How to improve your IELTS writing score

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Martin Oetegenn teaches on IH London’s IELTS Preparation course, below he offers expert advice to help IELTS candidates get the score they need.

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

IELTS at International House London

IH London is the largest IELTS test centre in the UK, with tests taking place three Saturdays each month throughout the year.

Our language school also offers IELTS preparation courses to help candidates reach the IELTS band they need.


August 11, 2014 10:43

Hi Thulasi,

IELTS preparation courses run throughout the year at IH London. They are available as 20 or 15 lessons over 4 to 8 weeks on a full-time basis, 25 lessons on the 1 week intensive option and we also have 4 week part-time evening option.

The next start date for the full-time option is 01 September, then again on 29 September, 27 October and 24 November.

The next start date for the part-time option is 02 September, then 30 September, 28 October and 25 November.

You'll find all this information on our website and you can book a class online via this link:

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 Thulasi Sivarajeeban

Thulasi Sivarajeeban

August 10, 2014 10:11

Please send time table for the ielts course.

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