In this video I’m going to give you six really important tips for success on the IELTS writing test. And here’s number one: this is all to do with timing. Timing your writing and how long you have.Now timing is very very important. Task one you should spend around 20 minutes on task 1 and around 40 minutes on task 2. Task 2 you have to write more words so you need to spend more time on it but also there are more marks for task 2 that there are doe task 1. Many students spend too much time on task 1 which means they do not have enough time to write a good task 2 essay which is a problem because task two is worth double the marks of task 1 therefore here is a really useful tip: do task 2 first. Remember task two is worth twice the marks of task one so it’s better to write a good task 2 essay first and run out of time writing task 1 than the other way around. So my big tip number one: do task 2 first. Here’s number 2 – tip number two: planning. Planning is really really important especially for task 2. I think you should spend five minutes planning your task 2 essa; you should think about some ideas and some supporting arguments and examples for your essay; think about the structure of your essay, think about what language you’re going to include in your essay, so think about good language that will give you extra marks when the IELTS examiner marks your essay, so plan your essay before you start writing it. In other words think before you write. It’s much better to think before you write then than having to think while you’re writing. People can’t really do two things at once so if you’re writing and then you have to keep on stopping to think your essay will not be very good so decide what to write before you start writing. So plan your essay. Vocabulary: again when you plan your writing think about some good vocabulary to use 25% of the final mark is to do with what we call lexical resource so if you want to improve your band score you need to use some good vocabulary. Now for task one you should learn a wide variety of vocabulary to describe trends, for example: soared upwards, or declined steadily and also some vocabulary to compare features of the graphs and charts so think about vocabulary for trends and for comparisons. Here’s some good language: steadily is an adverb and upwards. So use language like this when you write your task one report for the academic IELTS and use a variety of language when you write, change words, avoid repetition, so try to avoid repeating the same words, change them into something else instead. Remember the IELTS examiner is looking for a range of vocabulary. One way to do this is to paraphrase language: that means change words in the task into your own words, so for task 1 and task 2 there will be a task description. Do not copy the language from the question; paraphrase the language from the question, use your own words. So for example in a task 2 task, you may have the statement “increases in CO2 emissions have resulted in a rise in global temperatures”, so let’s paraphrase this, let’s change it using our own words, so instead of “increases” you could use “the growth”, instead of “CO2” you could use “carbon dioxide”; “resulted in” I’ve changed to “led to”; “a rise” has changed to “an increase”; and “global” I’ve changed to “around the world”. Minimum word count: remember this: the minimum word count is very important so remember task 1 is 150 words, task two is 250 words. If you go below the minimum number of words you will lose a lot of marks its a whole band score for task achievement or task response, so go ideally well above the minimum, so i recommend go for 170 words to 200 words for task 1, and for task 2, 270 to as many as 350 words. If you write a longer essay then you have more opportunity to show the IELTS examiner the good language that you have but of course make sure the language you write is good language; the risk is if you write too much you’ll make more mistakes so it depends on your your ability but I think write 170 words for task 1, 270 task for task 2. Tip number five: remember to answer the question Read the question carefully especially in task 2; do not write an opinion essay if you’re asked to discuss two sides of an argument so make sure you address the task. In the academic IELTS task one is a descriptive essay; you’re turning a graph or a map into a piece of writing so do not write your opinion in task 1. Ok? So for example do not say why you think the line graph went up or down in task 1; you put your opinions into task 2 writing not in task 1; this is all about pictures and data, not opinions. Tip number six: check your writing: when you’ve finished, spend a few minutes at the end checking your spelling and your grammar; really important; simple mistakes, silly mistakes in spelling and grammar will mean a lower band score so spend a few minutes at the end checking your writing. So there you have some of my main tips for the writing test.