Top 6 Tips to Get Band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2

10 April, 2024
parthiva mewawala

Writing is one of the more challenging sections of IELTS to score a high band. Apart from the overall cutoff, many prestigious programs also have sectional cutoffs that require you to achieve at least 6 or 7 bands in all the sections. While most students comfortably ace the listening, reading, and speaking sections, writing is where they stumble. As one of the harder sections of IELTS, you need concerted practice and a dedicated strategy to do well on it. 

IELTS writing is made of of two tasks:


  1. Task 1 – The first task is the easier of the two. You’ll need to write a report on the data presented to you. Generally, students are given around 20 minutes to attempt this section. 
  2. Task 2 – This task, lasting almost 40 minutes, is an essay writing one. You’ll be presented with a statement with multiple parts and asked to write your opinion on it. 


In this blog, we will focus on producing an excellent response to the second task since it accounts for most of the marks.


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What are the different marking criteria for IELTS writing task 2?


All essays are graded in four categories:


  • Task response 


Whether you’ve adequately addressed all the parts of the question with relevant examples and valid evidence. 


  • Coherence and cohesion 


Whether your ideas flow sequentially and cohesively from one to the next. 


  • Lexical resource


The width of your range of vocabulary and phrase formation. 


  • Grammatical range and accuracy 


The ability to formulate grammatically correct sentences in a variety of structures. 


What are the different types of IELTS writing task 2 topics and prompts?


Now that you understand how you’ll be marked let’s look at different task prompts and how to address them adequately enough for an eight band. 


  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? 


This one-part question requires you to formulate your opinion and substantiate it with deserving arguments. You can agree, disagree, or support both equally as long as you have the evidence to back up your answer. 


  • Discuss both views and give your opinion. 


It’s a three-part question – start with explaining both the presented viewpoints and then move on to explaining your opinion with cogent arguments. 


  • Why is this so? Give reasons for this and solutions. 


This is another three-part question. You need to present a position explaining the status quo and follow it up with the reasons and related solutions. 


  • Do the disadvantages of this outweigh the advantages?


This question will have two parts – first, you state your position clearly and then list the reasons behind your belief. 


  • Why is this so? What effect does it have on the individual and society? 


In three parts, you need to explain the reasoning behind the statement, explain its effects on society, and go on to talk about its impact on the individual. 


Tips for scoring IELTS writing task 2 band 8


Carefully understand the question 

Do read the question thoroughly. Break it down into parts and answer each individually before combining them. 


While writing, ensure your ideas closely relate to the central topic and support your position well. Use examples to add more weight to your arguments. 


Just ensure that you don’t end up over-generalising or using poor examples. 

Create a framework for your essay 

Before you even begin answering, bring out the rough sheet and dump all your ideas onto it. Then arrange these ideas into a working framework that addresses all the parts of the question. Once you have a skeleton in hand, it’ll be that much easier to flesh out. 

Organise your ideas logically

Refrain from stating your ideas haphazardly. While creating the framework, check whether your ideas naturally progress from the introduction to the conclusion. 


Use linking words, adverbial phrases, and sequential linkers to connect your ideas to one another. Try building on one central idea with arguments that project outwards while remaining grounded in the main theme. 

Break the flow into paragraphs 

An ideal 8-band essay will have at least four paragraphs. But paragraphs need to be separated at the right junctures while still remaining linked with one another. 


You can use the PEEL framework to get this sorted. 


  • P or Point – Introduce your topic sentence. 
  • E or Example – Use examples to support your point. 
  • E or Explain – How does the evidence support your point? 
  • L or Link – Seamlessly transition to the next paragraph. 


Use powerful words the right way

The IELTS does not encourage using words that you’re not comfortable with. Using high-level vocabulary just for the sake of it will reflect poorly on your efforts. Instead, expand your lexicon library and improve fluency through regular usage. That way, you’ll be able to fit in those words where necessary naturally. 


Another factor that is encouraged by the IELTS is efficiency, i.e., using fewer words where fewer words will suffice. Precise word choices and targeted phrases will fetch you more points. 

Compare your final submission to this checklist


Use this checklist to confirm whether you’ve done well enough to score an eight band on the IELTS writing task 2. 


  • Task response 


  • Did you answer all the parts? 
  • Are your ideas directly related to the topic? 
  • Did you over-generalise? 
  • Did you make your position clear?
  • Did you use concrete examples? 
  • Did you write more than 250 words?


  • Coherence and cohesion 


  • Are your ideas easy to follow? 
  • Is the progression from the introduction to the conclusion clear? 
  • Did you use linking words and phrases? 
  • Did you avoid repetition? 
  • Did you break it into paragraphs? 
  • Did you represent only one idea per paragraph? 


  • Lexical resource 


  • Did you use a wide range of vocabulary? 
  • Were your word choices precise? 
  • Did you use and spell appropriate uncommon words? 
  • Did you check for typos? 


  • Grammatical range and accuracy 


  • Did you mix up the sentence structure? 
  • Did you avoid long, complex sentences? 
  • Are your sentences grammatically correct? 
  • Is your punctuation solid? 

Armed with these tips, you’ll have a distinct advantage and a better chance of scoring that elusive eight bands score in IELTS writing task 2. But if you still need to figure it out, you could always sign up for the 18-hour IELTS Live program by IMS India. With over 1000 practice questions and five full-length mock tests, you’ll also get access to our admission expertise sessions to equip you with all the information you need about admissions, alums, and scholarships. With IMS, you won’t just score well on the IELTS but also get armed with powerful info to secure your admission to the most prestigious programs abroad.