IELTS Energy 660: Why Did You Get a 5 on IELTS Writing?

Do you keep getting stuck at a 5 on your IELTS Writing test?

How can you score above a 5 and move past IELTS the next time you take the exam?

We give you all of the tips and advice that you need to get there in today’s episode.

Here is the question from our listener on our IELTS Energy TV You Tube Channel.

“Hello Jessica I took IELTS two weeks ago and I only got a 5 in Writing. i thought I prepared very well but the results shocked me and I don’t even know what mistakes I made. There might be many terrible mistakes but I can’t think of what they are. Can you please guide me. I always listen to your podcasts through Podcast Addict. I strongly believe you can help me with this. I am from Nepal.”

There are so many reasons why this student could have gotten a 5. If you are a 3 Keys student you can always look at our bonus chart which shows you what the Examiner is looking for.

The reason this student got a 5 could be the Task score. In Writing Task 1 if you have too many numbers, no numbers, or no overall trend then it’s probably a 5. Even to just get a 6 you must state an overall trend.

It all comes down to the preparation and knowing what the Examiner wants.

When it comes to Writing Task 2 you would get a 5 if you went off topic but more often the candidate does not address all parts of the question. Be careful because you may find mixed questions and also questions that have two topics. You have to explore both of them. In this case you can just talk about each topic in a separate paragraph.


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For cohesion/coherence you want to make sure you have a variety of linking words. Often in the letter for the General Exam students don’t use linking words. They may continue to say “also” and don’t use anything new. If you repeat linking words or don’t use enough of them your score goes down to a 5.

When it comes to vocabulary you can get a 5 if you have too many spelling mistakes. Reading is a great way to improve your spelling. Go here for more resources on how to improve spelling.

For grammar if you have too many simple sentences or if you don’t have enough sentences you get a 5 or if every sentence has a mistake you get a 5. Just throw in a few conditionals, a few relative clauses, and you will be able to get a 6 or higher. Click here to learn more about IELTS grammar.

What should you do next?

Get a guaranteed score increase in our 3 Keys IELTS course. Get started with your study plan today by going here now.