Archive for the ‘ielts writing tips’ category

How to get high marks in IELTS writing

March 9, 2010

Hi everyone. So in order to be able to get high marks in IELTS writing, we need to understand what the requirements of the writing test are.

Writing Test Format:

• The writing test is the final part of the sat exam (1st, Listening, 2nd , reading, and 3rd writing.)

 • The writing test lasts for 1 hour.

• There are two parts to the writing test: task 1 and task 2.

• Academic and General Training modules have different task 1s and the same style of task 2s.

• Academic task 1 is an exercise in analyzing given information and making a conclusion.

• General Training task 1 is writing a letter in response to a situation which needs to be resolved

Today’s tip is: Divide your hour into 20 minutes for task 1 (do it first) and 40 minutes for task 2). Task 1 is worth 33% of the available marks, which is why you should devote 33% only of the time on it. Why do task 1 first? You can find this out and much more by joining my free newsletter group at:


Learn the rules of the game

March 3, 2010

For those of  you who didn’t already know it, let me repeat the basic fact about the IELTS test:

The IELTS test is a uniquely difficult test.  That’s why it is so highly rated. That’s not to say that it is a logical or sensible test. It isn’t.  However it is constructed so that you have to have a high level of English to be able to get a high band score.  Even if you do have strong English skills, you still need to know what to expect in the test. If you don’t know the rules of the game, then you can’t possibly win.

So here’s today’s tip.

Learn the rules of the IELTS game.

If you haven’t already done so, then you should take a look at the following link;

On that page you will see the option of doing either a complete practice IELTS Academic Module or General Training writing test. Just type in the user name and password on the page and you can begin the test.

Now, that exercise is useful in its own right. However to really get an insight into how the writing test is marked; you need to get the writing tests marked by me. This will allow you to see what your current level is, how the marking criteria works, and crucially, what you need to do in order to make your answer good enough to get a high band score. Believe me when I tell you that there is formula for getting a high band score. If you have ok English writing ability and read the task question fully, then you by using a simple formula you will get at least a band 6 and probably higher depending upon how much practice you put in. ( I have  experienced intermediate level  English candidates getting a band 7.5 in writing because of their technique.)

So take your first step on the road to IELTS success by paying GBP 9.99 after you have submitted your answer to me online  (payment is easily  done via the paypal button on the above page for me to evaluate your writing performance and give you some much needed advice.

And of course it needs to be repeated – you have to put what I say into practice to make it work in the real test…and that means internalizing it  through repeated practice. That’s right, it isn’t enough just to do the writing test  once, you have to do it again, and again, and again! Each time using what you learnt in your previous feedback in order to make your next answer even better.

General advice on approaching the IELTS test

February 23, 2010

The IELTS test is unique. There is simply nothing, else like it in the world of language learning and examinations in particular. It  is a test that even native speakers of English would struggle to achieve a high band score in if they were not sufficiently prepared.

So what can we learn from this analysis of the IELTS test? Namely that as the old saying goes,  preparation makes perfect. You simply cannot expect to do well in the test if you do not  do the following:

 1) Learn what the test is about

 2) Practice delivering answers

Yes that’s right, practice, practice, practice and practice again. If you do not practice, then it doesn’t matter if you learn all about the test and how to achieve high band scores. Unless you practice you cannot internalize what you have learnt. if you do not internalize what you have learnt, then how  are you supposed to remember to use all your freshly acquired knowledge in the highly stressful  conditions of the test day?

The need for practice is especially relevant and important in the speaking and writing parts of the IELTS test.  To get into the practice mindset  visit and try your hand at the IELTS speaking and writing practice tests.