Band 9 in IELTS Writing


  • Do lots of research
  • Read more than you write
  • Understand what the band descriptors really mean
  • Mental ceiling may prevent you from trying to get a higher score
  • Improving takes time and practice
  • I have checked God knows how many essays (500? 1000?) and now I understand exactly what examiners do/think, so I trained myself to do what they expect. A lot of the things I do happen subconsciously.


Before I start:

  • Read carefully and highlight the key points.
  • Plan my ideas (5-7 minutes)


My Essay

Introduction: (3-4 min)

  • Do not overthink the paraphrase part
  • Clear position
  • Introduce main ideas briefly
  • Nothing special
Main body paragraphs:
  • 3 MB paragraphs with one paragraph introducing a possible point for disagreement and then refuting it with a strong counter-argument
  • I check the paragraphs with the criteria from band descriptors in mind.
Conclusion: (1-2 min)
  • Clear position
  • Summary of main ideas
  • Do not include any new ideas
  • Nothing special


Editing and proof-reading:

  • This phase is a must for bands 8.0-9.0
  • You can’t afford silly mistakes with spelling, word formation, punctuation, tenses, prepositions and etc.

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