Where can you plan your essay for IELTS writing?

Hi guys,

A lot of students have asked me if they can get extra paper to write a plan for their IELTS writing task 1 and writing task 2. They want to know what paper they can use for planning.

Planning is an essential part of your writing. 50% of your marks is based on choosing information, deciding how to present it and planning organisation. This means all ideas need to be planned in full before you start writing. See this page about Tips for IELTS Essay Planning.  You can find the marking criteria for writing task 2 on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Score

Where can you plan your essay?

The answer is that you use your question paper to write your plan.

At the end of your test, you will hand in your question paper. BUT the examiner will not see it and it will not be marked. So, you need to use the question paper to plan your writing for task 1 and task 2.

Please share any of your tips or experience for essay planning in the comments box below:

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Student Tips for Getting IELTS Band 8.5 Overall

My Tips for IELTS Overall 8.5

This page gives you my tips for how I got IELTS band score 8.5 overall in 3 steps. And also my tips for getting band 8 in IELTS writing and band score 9 in IELTS speaking.

by Deeksha

My IELTS Test Results

24th June; United States; First Attempt. I just received my IELTS score:

  • Listening – 7.5
  • Reading – 8.5
  • Writing – 8.0
  • Speaking – 9.0
  • Overall – 8.5

I barely had 5 days to prepare. 70% of my preparation included watching the videos on your blog, answering your sample questions, and going through your tips! For the rest 30%, I printed some of the full-fledged tests and
sample answer sheets from the Cambridge IELTS books and just practised using those.

For anyone of you who has a very little time to prepare, I hope that the process I followed can help you lay out a basic schedule.

My 3 Step Tips for IELTS Band Score 8.5

See my 3 steps:

Step -1 (Know the test)

– Go through the test format.
– Spend some time and understand the question patterns in each segment.
– Keep in mind the time limit for every segment.
– Do an initial sample test (download from IELTS official website) just to see where you stand.

Links:

Step-2 (Prepare using Liz’s blog)

– Go through every one of the 4 segments (L, R, W, S) in this blog, one after the other. Links: Listening Tips, /Reading / Writing T1 /  Writing T2 / Speaking
– In each segment, read every tip and watch every video.
– Make notes of the points that you would like to keep in mind.
– Try and answer every sample question that Liz has laid out there. She has specified at least one sample question for every possible pattern that could appear on the test.
– Look at the answers and compare with yours. Figure out what you got wrong and more importantly, “analyze why you got them wrong.” This helps you understand how you approached the question, and how you should have.

Step-3 (Practice)

– Download all the versions of Cambridge IELTS books (you can just google them out).
– From these books, print out the full-fledged tests and sample answer sheets.
– Take these tests using a clock and write your answers in the sample answer sheets.
– Grade your tests and find out your weak areas.
– Make notes of your analysis and try to keep it in mind during the following tests.

In addition, go through the comments in this blog and find out what the recent test takers said about their tests. Know about the tips that helped them, learn from their experiences and be prepared.

Writing Tips for Band Score 8

On my test:

  1. Write a letter to your friend who is going to stay in your apartment during the next month while you are away on vacation
  2. Tell your friend where to get the keys
  3. Tell your friend about the equipment in your apartment
  4. Tell your friend about some places to visit in the area
  5. Advancement of technology has obliterated libraries and hard copies of books. Do you agree or disagree?

–          Apart from your writing skills and the topic at hand, it may help to do this section in a way that encompasses all the elements that the examiner is looking for. Liz’s writing section mentions specific guidelines for content organization, format, tone, logical reasoning, titles, signatures and many other tips. Go through them and try to follow all those tips as you write. In other words, you will have a shell prepared in your mind even before you know what the questions are. Click here: IELTS GT Letter Tips 

–          I didn’t have time to practice this section at all so I had a bit of an issue managing time on the test. If you have very little time to prepare for IELTS, make sure you squeeze in at least a few writing tests and see where you stand with the time limit.

Speaking Tips for Band Score 9

On my test (to the best of my recollection):

  • –          Where are you from?
  • –          Do you work or study?
  • –          Is there anything significant about the place you were born in?
  • –          Do you enjoy it?
  • –          What is special about it?
  • –          Do you have any challenges at work/school? How do you resolve them?
  • –          Where do you live?
  • –          Where would you like to live in the future?
  • –          Do you usually shop online?
  • –          How is it better than shopping in the stores?
  • –          Is there any difference between living in rural and urban areas?
  • –          How do you cope up with the challenges of urban life?
  • –          What do you do on your birthdays?
  • –          Are your birthdays the same as they were when you were a child?
  • –          Is any specific birthday considered significant in your country?
  • –          Do you have a favorite rock star?
  • –          Would you enjoy meeting your favorite rock star?

Cue card:

  • –          Talk about a crowded place that you visited recently.
  • –          Did you or did you not like it? Why?
  • –          Would you revisit it again in the future?

Go through Liz’s list of sample topics, sample answers (Liz’s Speaking Page), comments from recent test takers (Recent Topics) on this blog and questions from IELTS Cambridge speaking tests. Try to answer them. These should be more than enough to help you familiarize with the test pattern and to understand what to expect on the test. From the comments, I also found out that most of these questions are being repeated so make sure you go through them. Almost all the questions that my examiner (whose name was coincidentally Liz) asked me were also from the above lot.

As Liz mentioned, they expect you to be casual and test you only for your language and not for your knowledge on the topic at hand. Think about this segment like you just bumped into a fan who would like to know some of your opinions and experiences. Well, you don’t simply meet a fan every day, so this is your chance – talk her ear off! J Be casual, funny, and confident and you’ll do just fine.

Try to book your test in a test center that does not use hallway speakers to play the audio in the listening section. There is a definite distinction in terms of quality compared to headphones. There is always a possibility of noise and distraction. I didn’t know about this while booking my test and I certainly experienced the difference.

Thanks,

Deeksha.

Good Luck!

Liz – Thanks again for the effort you are putting in, to assist so many test-takers all over the world, each with their own questions and training needs. It must feel incredible to know that most of these people credit their success to you. Keep up the good work!

Deeksha.

Message from Liz

Deeksha, you’ve done exceedingly well. Congratulations!! I love your tips! They are logical and very helpful for all IELTS students. Tackling IELTS methodically is essential and Deeksha has really hit the nail on the head !!! 🙂

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IELTS GT Letter 2017 with Model Answer

The IELTS General Training letter below was reported in the IELTS test this year. It is a typical formal letter that can appear in IELTS GT writing task 1. The task was reproduced as accurately as possible by IELTS students.
IELTS General Training writing task 1 is a letter which you must write in 20 mins with over 150 words. You can find useful tips on this page: Essential Tips for IELTS GT Letter Writing. For more useful links, see below.

IELTS General Training Letter 2017

You recently read an article in newspaper about someone you know personally. You found some information is wrong. Write a letter to editor to inform him about it. Use following points:
  • What is the article about?
  • What is the error?
  • What you expect an editor to do?

IELTS GT Letter Model Answer

Dear Sir,
I am writing to you regarding the recent article you published about Sir David Markham last week, April 2nd , in The Times newspaper.
The article gives a breif biography of Sir David’s life and then continues to focus on his work and the impact it has had. The biography starts with his birth in Edinburgh and his later move in 1962 to Durham University. From there, it focuses on his work with the UN.
I would like to point out an error in your article. Documentation shows that Sir David did not go directly from Edinburgh to the University of Durham, in 1961. In fact he took a gap year in Europe working with a volunteer program and then went to University in 1962.  I know this as I worked with him in Europe and become friends with him. His year abroad, which is absent from your article, created the foundation of his philosophy of life which guided him through his work in later years.
I hope you will publish this correction in the newspaper. Sir David’s work is still of immense importance and people should know the importance of that gap year in his life.
Looking forward to a positive reply.
Yours sincerely,
Jane Frankland
Comments: Estimated band score 8. The task has been completed but there are some issues with the letter. Below are a few points highlighted:
1) Second Paragraph: breif = brief
2) Third Paragraph: become = became
3) Yours sincerely = Yours faithfully
4) Signing off the name without a title

IELTS General Training Useful Links:

 Click links below to open …
IELTS GT Model Letter: Complaint Model Letter
IELTS GT Model Letter: Invitation Model Letter
For IELTS speaking and listening, all students take the same test. See the main pages below:

Main IELTS Pages

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