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

Today you get tips for timed writing success for your IELTS Exam.

We had an excellent question from a student in our course:

I’m struggling with timing for both Writing Task 1 and Task 2. I have less than a month left before exam day; however, I can’t organize well and come up with high-level vocab. or phrases within the time. I’m currently practicing writing both tasks twice a week. I assume I should write more often. Also, I’m writing a paragraph about random topics in order to get used to using unfamiliar vocab. 3-4 days a week, which you suggested me to do.

Are there any other suggestions? I’m feeling so anxious about it.

This student and I have been meeting on Skype for Personal Coach classes.

Firstly, this person’s exam is in about a month. Really, you only need to start timing yourself 3 weeks before your exam.

So, this student can take this pressure off! Your goal before timing yourself is to write the best essay you can.

You have to go slowly, and think about templates, body paragraph organization, vocabulary, linking words, etc.

This is a process.

When you do start timing yourself, don’t worry about perfect vocabulary while you write.


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Don’t stop writing to come up with the ideal word.

When you’re done writing, and you are proofreading, you can focus on including some more high-level words.

Don’t try to think about everything at once!

3 Keys Writing Process for Task 2

  • 5 minutes- brainstorm ideas
  • 30 minutes- write in an organized way
  • 5 minutes- proofread and improve vocabulary in the essay

Time yourself step-by-step.

Now, about the comment on using vocabulary about random topics.

In our Skype class, I gave her this activity:

  • Choose a random topic, like bicycles, movies, books, etc.
  • Then, 3-4 days a week write about a different topic.
  • Force yourself to use 4-5 vocabulary words from your notebook.

Sign up for our August webinars, all about time saving strategies for your preparation and your exam!

Do you have questions about IELTS Writing?

Ask us in the comments section below!


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