9 Things You Must Do For IELTS Writing Band 8

How do you get IELTS Writing Band 8?

The IELTS Examiner is looking for lots of specific things in the way you answer the essay question, organise your essay and use language. So here is my list of the NINE things you MUST do to get IELTS Writing Band 8, especially in IELTS Writing Task 2.

1. Answer all parts of the essay question

To get IELTS Writing Band 8, you must make sure you’ve answered everything in the essay question. You should also cover all parts of the question in roughly equal depth, so if you are asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of something, don’t discuss the disadvantages briefly and the advantages in depth. Similarly, don’t simply dismiss one view in a discuss both views essay.

2. Explain and support your arguments in detail

You also need to explain your ideas in enough detail to make your thinking clear to the examiner. That means explaining your ideas and illustrating your ideas with specific details.

3. Supporting details are relevant and focused

Your explanations and examples should be relevant to your main ideas. They also shouldn’t be too general, and they shouldn’t be exaggerations.

4. Your arguments can be easily understood

The examiner should not have to think in order to understand your arguments. To get IELTS Writing Band 8, your arguments should always be clear and it’s a good idea to be concise in your writing as well.

5. Your arguments are sequenced in a logical way

To make your arguments clear, they need to be organised in a way that makes sense. Your essay needs to ‘flow’, not jump around, and every sentence should have a clear purpose (i.e. to explain something in more detail, or to present your opinion). To support this organisation, your ideas need to be clearly linked.

6. You use a variety of vocabulary in a natural way

You need to use a variety of words and phrases in a way that shows a good understanding of native-like use. So you should use natural collocation and your writing should flow fluently. You should also convey your ideas in a clear, concise way. Don’t be long-winded!

7. You use vocabulary with a precise meaning

You should be able to select vocabulary which communicates your ideas in a clear, precise way. This includes using vocabulary specific to the topic of the essay question, and expanded noun phrases.

Use precise vocabulary

8. You make only occasional language errors

You may only make occasional errors in your vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, but these are only minor errors and they do not effect the communication of your ideas. The majority of your sentences should be free of language errors. So make sure you check your essay!

9. Use a wide range of grammatical structures

You use a variety of complex grammatical structures, including complex sentences, complex noun and verb phrases, and complex verb patterns. These are used to communicate your ideas clearly and precisely.


About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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