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5 IELTS Essay Writing Tips for A High Score

Writing an IELTS essay may often seem a difficult and daunting task, but don't worry, it will all become easier and make better sense as you follow along.

We advise you to take time to read about the tips on what to do and what not to do to improve your writing skills and achieve a high score.

Prepare smarter, not harder, and writing tasks won't stop you from getting the band score you deserve!

Don't get confused about the structure of IELTS essay

There is a ton of information available online about different types of IELTS essays and if you are a self-learner, it is easy to get confused. Especially, when the information is often conflicting as well. Therefore, we recommend that you should not worry about identifying what type of essay you are asked to write or what structure you need to use.

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writing an essay

Although there are 5 different types of IELTS essays (see also sample essays), learning about suggested essay structures one by one just overburdens you and at the end of the day, there is no actual benefit. All that matters is to answer all the questions and stick to that. It is as simple as that! You just need to fully address all parts of the task. That's it!

Don't worry too much about learning different rules, structures and types of essays. You just need to read the task carefully and write directly in response to the writing prompt.

Take time to read the question prompt and answer the question completely and directly. No need to overthink whether the essay is this or that type and which structure you need to use. You will do yourself a favour when you skip learning about "right" essay structures to follow as there are none found. Instead, trust yourself and listen your gut.

Plan your IELTS essay before you write

Think and plan before you write! It is necessary to brainstorm for at least 2-5 minutes. Write down all the keywords and phrases that come to your mind and then organise your ideas by making a very simple plan for the IELTS essay structure. The more you practice essay writing, the faster you will become at brainstorming.

man brainstorming and planning essay

It is very important to keep in mind what you are asked to do. If you fail to address all parts of the task prompt, achieving a high score will become unlikely. So, by making a plan make sure you answer all the questions!

For example, if you are asked to discuss both views, then make sure that you have one paragraph for one view and another paragraph for another view and so forth.

Don't underestimate the importance of planning. Take at least a couple of minutes for brainstorming and organise your ideas before writing.

Stick to the plan and use the words, phrases and ideas that have come to your mind while brainstorming.

Show good grammar and vocabulary

To write a high-level IELTS essay and attain a high score, you need to demonstrate that you are able to use a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary. For example, use different tenses, conditionals, passive voice, wide vocabulary and avoid repeating the same words.

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You need to find a good balance between showing your writing skills and feeling comfortable.

Do not use words and sentences that you are not sure about, otherwise you could end up producing a worse essay.

Using good language in your essay doesn't mean that you know some sophisticated sentences by heart that you're desperately trying to use in your essay. Actually, it is a very bad practice and we recommend that you should avoid doing that.

person flipping book

If your overall usage of language is consistent throughout the essay and then, all of a sudden, you use a very complex sentence, it looks unnatural. Furthermore, IELTS examiners consider this to be a learned expression and, as a result, it pushes your score downwards.

Write coherently and use cohesive words

Writing coherently will surely give your score an extra boost. Actually, "Coherence and Cohesion" is one of the four band criteria your writing will be evaluated on. Therefore, it is super useful to learn linking words along with IELTS essay vocabulary. You can use these resources all the time while studying.

After writing about 3 IELTS essays, many good phrases and linking words will be glued to you. You will find out your favourite ways to start and end the essays, to state viewpoints and add arguments.

three people writing and studying at table

As a result, writing an essay becomes easier and you will be a lot quicker too. But don't memorise long phrases or sentences, these are all listed just for inspiration. However, learning words for different topics is highly recommended! It will give you ideas and ability to express yourself.

Get feedback on your IELTS essay and practice

Finally, it is important to get feedback on each practice essay you write. The key to improving your IELTS essay writing is to get your essay reviewed by qualified IELTS professionals, so you could learn from feedback and improve your writing skills.

writing correction

Writing evaluation gives you an idea of what level you are at and what band score your writing would likely get. You will learn about your weak areas and you will be given tips and suggestions on how to improve them. See a sample:

If you struggle and want to improve your writing skills, let IELTS experts help you. The last thing you want to happen is to discover what your weaknesses are on the exam day, especially if the result is unsatisfying for you. After all, taking the exam gives you nothing but a plain band score that carries absolutely no weight regarding feedback: you will not get to know your mistakes and why you failed.

So, rather use IELTS writing evaluation service to be better prepared, achieve your desired result on the first try and ultimately become better at writing.

Want to get your IELTS writing tasks assessed by IELTS examiners?

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Need help?

We offer writing correction and evaluation service for both IELTS Academic and General Training module students. Writing assessment gives you valuable feedback, an estimated band score and suggestions for improvement and a higher score. Corrections are provided by experienced IELTS professionals, who are working as IELTS teachers and examiners.

Our correction service includes:

  • Personalised feedback and evaluation of writing
  • Grammar and content corrections
  • IELTS overall band score & a score and comments for each criterion
  • Suggestions on how to improve your writing and achieve a higher score
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