How I Got IELTS Band 9 Overall & 8.5 in Writing (and how you can too!)

Struggling to score IELTS Band 7, 8 or 9? Most people (including native speakers) get stuck with Band 6 in writing after repeat attempts. Make your preparation count - get at-home IELTS exam preparation from the best online writing tutors and start scoring 7+ in IELTS!

Read on for IELTS tips in General Training Writing Task 1 & Task 2 from an IELTS Band 9 scorer (includes essay samples).


How to Get a Good IELTS Band Score (7+)

We all know that to improve, we need to fix up our weaknesses. But that’s easier said than done. Most times, it’s hard to know what our weaknesses are unless someone points them out to us.

Sometimes, people don’t know what’s holding them back, even after they’ve done the IELTS exam 5 times, scoring the same Band 6 score!

Like this person:

I did the IELTS general training test and got an overall Band Score of 9 on the first attempt. Here are my IELT individual test band scores: writing 8.5, listening 8.5, reading 9, speaking 9.

How did I get those scores, on the first attempt?

Because it really wasn’t my first attempt, I had prepared beforehand. My first attempt (in the exam) was actually my 28th attempt when you include all the practice beforehand at home!

Like you, when I started on my IELTS test preparation, the amount of information was overwhelming and it was… scattered everywhere in no particular order. There were sample essays, sample questions and thousands of them. I didn’t know where to start and it was stressful and frustrating!

So, I turned to someone I knew who had done the test before (who aced it!) to help guide me in each of the components, step-by-step.

For writing, I wrote essays on sample questions and got expert video feedback/corrections to help me understand where I was losing marks. And each time I submitted another essay, I’d receive tips designed solely for me so I improved my score each time. I knew where I was losing marks and was told what to do to fix it!

For reading and listening, because they were ‘passive’ tests, I did the free preparation provided by IELTS Australia. And strategically, to do well in these tests, you need to note down key information.

For listening, I downloaded questions and recorded my responses. My expert online IELTS tutor helped me to expand my responses and to correct the pronunciation of certain words.

In a nutshell, that’s how I got an overall IELTS band score of 9. It’s simple preparation, but with expert help along the way, from someone who has gotten Band 7+ before.



IELTS At-Home Test Practice (with help of an expert online tutor) for General Training Writing Tasks 1 & 2 (with Essay Samples)

If you have already sat the IELTS test and received a low score, do not despair! Once you know what the assessors and markers are looking for, and what to practice, you will be able to improve your score the next time you sit the test.

How can you prepare? It’s simple. Start by writing your first essay and then pay for your scoring & 5 to 10-minute video feedback (the feedback video includes corrections).

Here’s an example of what that scoring and video feedback/corrections looks like:



You can get started with these 2 free similar-to-the-real IELTS General Training Task 1 & 2 sample questions that I sat (in 2019) along with the sample essays. The quality of these sample essays helped me score 8.5 in writing:


Task 1 - IELTS Writing Topic with Answer (Sample Band 8 Essay)


Writing Question

You have moved abroad for a new job. Write a letter to your friend to provide an update. In your letter, describe life in your new country, provide details about your new role and make arrangements for your friend to visit.

You should write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear …,

Sample Essay

Dear Priti,

Hope you’ve been well! I’m writing to you from Hong Kong where I have been living for the past two weeks. So far, living here has been amazing! Hong Kong is an island unlike any other—the skyline is utterly mesmerizing with towering skyscrapers in the foreground and tropical greenery and mountains in the background. Adjusting to life here has been easier than I initially thought due to the convenience of retailers being open around the clock.

This ‘open-all-hours’ attitude also extends to the work ethic in Hong Kong. I started working as a senior associate at Murs & Opal a week ago. It’s a full service international law firm with headquarters in Detroit, a city in the US. I’m working in the mergers and acquisitions division and it is quite standard for all associates to work 21 hours a day.

However, in the last two weeks of October, I will be on leave and would love to show you the sights around Hong Kong. If you are free, there are daily flights that leave Melbourne and you’ll be able to stay at my place. As you know, my cooking isn’t culinary standard, but I know a few excellent restaurants that you’ll certainly enjoy.

Let me know if you can visit and until we see each other again, take care of yourself.

Warm regards,
Mohil.

Task 2 - IELTS Writing Topic with Answer (Sample Band 8 Essay)


Writing Question

People often try to look younger than they really are. Do you think that this is a good thing/bad thing? What reasons do people have for doing this?

Write at least 250 words.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Sample Essay

The emerging age of beauty products, skincare, plastic surgery, and obsessive gym routines denotes the scrambling effort of generations to appear younger, healthier, and more attractive than they are. While the media does generate unrealistic and damaging beauty standards within our society, criticisms of vanity in response to those curating a better appearance neglect to consider the resultant health benefits and mental improvement.

The increasing pressure on individuals to look and appear younger and better is evidenced by the myriad of ways that individuals attempt to keep up with societal standards. While some methods such as plastic surgery may be less beneficial to the body, others like haircare, skincare, and regular exercise provide many benefits. Subsequently, in attempting to look younger, people often improve their body, skin, health, and fitness.

An individual’s desire to look younger and better is often driven by the crushing standards of modern beauty and the intense fear of aging and subsequent death. This societal pressure weighs heavily on individuals and can often cause them to feel self-conscious and undesirable. Therefore, the ability to use their own bodily autonomy to improve their appearance can often strengthen their mindset, self-confidence, and outlook on life. Outer appearance can often reflect our own mental state, and those who spend time dedicated to selfcare are often happier and less self-conscious.

Therefore, until society stops presenting unachievable ideals of beauty, those striving to reach these goals in looking younger and more attractive can reap the benefits by an improvement in the health of their body and mind.

We recommend you start preparation at least a month before you sit the test if you are a native speaker with a solid grasp of grammar and the English language.

This will give you enough time to familiarise yourself with the structure of the test and learn what the markers expect from you in each section. If you’re not a native English speaker or your grasp of the basics in the English language needs improvement, you may need longer to prepare.

Ready to start getting IELTS 7+ in Writing?



Not yet ready to start your first essay?

Then, let’s go through what you need to know about your test format, questions and time limit.


IELTS Writing Task 1 - format, questions, time limit


The writing component of IELTS is split into 2 sections. In IELTS Writing Task 1, you will be presented with a situation. You will then be asked to personally respond to this situation by writing a letter which explains the situation or requests more information regarding the situation. The letter may be formal, semi-formal or informal. You will be told what information needs to be included in your response.

For example, you may be asked to write a letter to your landlord requesting permission to have a pet on your property.

In your letter, you may be asked to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain why you want a pet
  • Request written permission from your landlord

The style of your letter (formal, semi-formal or informal) will be based on who you are writing to. If you are asked to write a letter to a friend, you would write informally. In a letter to your landlord or to a business, you would be expected to write in a more formal manner.

You should write at least 150 words, or you will be marked down.

You will have 1 hour to complete both tasks. How much time you spend on each task is your choice, however, it is recommended that you do not spend more than 20 minutes on task 1. This is because your score from task 2 counts for more of your overall mark.

What You're Assessed On (How Your Band Score is Determined)

For Writing Task 1, you will be assessed on four criteria:

IELTS Writing Task 2 - format, questions, time limit


In Writing Task 2, you will be given a problem, argument or viewpoint. From this, you may be asked to discuss various positions, provide information or present a solution or opinion and give your reasoning for this. Task 2 is generally written in a formal manner.

For example, you may be given a statement like:

Some people believe following a vegetarian diet is healthier than following an omnivorous diet, while others believe that eating meat is essential for human growth.

You may then be asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each diet. You would be expected to provide comprehensive reasoning and relevant evidence or examples. You may also be asked to provide your own opinion on the matter.

In task 2, you are expected to write at least 250 words. It is recommended that you allocate 40 minutes to this task.

What You're Assessed On (How Your Band Score is Determined)

In Writing Task 2, you will be marked in a similar manner as Writing Task 1. However, instead of task achievement, you will be assessed on how well you respond to the set task.

While these criteria may sound complex, with the right preparation you will be able to score highly in all areas!

Over 2 million people take the test every year. While it’s not a competition, you are more likely to get a visa or offer if you score higher than other people. IELTS does recommend you prepare for your test, and you can guarantee most people will do some form of preparation. If you want to SCORE HIGH then you need to prepare.

Preparation can seem daunting, but that’s why we have prepared materials to make sure you ace the writing tests.

Read on for some of our EXPERT APPROVED strategies to help you score high on the IELTS test…



Strategies to ACE your IELTS Writing Tasks 1 & 2

You only have 1 hour to write two writing pieces, and it can be hard to manage your time successfully!

But... time management is crucial in allowing you to produce IELTS Band 7+ level essays in a short time frame.

And being able to write in the time limit requires practice and a set process of: plan, write, review. See more strategies below...


Write in the appropriate style


If the style you write in does not match the information given to you, it is unlikely you will receive a high score. In Task 1, think about who you are addressing and answer accordingly. Task 2 will generally be written in a formal manner regardless of the prompt given, but you are expected to paragraph your response and have a correct structure.

Don’t write too little or too much!


Writing less than 150 words in Task 1 or 250 words in Task 2 will mean you are penalised. Too few words also mean it is unlikely you have properly addressed each part of the question. However, if you write too much you risk running out of time and it may mean you have unnecessary and distracting information. For Task 1, aim to write between 150-200 words. For Task 2, aim for 250-400.

Organise your ideas & only keep that which is on topic


Responses which include dot points or note formats will also be penalised. Your ideas should be connected and communicated in a comprehensive manner. Start by using the 2-3 requirements in the question and plan (in one sentence) so that each point represents 1 paragraph. Check to make sure your point relates to the topic.

Grammar and vocabulary


In both tasks, you will be expected to demonstrate a diverse understanding of the English vocabulary and use a range of grammatical devices. More complex and varied language will result in higher scores.

Now, let’s get started… see what IELTS test preparation options are available to help you get Band 7+


Online Writing Practice for IELTS (with Essay Corrections Video) - 1 essay

Get online preparation for your IELTS general training writing test (task 1 & 2) with expert essay feedback (tutor with IELTS Band 8+ in writing) and scoring to help you on your way to achieve a high IELTS band score!

In this package, you’ll be able to find out if your writing is likely to score a good band score and what to do exactly to improve your writing, step-by-step.

You’ll practice your writing on writing topics (that are allocated to you in your learning plan) and will be able to submit 1 essay for scoring and for video corrections from an expert tutor.

The scoring gives you insight into the likely score you would get for your essay. It uses our proprietary 52-point scoring system so that you can get a better idea of how your essay will score in the real exam.

The corrections video is 5-10 minutes long and helps you to understand where in your writing you’re losing marks and most importantly, what to do to gain that higher IELTS band score. Video essay feedback is provided by tutors who have sat IELTS previously and who have obtained an IELTS writing score of 8 or above.

The cycle for this writing club is 93 days. This means that you have up to 93 days from the date of activation to submit your set number of essays for scoring and feedback.

Note well that this plan does not include tutor-led writing club sessions or masterclass videos. The scoring & video feedback is available only while your writing club is active and expires (do not carry over) once your writing club subscription ends.

What happens after you purchase?

First, check your email for log in details. You’ll then be able to log in and access a set of questions to activate your writing club. Once your writing club has been activated, you’ll complete an essay from your learning plan and request scoring and feedback. We’ll return you your score and feedback based on the essay return days. And then, you continue on writing the next prompt, incorporating all the learning you’ve gained to improve your score each time!

$AU33.00
The price above is inclusive of 10% GST. If you are purchasing for use outside of Australia, at checkout, you'll be charged the amount without GST
$AU33.00 per cycle
Online Writing Practice for IELTS (with Essay Corrections Video) - 5 essays package

Get online preparation for your IELTS general training writing test (task 1 & 2) with expert essay feedback (tutor with IELTS Band 8+ in writing) and scoring to help you on your way to achieve a high IELTS band score!

In this package, you’ll be able to find out if your writing is likely to score a good band score and what to do exactly to improve your writing, step-by-step.

You’ll practice your writing on writing topics (that are allocated to you in your learning plan) and will be able to submit up to 5 essays for scoring and for video corrections from an expert tutor.

The scoring gives you insight into the likely score you would get for your essay. It uses our proprietary 52-point scoring system so that you can get a better idea of how your essay will score in the real exam.

The corrections video is 5-10 minutes long and helps you to understand where in your writing you’re losing marks and most importantly, what to do to gain that higher IELTS band score. Video essay feedback is provided by tutors who have sat IELTS previously and who have obtained an IELTS writing score of 8 or above.

The cycle for this writing club is 93 days. This means that you have up to 93 days from the date of activation to submit your set number of essays for scoring and feedback.

Note well that this plan does not include tutor-led writing club sessions or masterclass videos. The scoring & video feedback is available only while your writing club is active and expires (do not carry over) once your writing club subscription ends.

What happens after you purchase?

First, check your email for log in details. You’ll then be able to log in and access a set of questions to activate your writing club. Once your writing club has been activated, you’ll complete an essay from your learning plan and request scoring and feedback. We’ll return you your score and feedback based on the essay return days. And then, you continue on writing the next prompt, incorporating all the learning you’ve gained to improve your score each time!

$AU143.00
The price above is inclusive of 10% GST. If you are purchasing for use outside of Australia, at checkout, you'll be charged the amount without GST
$AU143.00 per cycle
Online Writing Practice for IELTS (with Essay Corrections Video) - 15 essays package

Get online preparation for your IELTS general training writing test (task 1 & 2) with expert essay feedback (tutor with IELTS Band 8+ in writing) and scoring to help you on your way to achieve a high IELTS band score!

In this package, you’ll be able to find out if your writing is likely to score a good band score and what to do exactly to improve your writing, step-by-step.

You’ll practice your writing on writing topics (that are allocated to you in your learning plan) and will be able to submit up to 15 essays for scoring and for video corrections from an expert tutor.

The scoring gives you insight into the likely score you would get for your essay. It uses our proprietary 52-point scoring system so that you can get a better idea of how your essay will score in the real exam.

The corrections video is 5-10 minutes long and helps you to understand where in your writing you’re losing marks and most importantly, what to do to gain that higher IELTS band score. Video essay feedback is provided by tutors who have sat IELTS previously and who have obtained an IELTS writing score of 8 or above.

The cycle for this writing club is 93 days. This means that you have up to 93 days from the date of activation to submit your set number of essays for scoring and feedback.

Note well that this plan does not include tutor-led writing club sessions or masterclass videos. The scoring & video feedback is available only while your writing club is active and expires (do not carry over) once your writing club subscription ends.

What happens after you purchase?

First, check your email for log in details. You’ll then be able to log in and access a set of questions to activate your writing club. Once your writing club has been activated, you’ll complete an essay from your learning plan and request scoring and feedback. We’ll return you your score and feedback based on the essay return days. And then, you continue on writing the next prompt, incorporating all the learning you’ve gained to improve your score each time!

$AU385.00
The price above is inclusive of 10% GST. If you are purchasing for use outside of Australia, at checkout, you'll be charged the amount without GST
$AU385.00 per cycle

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