How Can I Improve My Skills For The IELTS Academic Writing Test?

The IELTS Academic test is a must for those looking to further their tertiary level studies at any university or institution that requires certain IELTS band scores as proof of their English language skills. However, the writing component of this test is often considered one of the toughest components of any of the IELTS Exam. If acing the academic writing test is on your list of IELTS Exam concerns, then read on to find out how to improve your skills for this particular part of the test

Plan your time effectively.

The amount of words you need to write for IELTS writing task two (250 words) is greater than task one (150 words). Approximately two-thirds of your mark is given to task two, so the amount of time you dedicate to each part of the writing test should take this fact into account. Therefore, it is recommended that test-takers spend about two-thirds of your time (40 minutes) on this task 2 and 20 minutes on task 1.

Many students are not used to writing for such an extended amount of time and lack the speed to be able to finish their test on time. The average person’s writing speed is around 100 words per minute. Make sure you meet this target, and if possible, improve upon it. You can do so by taking timed practice speed tests and measuring the amount of time it takes for you to copy 100 words of any random text.

Improve your vocabulary.

One of the areas that candidates are assessed on during the writing component of the exam is their ability to use uncommon vocabulary comfortably. This means that they should have a wide enough range of vocabulary to be able to write about a number of different topics. The best way to improve in this area is to source words through active reading. Try to read materials such as books, newspapers or magazines that relate in some way to the common topics that are often asked about in task 2 of the writing test. Create a vocabulary bank and categorise these words by topic. If you try to learn a few new words each day and practise writing a few sentences with them, you will find that you will learn at least a hundred words within a month.

Get An Outside Perspective

Many students overestimate their language skills. Getting a second opinion on your practice essays might open your eyes to errors and gaps in your understanding. This is especially necessary when it comes identifying grammatical errors. Many students are unaware of the level of grammar needed to produce complex sentences, and they often waste time learning unnecessary grammar topics. This is why it is useful to have the assistance of a trained IELTS professional, not only will they be able to point out your mistakes, but they will also be able to help you improve in your weak areas.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.