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

Today we talk about ways to avoid examiner penalties on IELTS Writing.

We recently received an email from a listener worried about writing scores and vocabulary.

Regarding writing, she said:

I have heard from IELTS officials, and also on different occasions, that examiners are trained to spot the prepared answers on Writing and Speaking, and you will lose marks and be penalized if you do that. Is that true? How does your study plan make sure that this doesn’t happen, although I believe that even if someone is prepared, it is her right to be prepared for any exam in this world.

It depends on how much of your answers are “prepared”, or memorized.

Outlines, templates and linking words, for example, should all be memorized because these help you express yourself in a higher-level, more organized way.

The rest of your response comes from youthe interesting ideas, the impressive vocabulary and the accurate grammar structures, will all depend on your ability.

The only way you will really lose marks is if you present complete answers that are obviously memorized, or only use high-level words in transition phrases, and are unable to use your own impressive expressions.


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Her email continues:

Does putting difficult words in writing… is this the only way to reach a 7 or above? And, if so, how can candidates do this in the months of preparation time?

Yes, of course! High-level words are necessary for a good score in vocabulary in both Speaking and Writing.

The first step is preparing your vocabulary notebook in an effective way.

Also, as far as vocabulary for speaking goes, focus on words that are useful for a variety of topics.

What questions do you have about writing, speaking, or vocabulary for IELTS?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

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