How to Prepare for the IELTS Writing Test… When registering for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams, you’ll be required to pass through several tests. One of those tests is the IELTS writing test.
Your writing skill is one of the major IELTS Test assessment. In the writing skill section, you’ll have just 60 minutes to complete two writing tasks with a minimum of 150 words for task 1 and 250 for task 2.
While this can be very tricky, we’ll give you a general overview of what to expect from the IELTS writing test.
Purpose of the Writing Test
The IELTS writing test is designed to assess a wide range of writing skills, including how well you write a response appropriately, organise ideas and use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately
Timing of IELTS Writing Test
The IELTS Writing test takes 60 minutes. Spend 20 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes on Task 2. You will need to manage your own time, so make sure you move on to Task 2 after 20 minutes.
There are two tasks in the IELTS Writing test. You will be asked to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.
How to Prepare for IELTS Writing Test
Most candidates usually dread the writing test. Writing isn’t something that you can self-study. For those who aren’t confident with their English abilities, it can cause anxiety as this test demands precision in terms of grammar, vocabulary used and cohesiveness between sentences. Even those who call English their native language and are trained in it have failed the test!
But with enough preparation and practice, anyone can pass this test. Below are some tips on what you can do to prepare:
1. Be Mindful of Your Word Count
In the IELTS writing test assessment, a candidate is required to provide at least 150 word written response in Task 1, while Task 2 requires at least a 250 word written response. If you don’t write the word count, you’ll lose marks. In fact, even though you are just a few words below the word count, you’re still at a risk of losing marks. There is no upper limit on how many words you can write.
You should aim to write between 160 to 200 for Task 1 and 260 to 300 for Task 2. This will ensure that you do not lose marks for writing too little while also ensuring you aren’t adding too much additional information. Now, you don’t need to spend time counting the words rather, learn to count the words by lines.
2. Manage Your Time Wisely
You need to learn proper time management when writing your test. Spend not more than 20 minutes for Task 1. Task 2 contributes double the marks so it’s important to ensure you have at least 40 minutes left for this part.
Both tasks require planning and checking, so it would be wise to factor in four minutes or less before and after answering each task. It is recommended you practice time management even before you enter the exam hall.
3. Understand the Requirements of Both Tasks
The IELTS examiners use detailed performance descriptors when assessing your answers for both tasks:
- Task achievement (25 percent);
- Coherent and cohesion (25 percent);
- Vocabulary (25 percent); and
- Grammatical range and accuracy (25 percent)
Your final score will be the average of the four criterion above.
You need to practice and keep on practising. There are over a thousand resources both online and offline for both tasks. Although model answers are plenty, your practice should not include memorising them as examiners can spot such answers and you will risk having your entire test rendered invalid. We recommend you download IELTS writing test samples with answers for a general overview.
Importantly, you need to get your spelling, grammar and punctuation right. These aren’t things you can cram the night before so you best sharpen your skills for each as much as possible before taking the test. The more mistakes you make, the lower your score will be so best to ensure you make as little as possible.
Knowing the proper answer structures for each task is important, too. This is particularly true for Task 1 as these sentence structures can, to some extent, be easily learned and adapted to suit the several types of Task 1.