Tips for IELTS Writing Exam

The process of writing both tasks (Task 1 & 2) consists of three main stages:

  1. Pre-writing
  2. Writing &
  3. Revision.
In the pre-writing stage, you should:
  • Understanding the task.
  • Outline/ plan the general framework of your essay.
  • Brainstorm/ generate as many ideas as possible.
  • Organise and classify the ideas generated in the previous stage.


In the post-writing stage, remember the following:

  • All your sentences have subjects and verbs.
  • All your sentences start with a capital letter and finish in a full-stop.
  • Long sentences should be avoided in order not to lose control of them. If they are long, divide/ break them down into two.
  • Your answer should be divided into paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph is about one central idea, which is developed by things like quotations, examples & details.
  • Transition words should also be used for more cohesion.
  • Do not use contractions. Write full forms.
  • All your sentences should make sense. Simply imagine yourself as the reader.
  • For the introduction & conclusion of academic task 1, make sure you write an overview/ general sentence about the whole chart.
  • For the introduction & conclusion of Task 2, make sure you state your position/opinion about the topic.
  • In order to make sure that you give the proper time to each task, start with task 2 rather than task 1.
  • Use brackets for categories mentioned in charts and graphs.

Tips for IELTS Reading Exam

  • Read faster by reading words in groups/ chunks rather than word by word.
     
  • Do not give more than one answer in a gap. Otherwise, it will be marked as wrong.
     
  • Before going immediately to the question, familiarise yourself with the passage by examining: the title, headings, pictures and the first few lines of each paragraph. This will help you to "grasp the overall idea of the passage" and to "find/ locate answers easily".
     
  • Use the skill of 'scanning' the text looking for keywords. Then read around the keyword to find the answer. In other words, use the keyword in a question in order to find the answer. If there is no keyword in the question, you can read the first two sentences of each paragraph to know if it might include the answer.
     
  • In filling gaps questions, your knowledge of grammar can be useful so be accurate using grammar. A little spelling or grammatical mistake can reduce your band score.
     
  • Do not waste time reading, enjoying, and completely understanding the passage. You can return to the passage for each question. That is why there is no need to understand it completely.
     
  • You are advised to skip time-consuming questions and get back to them later in order not to miss the easier questions. An example is (all the following are true/ mentioned in the passage EXCEPT …). Such a question is time-consuming because you need to check that all the other choices exist in the passage in order to identify the choice that is not mentioned.
     
  • If you are unsure of the spelling of a word, write an approximation of the way the answer sounds. Sometimes you can copy it from the exam booklet itself.
     
  • Do NOT spend too much time on a single question in order not to miss the easier questions.
     
  • In the question that asks you to match headings to paragraphs, read a paragraph and then choose the most suitable heading.
     
  • Be careful about what the question asks you to do. Do not confuse (TRUE/ FALSE/ NOT GIVEN) with (YES/ NO/ NOT GIVEN) questions. So, if you put (TRUE) while you are supposed to answer with (YES), you lose the mark.
     
  • It is extremely important to pace yourself so that you do not run out of time without answering all the questions. Thus, each passage has almost 20 minutes including the time for transferring your answers to the answer sheet.
     
  • When you read the first sentence of a paragraph, you have a general idea about what it is about. As you read the questions, try to determine which paragraph will have the answer. It will save time if you can jump straight to the paragraph, so try to remember what you learned from the first sentences. For example, if the first paragraph is about poets; the second is about poetry, and a question asks about poetry; where will the answer be? It will be in the second paragraph of course.

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