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IELTS Writing Task 2: advice for different scores

Depending on what scores my students are aiming for, I give different advice.

If you are aiming for band 5, 5.5 or 6:

You can reach band 6 with fairly 'easy' language if your essay structure is good, your ideas are relevant to the question topic, and you write at least 250 words. Look through the writing task 2 lessons on this website to learn how to write introductions, main paragraphs and conclusions, and work on writing short, simple sentences to express your ideas.

When people get band 5 or below, it is often because they don't finish their essays, they go off-topic, they have no idea about good essay structure, or they try to use 'difficult' language and therefore make lots of mistakes. For bands 5 to 6, keep your essays simple and clear.

If you are aiming for band 7 or higher:

First, you need to do everything that I mentioned above: you need relevant ideas, a good essay structure, and you must write at least 250 words.

But to reach the higher scores, your essays need more 'depth'. You need to explain your ideas in more detail, using a wider range of vocabulary. At this level, good essay structure is not enough, and memorised linking phrases won't help either. Your focus should be on real content.

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