If you’ve got an English exam coming up soon, you’re probably starting to think about any extra tips or tricks that might help you on the big day! Perhaps you’re thinking about how to improve your English speaking, how to improve your English vocabulary or even how to improve your English grammar!
So, you're already writing. But, you are wondering, how to improve your writing skills. To help you, here are some tips you can adopt in your writing process to help you improve your writing and become more confident.
The following tips will be useful for any English exam like Cambridge Advanced, IELTS, Cambridge First (FCE) or perhaps you’re taking a business English course and are interested in the Linguaskill exam - either way the tips below should help!
The number one tip of course when it comes to English writing is PRACTICE – practice make perfect and even if your writing doesn’t reach perfection, practice will certainly make it better!!
Clear communication is generally the goal for real-life English writing - not absolute perfection – your emails at work may have a spelling error or two especially if you’re typing quickly but as long as the message is clear, all is well ! However, when we come to exams and exam writing, our focus is somewhat different - we want to know how to write well in English, how to score higher in IELTS writing test, or perhaps how to impress the Cambridge examiner!
Here are some of our top tips from teacher and students on how to improve your writing for exams:
1. Organise your work
Unlike English conversation class where other people can see your face, gestures and understand your intended meaning, writing is quite different. We must use every means we can to ensure our ideas and points are logically presented.
In short, we must write well, but also make our writing easy to read! This is why being aware of text conventions is so important and asking ourselves:
How is this kind of text usually organised?
Are paragraphs used?
Are headings necessary?
In this way we can present our writing in the expected format. This is very easy to do, but perhaps because people are under exam conditions, sometimes people forget the easy things like using paragraphs!
Another point to consider, for example in essay writing, is knowing how to develop your point. Rather than having too many ideas in a paragraph, it’s often better to develop one idea and give supporting examples before moving on to a new paragraph.
The best way to achieve this is by spending a few minutes planning before you begin to write:
- Get your ideas and thoughts together first
- Take a deep breath
Again this will make it much easier to read your essay and with exam writing, we want to keep our examiner as happy as possible, right?