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IELTS Writing Tasks 1 and 2: 5 Essential Tips

Using the right techniques is a must if you want success in your IELTS writing test. You’ll want to do many practice questions in order to properly sharpen your skills. When you know what’s required of you and have put in enough practice, there’s no reason you shouldn’t ace the test. Here are some handy tips to help your prepare for your IELTS writing task 1 and 2 tests:

Know basic structure

Understand the basic structure required for an essay is important before you take on it. For example, about how many paragraphs should you have in each essay? How should each paragraph begin? You can learn this from an essay writing book or one of many blogs dedicated to IELTS writing. Take time to go through a number of sample essays while taking note of the structure used in both tasks.
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Take on task 2 first
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While task 1 comes first on the question sheet, you might want to start with task 2. The reason is because task two is generally easier than task 1, while also being worth more marks. Keep in mind, however, than you’re required to complete both tasks. No matter how difficult the tests seems to be or how little time you think you have, you must do everything in your power to complete both tasks or otherwise get penalized.

Practice with the writing

Practice makes perfect, as they say. So it’s quite obvious that you’ll need as much practice as you can get in order to feel comfortable with taking on the test. You can read tips and sample essays for sure, but without practicing, you won’t be able to recognize your weaknesses. It also helps if you have someone checking your writing so they can help you minimize mistakes. Whilst the test questions may be unpredictable, the more practice you put in, the better placed you’ll be to tackle just about any question.

Time your practice sessions

Practicing writing essays won’t be enough–having a time limit for each session is important. See if you can finish both tasks within 60 minutes–the time limit for your IELTS writing test. It’s important to get familiar with this time limit if you’re hoping to avoid some unpleasant surprises when you take the actual test.

Get better with vocabulary

A decent range of academic vocabulary is required in IELTS writing. One of the criteria for calculating your score will be your knowledge and appropriate use of vocabulary. Having a dictionary can help with enriching your vocabulary. Also remember that you’re required to write in a formal style. This means you must not use informal elements of writing such as contractions, abbreviations and the use of first person.