How to check your IELTS writing in a couple of minutes
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How to check your IELTS writing

how to check your IELTS writing

Suppose you have finished writing Task 1 and Task 2 on the day of the IELTS exam in less than 60 minutes. Even so, have you completed the IELTS Writing? The answer is ‘no’ unless you have checked your writing for mistakes. This step is crucial in completing IELTS Writing tasks. It is also one of the most effective ways to improve your band score. Why? Within a few minutes, you can correct your mistakes or change sentences you have written. You are able to fix these mistakes if you know what to look for. Here is the checklist for efficiently editing your writing.


  • Verb tenses. In Writing Task 1, the tenses you use must match the time frame in the graph. Also check if they are consistent in your essay.
  • Articles. They are the most common mistake candidates make in their writing. Make sure you use them appropriately.
  • Subject-verb agreement. Even candidates at upper-intermediate and advanced levels make this common mistake. It is also a basic mistake that examiners will penalise more heavily. For example:

The list of items is/are on the desk.

If you know that ‘list’ is the subject, then you will choose ‘is’ for the verb.

  • Parts of speech. This is another low level mistake, but even stronger candidates might make it. Make sure you use nouns, verbs and adjectives when needed. For example:

When performance on a regular basis, such workouts allow people to strong their immune system and increase metabolism, thus becoming healthier.

‘Performance’ is a noun. However, in the sentence above it was used as a verb instead of ‘perform’. ‘Strong’ is a noun, but the candidate has used it instead of a verb ‘strengthen’.

  • Range of sentence structures. It might sound surprising, but if you want to achieve a higher band, you should vary your sentence structures. However, use them properly.

READ ABOUT: 6 typical mistakes in IELTS essays

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  • Spelling. Many test-takers make spelling mistakes because a lot of English words are spelt differently than they sound. They have double letters, e.g. accommodation, recommend, opportunity, disappointment, necessary, different, silent letters, e.g. environment, night, letters that are difficult to predict from the sound, e.g. negotiate, choice etc.

The British and American spellings of many English words are also different. For instance:

colour (BrE) — color (AmE)

centre (BrE) — center (AmE)

litre (BrE) — liter (AmE)

theatre (BrE) — theater (AmE)

neighbor (BrE) — neighbor (AmE)

While both of them are equally correct, choose one and stick to it.

  • Repetition. Looking for repetition is perhaps the area where you can most improve your writing. That is because it is quite easy to see if you repeat some words and substitute them with synonyms. The more varied your language is, the higher band you can achieve.

READ ABOUT: 10 typical mistakes in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1


Candidates often skip this important aspect of their writing and simply do not check it. However, it accounts for a large part of your score.

  • Overview. Make sure you have written an overview of main trends and described the key features of the graph in IELTS Writing Task 1.
  • Topic sentences and paragraph development. In you essay, each paragraph starts with a topic sentence that clearly relates to the question, and you developed it by providing explanations and examples. In Task 1, this includes having enough detailed information and facts.
  • Linking words. They introduce opinions, add information, show contrast, change topics etc. Make sure you manage them well and use where necessary.

READ ABOUT: How to link ideas in IELTS essays


  • The beginning of the sentence should always start with a capital letter and end with a full stop.
  • Do not use exclamation marks. They should NEVER be used in academic writing.
  • An apostrophe can be used only to indicate possessions. Do not use contractions and short forms of verbs in academic writing.
  • Use commas to separate parts of sentences to avoid any confusion in the meaning.
  • Write proper names with capital letters.

If you know that you often make some kind of mistakes, check your writing for them too. Be sure you check for one type of mistake at a time, because you might get confused if you check all of them at once.

Spend from 3 to 5 minutes at the end of the IELTS Writing section. That is because while writing, we tend not to see our mistakes.

In our course, we have included every single type of IELTS Academic Writing task. Each is followed by a certain strategy — you learn what to do step by step (analyse the task, plan your response, write, and check). You also develop your other skills necessary for the IELTS exam. At the end of the course, do a full mock test in Writing and Speaking and get feedback from one of our IELTS experts.

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