The writing module of IELTS has always been a challenging task for an IELTS candidate. I have seen many IELTS results, where candidates have scored good in all three modules (Reading, Listening and Speaking), but are unable to achieve good band score in their writing module. This happens due to obliviation on the facts to score good bands in writing.

There is a plethora of content available on blogs and websites, but only few are actually able to tell you the exact reason. In this article, I will enlighten the reasons and factors involved in low scoring bands in IELTS writing module. In addition, this article will elaborate on key factors and mistakes a candidate makes during the writing exam. But, the solution for all of the above problems will be elaborated and will boost up your confidence while attempting essay writing.

Let’s understand the basic criteria for writing an assessment, but before this, there are other criteria which will make you a better writer forever. If you read this article till the end, you will find a substantial change in your thinking and logical capability in terms of writing an IELTS essay.

Criteria for the IELTS writing exam

1. Task Achievement

Task achievement is the overall score for the essay, it measures the depth of your ability to answer the topic question. It includes your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. It also includes if the candidate was able to understand the topic and by how much. The introduction must give a clear picture of what has been asked. For instance, an agree and disagree topic question must have an opinion in the introduction section. Similarly, for advantage and disadvantage, the use candidate must declare the viewpoint clearly. It also includes that the language used by the candidate is assertive and well managed.

2. Coherence and Cohesion

This criteria analyse the candidate’s capability to manage sentence structure, linking between sentences, the cohesion of sentences and paragraphs. Here, the word coherent means consistency and relevancy, which means that whatever the candidate is writing must have both of these elements. These elements depend on two factors a. The understanding of topic questions b. The writing skills of the candidate. If the candidate has understood the topic question clearly and is able to write good sentences with linking then the candidate gets full bands for this criteria. Whereas, cohesion is equivalent to the solidarity of sentences and paragraphs together. It means that the candidate is able to link the sentences and paragraph to generate a reading flow and has made the article interesting and impressive.

3. Lexical Resources

Lexical resources are often confused with hard vocabulary words. Remember, hard vocabulary words are hard to remember and their usage also is limited due to lack of information on their usage. Although, it is good to use good vocabulary, it should fit into the context. Otherwise, it will give a negative impact on the examiner. What I suggest is to use academic words which are mostly used in academic essays. For instance, you can use these following words in your essay, these are not hard words, but will surely increase your band score

“accelerates, transformation, well suited, to drive, taught, in series, contribution, stronger, competitive, strategies, deliver, global context, continuous innovation, immersed, intensive, improve, ability, complex, global economy, format, enables, rapidly, maintaining, momentum, diverse, growth-focused”

Thus, try to use a good lexical resource which is relevant to your context. Using good quality academic words will surely make your writing impressive.

4. Grammar

This criteria is really important as most of the candidates are not able to use it correctly. If you write at least 60% of your sentences correctly without any grammatical mistake, you have bright chances of achieving 7+ band score. The reason for stating it as the most important criteria is due to the fact that it can hamper your writing badly if used incorrectly, while will give you a good band score if used correctly. Most of the mistakes are made due to incorrect use of prepositions, inappropriate insertion of adjectives, nouns, and verbs. If you want to achieve a 7+ band score start practicing on these.

Now the knowledge you have been looking for

But, following and adhering all these criteria(points 1-4) alone, will not solve your problem. You also have to include the below-mentioned points in your essay writing.

5. Focus On Academic Writing

Simple writing can only give you a score of around 6 or 6.5, whereas only academic writing can let you score around 7+ bands. When we say academic writing, it means we are omitting normal words and focusing only on academic words. You can see the list of these words in point no. 3 in this article. Use words like these in your essay and you will be surprised to see the boost in your band score. Mediocre writing usually is equivalent to our daily usage writing which we are habitual of. Try to write in the academic language, make a habit of using academic language in your email, sentences, and essays and you will see the difference yourself.

6. Do not copy any writing material(online contents), write your own.

Most of the candidates think, if they instill the structure and content of essays written on blogs and websites of 7+ bands, they will be able to achieve the same band score. But, remember most of the examiners are aware of such structures and instantly can find the difference between an original writing and copied one. You will get less score on the creativity of your sentence. Try to be natural and creative in your writing and make sure you give your best while writing any word in your sentence.

7. Listen and Write, Seriously??

Yes, correct, listen to podcasts that have academic content. For example, listen to the speeches of presidents as their speeches are academic. Listen to the videos or podcasts of UN members and try to repeat these words. Remember, they are on podcasts and have no words or sentences, but you will be able to form a sentence just by listening to them. Many candidates have implied the use of such content by manipulating them into their own essays which let them score a very good band score.

8. Create a list of your academic word list and use them in your essay.

Just like in point no 3, generate a list of your own academic words and use them in every essay you write. This will not only create a fantastic essay but will also instill the usage of these words in your sentences. This way whenever you find any topic sentence you will be able to mould every word as per your convenience as per the context. But, you have to understand the meaning of these words and must use forms like present, past forms to use them differently in your essay.

9. Spellings

Spelling is one of the most important criteria, if you make 2-3 spelling mistakes in your essay its fine. But, if there are more than 3 spelling mistakes, then the chances are too low to get a good band score. Spelling mistakes not only makes your sentences inappropriate but also frustrates the examiner about finding the word used. Make sure you repeat the spelling in your mind while writing it on the paper.

10. Quality of your essay content

This is obvious, if you are writing a quality content, you will get good band score. Remember, you have to give your 100% to get the band score and quality content will make your chances brighter.

The points mentioned above have changed many lives of IELTS candidates. Those who are still struggling to get a good band score may use these points(5-10) and can themselves see the difference in their writing. My motive of this article is to make my readers understand why they always get 6.5 band score or below this score.

I welcome your suggestions and comments on this article, please send your valuable feedback on the same.

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