IELTS candidates face a lot of problems while writing essays. Despite the ample amount of material available online, they find it difficult to score a good band in writing task 2. All the hacks and notes they have referred to fail when they confront the blank answer sheet. Has that ever happened to you?
If yes, then you have come to the right place, as this blog will help you write essays by following 5 simple yet effective steps:
Step 1: Understand the Question
The answer lies in the question itself. This holds true for IELTS essays also. Read the task or question carefully, identify the keywords, and pay heed to all the points mentioned in the question. This will help you understand what is expected of you in the essay.
Step 2: Form an Opinion
Your opinion matters! Once the task is crystal clear, the next step is to analyze the points mentioned in the prompt. To come up with more ideas, ask yourself several questions like who/when/what/why. This will help you generate more ideas for writing a power-packed essay.
Step 3: Structure your Essay
Structure makes your essays easily readable. Using correct syntax and writing coherently improves clarity and comprehensibility. Therefore, ensure that you use correct grammar and arrange your points in a logical order.
Step 4: Conclude Briefly
A well-rounded conclusion works like a charm. Reinforcing your points in a succinct manner gives a clear-cut idea to the reader by summing up everything you have elaborated in your essay.
Step 5: Proofread Keenly
Proof reading can take you one band ahead. It is observed that students who score more than 7 bands on the IELTS essay proofread their essay and make changes where necessary. This is the master stroke that will separate you from the rest.
As you are aware, most classes have been temporarily suspended and tests like GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS have been postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Also, there is no clarity on when the classes will resume and situations will normalize.
To help you make optimum use of this lockdown time, we discussed in our last blog, a few tips that can help you to prepare for the GRE while at home. When it comes to TOEFL and IELTS, most of you are used to classroom practice and find it difficult to manage it at home. In this blog, we shall discuss a few easy strategies that will help you to overcome this hurdle and boost your prep even when at home:
- Read news articles, story archives or any other interesting article for about 30 minutes every day and reflect on your understanding of it. While doing this, underline new words, write them down in a book, memorize them and try to use them while speaking. Some of the recommended reading sources are New Yorker, NY Times, Huffington Post, and TOI.
- Listen more to native English speakers for getting a grip on pronunciations and speed. You can listen to FluentU videos, TED Talks, YouTube videos and podcasts, BBC Radio and NPR. Pause the audio clip after every few seconds and try to see if you are able to understand well and where you are falling short. For good lectures and conversations, go to Gothica on Youtube and practice.
- For the writing section, pick the topics of your choice and practice timed writing for the essays. For Dilip Oak’s students, you can practice topics on Page 38 of the TOEFL book thoroughly.
- For the speaking section, speak on any topic of your choice (timed for 45 seconds as per TOEFL requirement) and record it on your phone. For Oak’s Academy students, practice topics from Page 123 of the book, others can browse any topics online. Go back to the recording and check for fluency, grammar, pronunciations, clarity etc. Ask your friends or family to listen to your recording and get feedback. This will help you to improve more.
- You can take a free practice test on the ETS official website.
- Read news articles, story archives or any other interesting article for about 30 minutes every day and reflect on your understanding of it. Read the National Geographic more since many IELTS passages are Science passages. For Oak’s Academy students, you can practice from IELTS Book 2.
- For listening practice, go for TED Talks, FluentU videos etc. You can also access a lot of listening practice material on https://allieltsmaterial.blogspot.com/
- For speaking practice, record a timed response (11-14 minutes) on your phone on any topic of your choice, go back and listen to it to know your mistakes and assess your performance. For Oak’s students, you can practice topics from Book 1.
- or writing essays, Academy students can refer to Book 1 which has a pool of topics for task 1 and task 2. You can also write on any other relevant topic. For the initial one or two attempts, you may write an untimed essay. Once you get a hang of writing strategies, go for timed practice only.