How To Increase Your Writing Speed For IELTS

If you do not write enough words in either Part 1 (150 words) or Part 2 (250 words) of the IELTS writing test you will get a lower band score in the ‘Task Achievement’ category and you have less chance to show off how good your writing is.

Here is one technique you can use to gradually increase your writing speed for IELTS.

The BIG Mistake!

But first, make sure you are not making this one common mistake. When you do your Task 2 essays, do you plan your answer?

If the answer is ‘no, I don’t plan’, then this may well be what is stopping you from writing fast enough. If you do not plan then it means you have to write and think about what you are writing at the same time.

This slows candidates down and also causes them to make more mistakes, after all it is difficult to do one more than one thing at a time!

By planning your answer, by making a few simple bullet point notes of your ideas and paragraph structure all you then need to do is follow that plan. This allows you to focus totally on the writing.

This one thing can speed your writing up and improve its quality straightaway.

Super Speed Special Technique…

If you try that and still find that you struggle to write fast enough then try this technique below:

Firstly, choose a topic you are already familiar with or have studied recently. Preferably, one that often comes up in the IELTS test, such as ‘The Environment’ (see a list of IELTS topics here).

Secondly, time yourself for two minutes and write as much as you can about that topic in that time. Do not worry about accuracy at this stage, just write. In fact, try not to even think as you write, just try to let your ideas flow through to your hand writing.

Next, count your words. How many have you managed to write in the 2 minutes? Use this as a target for your next attempt, this is useful for motivation and to monitor your progress.

Finally, re-read your writing and correct any of your grammatical errors. Ideally, ask a teacher to mark it.

Repeat this often with different topics and gradually increase the time limit.  You might choose to jump up to 5 minutes and then 10 and then 20 minutes.

It is recommended that after you can write 140 or more words about a topic in 20 minutes, you should then move on to writing Task 2 style essays. These require more structure and thought but your writing will now be at a high enough speed to be able to cope better with these.

Do YOU Get Lost In Translation?

One further point of note is that you should avoid translating in your head into your own native language as much as possible.

Translating a sentence or word into your own language, then thinking in your own language for an answer/translation and then converting this back into English takes time and will slow your thinking down and therefore your writing too.

Furthermore, language translations are often inaccurate, you would better to be guessing a word from its context or using synonyms and paraphrasing in English rather than reverting to your own native language.

Allowing time at the beginning of the test to plan your answers might sound like it will make your essays take longer.

However, once you have planned your answers then you will save time later as you won’t have to keep stopping and thinking about the next paragraph, you can simply focus on the writing.

One final point to think about is that of your writing style. Does it physically take you longer than others to write? If so, have a look at how other faster writers do it differently.

I for example, write faster when I write in joined up hand writing on a slant like this, perhaps this is something you can experiment with, just make sure your writing is still easy to read for the examiner!

Any more suggestions please comment below….