We at Career Care meet students preparing for IELTS from all over the world. It is interesting to observe that some of the mistakes in the Writing section of most of the students are similar despite the cultural variety and educational system. Based on our observations, we have shortlisted 5 ways to boost your IELTS writing scores that can work for anyone who is preparing for IELTS tests.
1. Use correct paragraphing in IELTS Essays
Correct paragraphing is the essential aspect of writing. In our classroom coaching sessions, we have observed that most of the students, in the heat of writing, end up writing too many or too few points in a paragraph. Such essays not only create problems in understanding your piece of writing for the reader but also in determining whether you have understood the task. We recommend following structure of the essay for the students.
- Body Paragraph 1 | Explain first side | 2 points + 1 example
- Body Paragraph 2 | Explain second side | 2 points + 1 example
- End | Summarise the points and give an opinion if asked
2. Put your points and explanations in correct order in IELTS
One of the most important parts of writing with coherence is an organization of the ideas. Proper organization of the ideas help, people paint a mental picture of written communication. It helps in understanding and eventually evaluating an idea. Ideas can be organized based on many criteria. Following are few important ones
- Organization by Grouping
Ideas in writing can be organized by grouping them into relevant groups. Such grouping helps reader paint a mental picture of what is being described.
It is interesting to visit foreign countries. You can meet new people. You can eat different kinds of food. It is expensive. You can see the way other people live.
In the above paragraph, all ideas are relevant with the main idea, ‘It is interesting to visit foreign countries’ except the idea that ‘It is expensive’ which in fact is a counterpoint of the main idea.
- Organization by Time
Time sequence or chronology explains an important role in writing or reporting events. It gives a factual account of incidents in a way which can be easily understood and examined.
I had a terrible Sunday. First, I woke up an hour late because my alarm clock in mobile failed as mobile was discharged. Then, I was in such a hurry that I burned my hand when I was making breakfast. After breakfast, I rushed for the Soccer practice. I really feel that everyone should play soccer in life. As I reached the bus stop, I realized, I had forgotten my wallet at my desk. I literally sprinted back home and collected the wallet. I had to wait for 20 minutes as bus frequency on Sunday is comparatively rare. By the time I reached the ground, my friends were almost halfway through the practice. My coach was angry. After practice, on my way back, I first went to the supermarket to buy groceries and then to laundry to pick up my clothes.
As can be seen, while, reading above paragraph, the sentence, ‘I really feel that everyone should play soccer in life’ distracts the attention. Other sentences build a nice account of unfortunate Sunday of the author.
- Organization by Order of Importance
It is very important to recognize the order of importance while discussing events, logical ideas, consequence, lists etc. This arrangement allows a reader to rate the important points at the start.
There are many ways to learn a new language. The best way is to talk with native speakers. One way is to spend a lot of time watching television and listening to the radio. Another way is to take classes at a language school or university.
As can be seen, if ways of learning languages are arranged in order of importance, it is very easy to recognize best practices to learn a new language.
3. Give correct examples in IELTS Essays
Examples from Knowledge:
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), 75% of Indians are likely to catch Dengue during monsoons.
Above example is acceptable as it has verifiable statistics with a reliable source of information.
Indians are likely to catch Dengue during monsoons.
This statement seems a sweeping generalization that means all Indians may catch Dengue while it is a very distinct possibility.
4. DON’T worry too much about hi-fi vocabulary in IELTS
In IELTS, it is essential to avoid repetition of the words instead of worrying about hi-fi vocabulary. Just to give an illustration, ‘increase’ is a word which is commonly used and repeated many times in speaking as well as writing. However, you may recall many synonyms such as accrue, expand, extend, elongate, enhance, grow, hike, rise etc.
At the same time, it is important to use words precisely. This aspect insists upon the apt usage of the words and hence requires of you to study seemingly familiar words thoroughly.
For example, expand and grow are used to indicate ‘increase in all directions’ whereas grow is preferred for living things while expand for non-living.
- The trees grow.
- The business expands.
In classrooms, I usually talk about the fact that Canada or USA or any other country, where you wish to immigrate, is not search for ‘next Shakespeare’. They are looking for regular people who can sustain in an English-speaking environment. So, don’t worry too much about it.
5. Ensure correct usage of tenses in IELTS
While writing an essay it is important that due attention is paid to the tenses. While many tenses are utilized to convey similar activities, knowledge of their distinct usage will set you apart from many others. So, it is an essential factor.