IELTS Writing can be daunting if you don’t plan your answers effectively. Most students make the mistake of starting to write the answer first instead of appropriate planning. This can lead to distraction of thoughts while you start to write, leading to major impact on the band descriptors.
Here is a guideline that you can use in order to write a solid answer.
For task 1:
- Out of 20 minutes, 3-4 minutes for planning the answer
- 16-17 minutes for writing the answer
For task 2:
- Out of 40 minutes, 5-10 minutes for planning the answer
- 30-35 minutes for writing the answer.
While you plan, keep in mind about Coherence and Cohesion. Your paragraph structure needs to have a logical basis, and you might think that this will take time, but not really. As soon as you read the question, you have to keep in mind the different arguments that you want to make, and where you want to make them. This will help you in making sure that there is some logic to the paragraph, and it is not just haphazardly placed. Also, keep the sentence sequencing intact. Make sure you start off with the main idea first, and then follow it up with supporting ideas. You can check the structuring of opinion essays or discussion essays to understand this.
Planning the paragraph structuring and logical sequencing will help you write answers with confidence.
After planning, here are points that you should remember while you write the answer.
Keeping track of time for every paragraph: For task one, the introduction should you take you no more than 5 minutes, whereas the rest of the time should be devoted to writing body paragraphs. Roughly the same time division for the task 2. After each body paragraph, you should keep track of the time, whether you have finished the paragraph in the given time, and where you need to speed up.
Writing the words you may want to use: This exercise will help you retain words quickly during practice tests, and will help you remember words quickly while writing the essay. Often times, we tend to forget most of vocabulary while drafting intricate arguments. Noting down words we may want to use will help us in incorporating those words without any time loss.
Checking your work after every paragraph: Checking your answer after every paragraph is a practice that is very imperative. Once you have finished the entire answer, you tend to get intimidated by it, whether it is your handwriting or your sentence structure. This makes you look at the big picture than the details. Checking your answer after every paragraph helps you change somethings that you do not want quickly, as compared to after the test when you want to just finish the test.
You can check out our other content on IELTS here. You can also watch this video to understand time management for IELTS: