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Three mistakes high level IELTS Writing candidates make - and how to fix them!

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

Are you blowing a great IELTS writing score with these common mistakes?

Search IELTS preparation forums and you’ll discover the same mystery again and again.

“What’s going on? I got an 8.5 in speaking, a 9 in listening and an 8 in reading - but a 6.5 in writing!”

“Took the exam again. No matter what I do I can’t get a 7 on the writing!”

“IELTS examiners want to trip you up - they make it so hard to get a high score on writing. Maybe if I request a review I will get a higher score?”

Here’s the truth: IELTS examiners WANT you to do well on the exam! (Well, most of them, anyway!)

However, a lot of students - often students who actually have very strong skills in English - think they can breeze through the exam without minimal study. And they can! On every section except writing. The writing tests brings a good candidates score down again and again.

But don’t be too sad! The good news is there are some very easy fixes that can get you the IELTS writing score you want.

Read on to learn about some common mistakes high level IELTS candidates often make that can really hurt their overall score - and how to fix them!

1. They just start writing

Many students begin writing immediately as soon as the exam is in their hand. This seems like a good idea. It isn’t.

Part of your score on the IELTS exam comes from your ability to answer the question. Too often, students who just start writing the answer write about the subject… sort of… but they don’t answer the question.

EASY FIX: Before you write, STOP. Spend a few minutes thinking about the question and how to answer it. An advanced level student could easily raise their band score with this simple trick!

2. They don’t study at all for the test

Look, I get it. You may already be using English every day for your job and in your life. Perhaps you went to school in English or even live in an English -speaking country! It makes sense that you would think it’s really necessary to study for the IELTS exam.

But lots of proficient English speakers have trouble getting the score they want. The reason is because the IELTS exam is testing very specific skills - your ability to cope with specific language tasks in English.

EASY FIX: Set aside some time before the test to make sure you understand how the test is organized and what you’re expected. Even a couple hours preparation could make a significant impact to your writing score!

3. They write in one long paragraph.

This is SUCH a common problem on the IELTS writing section! A student writes good response to the essay question, has good grammar and vocabulary - but they get a low band score because they didn’t use any organizational structure, so their answer has no clear introduction, conclusion - or even any paragraphs!

This is where points 1 and 2 can really help you avoid point 3. IELTS expects that your task two writing will be organized into a simple, 4-5 paragraph essay. This means considering how to organize your writing into a clear introduction, main body and conclusion.

EASY FIX: Take the time to learn the basic mechanics of essay writing and you will see your overall score shoot up!

Hope that helps! Do you have any great tips to help advanced learners score high on IELTS? Leave them in the comments!

And let us check your writing before the test!

BounceEnglish has launched an IELTS Writing Review Service - and we are currently offering exam writing review for the BARGAIN price of $5 per script!

This is an introductory price and will NOT be around long - so come on over to and let us help you get the IELTS score you need!

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