A ma stands next to a clipboard to signify that this post is about the IELTS Band 7 Essay Checklist

IELTS Band 7 Essay Checklist Today, Nick and I want to give everybody self-studying for the exam a head-start by sharing our IELTS Band 7 essay checklist. When you are learning to write IELTS essays, it’s really important that you constantly check that your writing satisfies the IELTS Band Descriptors .  If you can tick every box on the  checklist then you will be very close to achieving a 7.0 for Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. In short, if you can complete my IELTS Band 7 essay checklist, you have a high chance of acing the exam and moving forward to the next stage of your life in 2021 🚀 You can download a copy of the IELTS Band 7 essay[…]

The podcast thumbnail for My IELTS Classroom Podcast sits on the left of the picture, next to the words "Why are so many students stuck at a 6.5 for IELTS writing?"

Why are students stuck at a 6.5 for IELTS writing? Welcome to My IELTS Classroom podcast. Today, Nick and I discuss one of the most important IELTS questions – why are so many students stuck at a 6.5 for IELTS writing? Is it because there is a conspiracy to trick test-takers, or are there other less sinister reasons? 

The word Grammatical Range and Accuracy sit on a pink background. Some of the letters are falling off the page to illustrate that this blog post will discuss the 10 most common IELTS grammar mistakes

5 Most Common IELTS Grammar Mistakes Hey! Grammatical Range and Accuracy makes up 25% of your IELTS Writing and Speaking scores so should be a very important part of your preparation. Today, I want to look at the 5 most common IELTS grammar mistakes that I saw as an examiner with GRA to help you avoid them.

The podcast thumbnail for My IELTS Classroom Podcast sits on the left of the picture, next to the words IELTS 101: An Introduction to IELTS Writing

Introduction to IELTS Writing Test Welcome to the fifth and final lesson in our IELTS 101 series – an introduction to IELTS Writing. Academic writing has been my on true love since I started teaching English for Academic Purposes at the University of Newcastle 15 years ago, so this is the episode that I have been looking forward to most! The good news is that Nick loves writing just as much as me, so this is a cracking episode of My IELTS Classroom Podcast!

IELTS Examples: Where should you put them in a paragraph? Hey! We all know that every IELTS essay needs at least ONE clear example to satisfy the band descriptors. But, where are you putting that example in your essay? Did you know that examples have to support the sentence DIRECTLY before them? If not, read on to save your Coherence and Cohesion score in your next essay!

The words statement and opinion sit next to the words agree or disagree to show that there are different want to write an IELTS To What Extent Essay introduction

IELTS To What Extent Essay Introductions Hey! When students prepare for IELTS writing, they often learn “chunks” of language – these are groups of words or certain sentence structures that can be used in any essay. I encourage this. For example, I tell my students to always use an “although” sentence in the conclusion of an Advantages / Disadvantages essay as this is the best way to summarise both sides. In the same way, it can be great to use a cleft sentence when you are writing topic sentences for an IELTS To What Extent Essay, or to use a “while” sentence in the introduction of a Discuss Both Sides essay. Using these “chunks” will help you to write more[…]

A digital watch with the tim3 60 minutes shows that this blog post is about IELTS time management

IELTS Time Management in the Writing Test Hey! A lot of students tell me that they have problems with time management in the IELTS writing test. If you don’t finish both Task 1 and Task 2 in 60 minutes, you are going to find it very hard to achieve a high score (even if your writing is great!).  So, in this week’s blog, I want to show you two steps that will help you to analyse your writing to find out where exactly your IELTS time management problems lie.

A screenshot of a Microsoft word count counter showing 249 words signifies changes to IELTS Word Count Rules

New IELTS Word Count Rules In the past, you automatically lost points from your Task Achievement / Response score if you wrote an under-length essay, report or letter. However, from mid-2018 the automatic IELTS word count penalty was removed. There has been no official announcement of this change and the information was supposed to be sensitive. However, as many people are now discussing this on various social media platforms, I thought it was time I addresses this issue to ensure students understand what this change means. 

A rocket on a space background symbolises the importance of practicing with these authentic 100 IELTS essay topics

100 IELTS Essay Topics for IELTS Writing Let me start by saying that by far the best resource for authentic IELTS essay topics are the Cambridge 1 – 13 books. These are real past IELTS exam papers and, therefore, provide students with the highest quality questions for all parts of the test. However, what do you do if you have finished the Cambridge books? Or you struggle with one particular type of question and want a lot of that specific type of practise?

A lone black sheep looks back at a flock of what sheep. The picture symbolises over-generalising, which is a problem for many IELTS students when they write.

How to use hedging in an IELTS essay In the writing exam, it can be easy to make claims that are generally true, but NOT always true. This can limit your score for Task Response to a 7.0 (which I know for most people won’t be a problem, but for some test-takers an 8.0 in TR can be the difference between a 6.5 and a 7.0!) So, how can you avoid over-generalising in an essay?! IELTS hedging!!!