELTS writing?

This is a common question many IELTS candidates have but there seems to be misinformation out on the internet about word count in the IELTS writing section.

In fact, you can actually lose marks if the writing is under word count. Here are some examples of what I have heard about the word count in IELTS essays and writing task 1.

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True False Not Given: Useful technique

TFNG: Changing the statements into questions

True False Not Given and Yes No Not Given questions are some of the most challenging for IELTS candidates. However, there is a technique you can use to successfully answer these questions which is to change the statement into a question. Actually, the IELTS reading test is really about how good your vocabulary is, such as your ability to understand synonyms and your paraphrasing skills.

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What’s more important? grammatical range or accuracy?

Let’s take a look at grammatical range and accuracy in IELTS writing.

Many IELTS test takers think that they need to have a wide range of grammar for a high score in grammatical range and accuracy in the writing section. This is only partly true. If you have a wide range of grammar but it is not accurate then it will not score very high.

My advice is to focus on accuracy rather than range at the start and when you get confident with accuracy you develop your range of grammar. You need to think of the reader when writing and essay. If you are just trying to impress the examiner then you are not considering the overall coherence of the essay. Keep it concise and simple. Of course, if you have a consistently wide range of grammar with good accuracy then you are well on the way to a Band 7 or more.

Read moreWhat’s more important? grammatical range or accuracy?

IELTS Speaking part 2 Structure

Give your talk a structure to help you achieve a higher Band score.

In IELTS speaking part 2, you have to talk for 2 minutes on a particular topic. The examiner gives you a cue card with 1 minute preparation time to make notes.

It is important to have a structure in this part of the speaking as 2 minutes is actually a long time to talk non stop, even I would find that a challenge!

The way to make this easier is to structure your talk. Remember that you really need to develop your speech like you are telling a story. This is very important for a higher band score.

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Giving effective examples in IELTS essays.

ielts examples in writingHow to write specific examples in IELTS essay body paragraphs.

In writing task 2 it is very important to be able to extend your ideas and explain your main points with examples in IELTS essay body paragraphs. This can be done with supporting points and most importantly, specific examples. This is necessary to get a good band score in task response and helps with the overall cohesion of the essay. By using examples the examiner can clearly see how you are developing your main idea in the main body paragraphs. However, the examples given must be specific to the task question and your main idea and they should also be clear, easy to follow and concise.

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7 model answers: IELTS writing task 2

ielts model answers writing task 2
A model answer for each type of IELTS essay

An IELTS essay is a ‘discursive essay’ where you may have to discuss an issue, give an opinion, explain the advantages or disadvantages, write about problems or causes of problems and give solutions. There are 5 variations to an IELTS discursive essay. In this blog post, there are 7 model answers for IELTS writing task 2. These are based on essays my students have written with help from me to correct them and make them more concise and clear.

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IELTS academic writing task 1: Table on consumer expenditure

Model answer and analysis of a table in IELTS writing task 1.

Tables sometimes show up in IELTS academic writing task 1. In some cases, they are in a double task such as a pie chart and table or a bar graph and table. In this lesson, we have a table on its own with a lot of data. This is taken from Cambridge IELTS 7, page 30, it is a popular example of a table for IELTS teachers.

Before writing anything you will need to analyse the task. Take around 4 minutes to plan, look at the categories, the countries, the year and the highest and lowest statistics. The grammar tense is important to get right too, you can see below that the table shows data from 2002, so I will write in the past tense.

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IELTS General: Letter to a friend about a problem at work.

General Writing Task 1: Model answer for a letter to a friend about work issues.

If you are doing IELTS general instead of the Academic version then you are lucky. In the general section, you only need to write a letter and it will be either formal or informal. There is a semi formal style but if you are writing to a friend, even if it is in a business setting, then just write informally.

In the Academic version of IELTS you will get one of the following: a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, map, process diagram, table, double task (pie chart and table for instance) so the general IELTS writing task 1 is much easier.

Let’s take a look at the task question below about an IELTS general letter to a friend.

Read moreIELTS General: Letter to a friend about a problem at work.

Make your own IELTS study plan.

ielts general task 1Setting up your own personalised IELTS study schedule.

If you are serious about getting a Band 7+ in IELTS then you need to get very organized and focused. Consider making your own IELTS study plan.  There is a YouTube video below about this and 5 steps to take below that video.

Everyone has different weaknesses in IELTS, so it is really your responsibility to make a study schedule. Motivation is crucial here too. If you can find a study partner then that will help you keep motivated and accountable. The best option is to have a teacher who can check your writing and evaluate your speaking giving feedback along the way.

Read moreMake your own IELTS study plan.

IELTS Writing Task 1: Paraphrasing Statistics

ielts writing task 1 statisticsParaphrasing percentages and statistics in IELTS academic writing task 1.

One thing that can be challenging in IELTS writing task 1 academic is how to report on all the data in a chart or graph. Something that can help your vocabulary band score is using specific language, such as the language of approximation, proportion and fractions to paraphrase percentages.

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