7 Tips For Getting A Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2

Jan 30


Charles Cornelius

Charles Cornelius

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Find out how to get a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2 with the help of these 7 tips.


Do you want to get a Band 7 or above in IELTS Writing Task 2? If you do,7 Tips For Getting A Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2 Articles but keep getting "stuck" at Band 6, then this article is for you! I'm going to give you my top 7 tips to help you get a Band 7 or above in Task 2 of the IELTS Writing Test.

1. Plan Your Essay

The single most important thing you need to do in order to get a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2 is to plan your essay carefully. Writing an IELTS essay without a plan is like trying to get to a new destination without a map: you'll keep getting lost and you'll have to go home and start again. In the IELTS exam you don't have time to waste, so you must plan your essay first. 

Planning means doing 4 things:

  • analyse the question
  • decide your position (your views)
  • generate ideas to support your position
  • develop your ideas and place them in a logical structure

A good plan will help you write well-developed ideas within a well-structured essay: these are essential to a Band 7+ essay, so make sure you know where you are going before you start to write. Have a plan.

2. Use a clear, logical structure

Your essay should also be well-organised. Each paragraph should contain only one main idea, and you should explain your views in a logical way. This means you need to gradually 'unpack' your ideas, so that your reader can follow your thinking. You can do this by first presenting, then explaining and supporting your ideas in more detail.

3. Use clear, precise vocabulary

One common mistake made by a lot of IELTS test takers is writing essays with lots of "advanced" or "rare" words; they think this will help them get a high band score. It won't! It will LOWER your band score.

Firstly, Band 7 IELTS essays use words and phrases that have a clear meaning: this means they're easy to understand. Secondly, vocabulary in Band 7 essays often has a very precise meaning, for example words and phrases which are specific to a particular topic.

In addition, Band 7 writing should show the examiner that the writer has a feel for how vocabulary is naturally used: they might make some mistakes, but they do show, for example, an understanding of how certain pairs of words naturally go together, something known as collocation.

Using "advanced" words, on the other hand, can make your writing difficult to understand and unnatural. This will hold your band score down to a Band 5 or 6 at best for Lexical Resource. So don't do it. Instead, use clear, precise vocabulary.

4. Don't Use Complicated Grammar

Another mistake made by many IELTS test takers is writing long, complicated sentences, packed with a variety of grammatical structures and clauses. This technique is almost guaranteed to hold your band score for grammar down to a Band 6 or below.

Band 7+ writing is clear and concise, not long-winded and complicated. You should aim to use a variety of grammatical structures, including complex sentences (two clauses joined together with a conjunction, such as "because" or "although"), but these don't need to be long and complicated.

Note that your grammar does not need to be perfect at Band 7. You can make some mistakes, although you do need to show 'good control' of grammar. This means you should mainly use grammatical structures that you fully understand. 

5. Write 3 or 4 Ideas In Detail

Another frequent mistake made by IELTS test takers is writing too many ideas. They present a lot of main ideas, but don't develop any of them: they don't explain their thinking.

To get a Band 7 or above, you must explain and support your ideas: in other words, don't just write what you think, explain why you think it. Also, remember that an IELTS essay is quite short, so you don't have the space to write a lot of well-developed ideas. 3 or 4 ideas is the sweet spot.

6. Make Your Views Clear Throughout Your Essay

In a Band 7+ essay, your position (or views) should be clear THROUGHOUT the essay. In other words, every sentence should play a part in making your views clear to your reader (the IELTS examiner).

I often see problems with this when test takers write a "discuss both views" essay. Many students discuss "what some people think" rather than their own views. Instead, you need to present and explain YOUR views on the issue, not the views of "some people" or "other people". 

Basically, the IELTS examiner should have a clear understanding of your views while they read the body paragraphs. It's not enough to simply state your opinion in the introduction or conclusion.

7. Don't Just Write...Read!

If you want to write better, read more!

Reading is the best way to improve your writing, because it exposes you to the kind of natural language you should aim to write in IELTS essays. In addition, many articles explain the writer's views on a particular topic, so reading more exposes you to the kinds of ideas and arguments that a good IELTS essay should contain.

Best of Luck!

So use these 7 tips to help you on the road to a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2. To learn more about these tips, and to get more advice and information on IELTS Writing Task 2, read my Essential Study Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.