Prepared by Zilpah D’Souza; Hema Upreti; Edited by Samuel Francis Gills on January 21, 2023


Established in 1989, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is considered as one of the most prominent language proficiency tests around the globe for non-native English speakers. The test assesses the language ability of an individual who plans to work or migrate to an English-speaking country like Canada. The candidate needs to clear four modules in IELTS- reading, writing, listening, and speaking. However, many worry about the writing test, especially if they are not confident in their English writing. There are two tasks to be completed in the writing section – a letter and an essay. This article shines light on the writing module and how to improve your writing skills for a better score.

The writing module can be tricky and if not understood thoroughly. The writing module demands creative writing and practice. Written language is considered more difficult than spoken language. So, let’s understand the five common mistakes made by the test takes and how to avoid them in the writing module.



Comprehension of question

When you fail to comprehend the question correctly, you tend to make errors. When the question is not correctly comprehended, the answer tends to be wrong and have a significant influence on the scores. In task 1, the primary ideas need to be comprehended and used in the letter, and in task 2, the test taker needs to structure the essay in mind, before starting to write.

Grammar error

Presenting an error-free test is vital in the writing module. Many people make a lot of grammatical errors. Some grammar mistakes can change the entire structure of the sentence itself and examiners may not be able to make a sense of what that has been written. Checking the script thoroughly can help you avoid such mistakes.

Time matters

The writing module is for 60 minutes. The time allotted for task 1 is 20 minutes and task 2 is 40 minutes. If time is not managed properly, there are chances that the test taker may end up submitting an incomplete paper. Therefore, practice while keeping time in mind as incomplete paper can lead to lesser scores.

Use of spoken language

Written language is formal, and one should keep in mind not to use spoken language in the written paper. Use of contractions like don’t, won’t, isn’t, etc must be avoided wherever possible. Instead, use do not, will not, is not, etc. learning to differentiate between spoken and written language and using them while practicing mock tests will help the test taker avoid such usage in the actual test.

Word limit instruction

Task 1 needs a minimum of 150 words and task 2 needs 250 words. The test taker needs to meet this criterion of the test as well. This is also an important aspect of the writing module.

Many test takers use timesavers when writing but fail to meet the minimum word limit criteria and lose scores. One should keep in mind that writing 20-30 words extra  shows that you are a confident writer. Doing so will help you not to lose scores.



Here are some useful tips for a smooth IELTS writing experience

  • Understand and answer the tasks accordingly.
  • Keep in mind the use of lexical resources.
  • Focus on grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Spend time organizing your ideas.
  • Do not overlook word limit instructions.
  • Spare 5 minutes to check your paper.
  • Practice and preparation are essential to get good scores.

Contact us if you need help from our language experts. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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