Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we’ll look at a sample essay from our 3 Keys Writing Wizard contest and we’ll show you what you can learn from this essay to get your highest possible score on IELTS Writing.

In our 3 Keys IELTS Success System course we run a writing contest.

Every month we post a Writing Task 2 question.

Anyone can submit their essay for free.

The winner gets a free 15-minute coaching session with Jessica.

Today we’ll show you one problem we noticed in one of the essays and we’ll tell you how you can avoid this problem for a higher Writing score.


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What’s the problem with the student’s essay?

*Common mistake: Many students use the same phrase from the question over and over again in their essay.

This will kill your vocabulary score because it shows the examiner that you don’t have the vocabulary that you need to paraphrase.

In our course we show you how to proofread and check for repeated vocabulary.

If you see yourself using the same phrase three or more times you need to cross it out and re-word it.


Ways to re-word phrases in this essay:

  • “social media” = “online networks” or “online connections” or “online social circle” (or get more specific and use “Twitter” or “Instagram”)
  • “news”= “Facebook feeds”



One way to paraphrase is to become more specific.

Get as specific as possible because it will increase your fluency score on speaking and your vocabulary and task achievement score on the writing.

It’s ok to be messy on your essay as long as the examiner can read it. It’s ok to cross out a word and write a new word above it. There is nothing in the scoring system about neatness.

Don’t worry about erasing the word when you write in a new vocabulary word.

Just cross it out.


What questions do you have from today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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