Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn how to write a band 9 essay for IELTS.

Click here for your free Video IELTS Masterclass!

Even native speakers don’t always get a band 9 for every category on IELTS.

You MUST know what the examiner is looking for, in order to nail the highest scores.


9 for Task Response

✿ Stick to the question, don’t go off-topic

✿ Completely explore all parts of the question

Prove your statements and reasons with specific details and examples

✿Exhibit strong personal opinion throughout essay

9 for Cohesion Coherence

Clearly organized (follow a template, just like native speakers do when they learn how to write)

✿ Flowing ideas, connected logically

✿ Build out 1 reason with specific support in each body paragraph

High-level transition phrases


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9 for Vocabulary

✿ Huge variety of interesting, rare, high-level words (stay tuned for the next lesson on band 9 vocab., and search this site for more ‘academic vocabulary’ lessons)

Perfect spelling

9 for Grammar

Out of reach for most students

✿ Wide variety of complex sentence structures

✿ Absolutely no mistakes

Focus on improving the first three categories, because improving grammar takes a really long time.

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In our online IELTS course, 3 Keys IELTS, we give you all the strategies and practice you need to score highly on all parts of the IELTS exam.

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