There are two types of IELTS exams: Academic and General Training. The students who are aspiring to move abroad for further studies appear for Academic IELTS exams, whereas the people who want to apply for PR, spouse visa, work permit, etc have to give a General IELTS exam. The module of Listening is the same in both types of exams. Reading and Writing modules are different and that’s where you need to score well for getting an overall eight-band in the exam. This article has all the information for the frequently asked question on How To Score 8 in IELTS General Writing.
People appearing for the General IELTS exam find all the modules manageable except the writing module. It is often seen that people aren’t able to score in the Writing module, which affects their overall band. A lot of countries like Canada have fixed criteria for PR visa where it becomes essential to score well in all four modules. The Writing module seems challenging for the people due to grammatical errors, improper structure, and other reasons. However, preparing well for this module can help you to score better. To know how and what to prepare, it is essential to know the format of this module first.
01. Letter Writing – Formal/Semi-Formal/ Informal
Minimum words – 150
Minimum words- 250
So there are two tasks that one needs to complete in the writing module. Both these tasks help in evaluating your command over the language, grammar, and fluency. The minimum word limit is stated in the question paper itself, along with the sub-questions under each task. One should spend about 20 minutes on writing a letter and 40 minutes for writing an essay. As the essay carries more marks, make sure to spend more time on it.
This is the first task which one needs to attempt in the writing module. The task also contains the bullet points that need to be addressed in a particular letter. The type of letter depends upon whom you are writing the letter to. There are generally three types of the letter that are asked in the exam:
Formal Letter: If you are writing a letter to a manager, official, boss, professor, and others, then it becomes a formal letter. It would be best if you used a formal language to maintain the tone of the letter.
Informal Letter: Writing a letter to your friend comes under the informal type of letter. You can use a simple language without using formal greetings and sentences.
Semi-Formal Letter: A letter addressed to your neighbor, society friend, pen friend, etc comes under the semi-formal letter. In this type, you can use both the types of language- formal and informal to complete the task.
Apart from the heading, you are also given with three-four bullet points that help you to structure the letter properly. It is vital to answer all the questions given in the letter to complete the task properly and get marks for it.
An essay is one of the crucial tasks in the entire exam. One should read the questions and headings thoroughly to know what all information is needed to be covered in the essay. The examiners often give a general topic related to wealth, health, sports, etc and ask your views about it. There are eight major types of essays that one can ace by answering all the questions given in the task. The structure of the essay should be proper and centered around the topic. Now that we know the format of the tasks, let’s go through the marking criteria and tips to improve the score.
1. Task Response: As mentioned above, examiners give you marks upon answering all the questions given in the task. One should write the letter and essay that covers all the points and adequately addresses the questions.
For doing this, here is a trick: Convert every question bullet into a paragraph.
Suppose there are three sub-questions asked in the letter or essay, make a format of your letter and essay like this:
Introduction-Linking sentence- First paragraph covering first bullet point- Linking sentence- Next paragraph answering the second bullet point- Linking sentence-Paragraph covering the third bullet- Conclusion
Formatting your letter and essays properly will help you to score an eight as it is the first criteria that an examiner checks. Make sure that you decide the format before starting the writing part.
2. Coherence and Cohesion: This criterion depends upon how well you share the information related to the topic. Here the examiner grades you on the sequence you follow in the format as well as the paragraphs. This criterion is interlinked to the first one. If you do proper formatting and sequencing, scoring marks in this criteria is an easy task. Plan the paragraphs as per the sequence of bullets and explain the points completely to score well in this part.
3. Lexical Resources: This is the criteria where your fluency is marked. The examiner checks the range of vocabulary used in the tasks. The letter or an essay should be easy to read; at the same time, it should have different synonyms and words to indicate your fluency in the language. The errors in using the right terms are also checked.
For e.g., you can use the word pupil instead of students to increase your score. Similarly, find the words that help in maintaining the tone of your essay and letter. This is one of the crucial criteria which can get you a perfect score in writing task.
4. Grammatical range and accuracy: The last marking criteria is the grammar you use in the writing task. The examiners check for grammatical errors and the range of grammar used. You can enhance your essays and letter by using different types of sentences, verbs, adjectives, etc.
Writing a module is not that difficult if one knows how to structure their essays and letters. One needs to practice this module with the proper format, grammar, and language for scoring an eight. It is also essential to use neat handwriting so that the examiner can read it without any problem. Also, avoid making any spelling errors as spelling mistakes can also bring down your score. Practice the module well for 2-3 weeks before the exam with all the tips and format suggested above and you will be able to score an eight in the module.