What’s more important in grammar, range or accuracy?

Let’s take a look at grammatical range and accuracy in 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. You need to think of the reader when writing. 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.

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IELTS Writing: Keeping it simple

Being concise and keeping it simple.

If someone asked me for my advice about the best way to approach the IELTS essay tasks, I would say keep it simple and concise. I correct a lot of IELTS essays but the one thing that stands out is that so many IELTS students are trying too hard to use  ‘complex sentences’ and completely miss the point and end up using ‘complicated sentences’ that the reader would have trouble understanding.

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IELTS Grammar: Conjunctions in writing

ielts examples in writingUsing conjunctions in IELTS Essays

One key skill for getting a good band score in IELTS writing is by using conjunctions effectively. This shows the examiner you can use grammar precisely. A conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences.

These are marked under grammar and are directly linked to coherence and cohesion in the IELTS marking criteria. If you have mistakes with conjunctions it will affect coherence cohesion. In fact ‘complex sentences’ can be constructed using conjunctions. Let’s take a look at some of these and how to use them correctly.

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IELTS Grammar: How to use complex sentences

Writing Complex Sentences in IELTS.

It is important to use some ‘complex sentences’ in IELTS writing task 2 otherwise you are unlikely to get a band 6.5 or above. However, not all of your sentences have to be  ‘complex’ you need to use simple sentences too. Remember that grammar accounts for 25% of your marks in the writing tasks but there is some confusion in IELTS about what a ‘complex sentence’ actually is.

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Forming complex sentences in IELTS

IELTS writing focusUsing ‘tend to’, ‘that’ clauses and modals in IELTS writing and speaking.

A good skill to learn in academic writing is to soften your language or use what is often called ‘hedging’. This is useful in Discussion essays when you write about others opinions and it is also needed to soften your language so that you don’t generalise too much. This shows that you have a wider range of vocabulary and you can form complex sentences.

This is also very useful in the speaking section when you want to display a wider range of vocabulary and it shows that you can talk naturally.

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