How to Maximize your time during your IELTS Writing Module?

Timing is important in the writing section of the IELTS exam. Many can execute the two tasks brilliantly when they haven’t a deadline, but the one-hour time limit on test day is a challenge. It’s a good idea to learn how to use those minutes well so you can complete the tasks and keep your scores up.

It’s easy to divide the time between the assignments based on length and weight of score. Whether you are writing the Academic or the General test, you will be required to complete two writing tasks in one hour. If you are writing the academic test, Task 1 is a 150-word report, and Task 2 is a 250-word essay. For the general, it’s a 150-word letter and a 250-word essay. The essay is more important, so spend more time on it, giving yourself 20 minutes for task 1 and 40 for Task 2.

More specifically, your timelines might look like this:

TASK Analyze and Plan Write Revise
1 3 minutes 10 minutes 2 minutes
2 5 minutes 30 minutes 5 minutes

Now, some of you will walk into the test knowing these details but still will be unable to finish. So, to help you out, we’re going to give more specific advice and resources so you can learn how to work proficiently within the time frame.

Here are four things you should know:

  • KNOW HOW TO ANALYZE THE QUESTION: Use your first few minutes to entirely understand what the task requires. Smart candidates are already acquainted with the various question types and how to answer them. To learn about the questions, invest in some IELTS preparation books.
  • KNOW HOW TO PLAN YOUR WRITING: The reports and letters have common outline techniques. For the essay, using five minutes to briefly plan out your writing is such a time saver in the long run. You don’t want to be stressing out for ideas and deviating as time passes and pressure mounts.
  • KNOW WHAT AND HOW TO REVISE: Chances are if you don’t already know your weaknesses, you will perhaps miss them when you proofread your paper. Knowing that you often forget articles, for example, can save you time because by separating one or two types of common errors, you are more likely to catch and change them. Being self-aware can save you valuable time in the end. This is true for word counts as well. To make sure you have met the length requirement,be prepared by knowing how many words you usually write in two lines. Counting lines in place of words can help to save time.
  • KNOW WHAT THE TIME LIMIT FEELS LIKE: I suggest that you complete more than a few practice tests using the 1-hour timing. You probably won’t be able to finish the first few tests in an hour, but ultimately, you will become conditioned to end on time.

You must always aim to use your time wisely and you’ll be getting the scores you desire. Good luck!