Are you about to take the IELTS exam? It is an arguably difficult test on your language abilities. The essay section is particularly difficult for English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers. But people do pass the exam; you too can pass.
In this article, you will find useful tips from education experts that will help you pass the IELTS exam. You are about to find out it is not all that difficult to ace the exam.
Understand the prompt
You will not pass any exam if you do not understand what is required of you. Be it Task 1 or Task 2, or you are taking the General or Academic test, you need to make sure you understand the instructions. Re-read several times if you have to.
Let us say you are supposed to write a letter. Read the instructions to deduce whether it is supposed to be a formal or informal letter. You can find out everything about writing at thesisgeek.com. If it is an opinion essay, make sure you identify the two perspectives surrounding the topic of discussion.
Make an outline
After you understand what you are required to write, start outlining. Basically, an outline is a roadmap that will guide you once you begin writing.
As it is a timed test, you might want to skip this step. But that would be a big mistake. An outline actually saves time rather than waste it. For starters, it helps you organize your thoughts and put them in a logical order. Additionally, it helps you stay on topic. Would it not be a waste of time to have to restart your essay after finishing it and realizing you strayed from the topic?
In the outline, write your thesis statement, aka the main argument, or points you will include in the introduction. Then write down the topic sentence for each of the body paragraphs. Under these topic sentences, note down what points you will include to support it and tie the point to the main argument.
Start with your strongest point
First impressions are critical. So, when organizing your ideas, it is advisable to put your best argument in the first body paragraph. Similarly, make sure you write a good introduction – an introduction that will capture the reader’s attention and make them want to read the rest of the essay.
Keep your ideas simple
While it is tempting to go for complex arguments, remember that is not the point of the IELTS exam. This test measures your ability to communicate in English. You are more likely to present simple ideas clearly as opposed to complex arguments.
Each paragraph should start with the main idea, aka the topic sentence. The next two or three sentences should provide examples or explanations. Then finish by tying the main idea to the main argument.
It is about language, not length
The writing part of the IELTS exam, as mentioned earlier, tests your language abilities. Yes, you do need to hit the word count, usually 150 to 250 words. But going beyond the word count does not earn you more points.
You get higher marks for accurately using above-average vocabulary, complex sentence structure, and correct tenses. So, instead of focusing on length, take your time to ensure you are using proper grammar, varied diction (avoid using the same words over and over), and proper syntax and sentence structure.
Proofread your work
Spare a few minutes to go through your work. Revise for spelling and grammar mistakes. Pay particular attention to the repetition of ideas. You might even add words or sentences that will provide a better connection between ideas.