How to Edit Your IELTS Essays
Many people find IELTS writing difficult because of the time pressure. You only have 60 minutes to write two essays. Consequently, many students fail to edit or if they do, they do it incorrectly. Here are some ways on how you can correctly edit your essays and manage your time better.
1. Check 2 to 3 minutes before the time.
It is very important that you spend the last few minutes of your time to check your work. Do it at the end so that you can read the complete essay and check your work for grammatical errors as well as for coherence. On the other hand, it can be harder to check for errors for a long essay.
If you have a strong foundation in grammar, then this style could work for you.
2. Check your essay while writing.
Another way is to check your work while writing your essay. An advantage of this strategy is that you can easily spot your errors in shorter paragraphs compared to a long essay.
If you make a lot of grammar errors, this approach would be recommended for you so that you can easily find your mistakes.
3. Check during and after writing the essay.
This is the ideal approach since you can spot easily the errors and this allows you to check for coherence. However, this can be time consuming since you are checking your essay twice.
Here are some tips on how you can check your essay:
Make sure you check with your pen so that you can see it word per word. You can easily spot what you think you have written and not what you wrote. Reading with a pen is a nice way of checking slowly which ensures that you have read every word.
Read in sentences and not by word. When we read word per word, sometimes we think that the sentence is correct because there are no grammar errors. However, we missed out on the meaning of the sentence which doesn’t make any sense.
Another thing you should keep in mind is to know what to check. There are many different areas that you should check for. Have a list of your common errors. Because you might not have enough time to check all grammar parts. If you are looking for a specific thing, you can easily find it.
Some grammar points that you should look for are the following:
1. Tenses: Make sure that you use consistent tenses and if you are doing graphs, it should match the time stamp in the graph.
2. Articles: This is a very common error in writing. If you’re aiming for a band 7, then you must have most sentences correct.
3. Subject-verb agreement: Remember, singular subjects need singular verbs while plural subjects need plural verbs. This is a very common mistake even for smart students. Examiners can give you a low mark if you make this mistake a lot.
4. Parts of speech: Many students commit a lot of mistakes in these. They make adjectives into adverbs and nouns into verbs.
5. Sentence structures: Don’t use all simple sentences. Try to vary your sentence structures by using compound and complex sentences.
Another thing you should watch out for is vocabulary. Try to avoid repeating the same words in the sentences. Use paraphrases. Check also your spelling of words. Some people also become too wordy in their sentences. Try to avoid technical jargon and clichés in your sentences. Don’t try to use very simple words.