Students often tell me that they have no time to plan for the IELTS writing task 2, but planning can seriously improve your score.

The ideas in your writing and how you organise them can have a significant impact on your final score.If you’re not sure how to do it, here are some tips.

Sample IELTS Writing question

Read the question below and write down any ideas you have. Try not to spend more than 5 minutes.

  • Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children).
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree

Planning your answer

Now look at the two plans below. Which one do you think is better?


You choose b) right? Here’s why b) is better…

Although plan a) has some good ideas, they are not organised into paragraphs and there are no examples. This means the writer will have to stop and think a lot when they write.

They won’t have much time to focus on their vocabulary and grammar or to check their writing for mistakes – this is so important if you want a good score.

Plan b) is divided into 3 main ideas. Each idea can be used as the main focus of a paragraph, which is a good way to organise your ideas.

Because there are at least 3 examples for each paragraph it should be easy to write 250 words.

So next time you write, make sure you spend at least 5 minutes on your plan – It really makes a difference!

Find out more about the IELTS exam and what it can be used for here:

All about IELTS

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