IELTS Writing Test
Guidelines for Students

  1. Read the instructions very carefully and respond appropriately.
  2. Make brief plans before you start to write.
  3. Spend only 20 minutes on Writing Task 1 to allow enough time to answer Writing Task 2. (Remember that Writing Task 2 carries more marks!)
  4. Use the numbers, statistics or data appropriately and accurately for Task 1. Make sure that you fully understand the details and that you select the most important pieces of information for your answer.
  5. With Writing Task 1, give yourself time to organise your ideas and your argument. Make sure that you provide any supporting evidence that is necessary to support your answer.
  6. Paragraph your work very carefully. Appropriate paragraphing is very important and it is a key to a good answer.
  7. Start each paragraph with a clearly stated topic sentence. Make sure that you don't deviate from that topic in that paragraph.
  8. Write in the formal style of academic writing or report writing. Do not use contractions or colloquial language and avoid multi-word verbs where possible as single-word verbs are more formal.
  9. Be careful about the length of your answers and write the appropriate number of words for the question.
  10. You will lose marks for spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes so leave time to check your answer.
  11. You will gain marks by displaying a range of language. Try to use a range of vocabulary, a range of phrases and a range of structures in your answers. Do not repeat favourite phrases several times in the hope of gaining marks.
  12. Try to write as clearly as possible. The test is relatively short so try to express your ideas succinctly. Do not write long complex sentences unnecessarily as this may make understanding your answers more difficult. Equally, do not only write short simple sentences.
  13. Do not use headings, sub-headings or numbering in your answers.


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