Don’t write long essays! Prashant scores band 8 with only 263 words.

Did you think you needed to write more than 300 words to score well on Task 2 of your writing exam?  Think again!  Prashant hit band 8 with only 263 words, and he argues that being concise is the key.  Listen to my chat with him by clicking here.

Background on this episode: Prashant and I had been working together online for several weeks prior to his exam.  He is a very talented writer but was held back by little grammatical and lexical issues.  After cleaning these areas up, he rocketed from band 6.5 to 8!  What a success story!

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Go get those 9s!

About Ryan

I have been developing online IELTS training resources for over 10 years. For more information about me and how I can help your preparation for the IELTS, please email me:
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13 Responses to Don’t write long essays! Prashant scores band 8 with only 263 words.

  1. Raj says:

    That was really great advice to listen .

    Thank you .

  2. Sonni says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I gave IELTS 5 times. Everytime my result varied as following:

    Listening: 8.5-9
    Reading: 8-9
    Writing:6.5-7.5, mostly 7
    Speaking:7.5-8 mostly 8

    I am in huge trouble as I need 8 each for applying my PR and I do not have much time left. I have booked my next exam on 25th August – so just 9 days to go. Is there anything that I can do in a week to excel to Band 8 in Writing.
    I would really appreciate any guidance from your side.

    Thank you Ryan for all the resources you provide. IELTS CAST is very inspirational. Thanks again.

    – Sonni

  3. Sonni says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I just want to add to my 1st comment that I have never practised Listening or Reading, but still I get 8.5 or 9 every time. I usually finish my Reading before time (General – in 30 mins and Academic – 40 mins).

    I have never tried very hard for Speaking too. As I mentioned before, I got 8 for the last two exams and other 2 times 7.5 and only 1 time 7. I try to have a look at what topics are asked in recent exams and that’s all about it.

    After getting such good score for other modules, it is very disappointing when writing makes it really tough to clear the exam. Although I tried practising few questions after I visited your blog, I think I need more practise.
    Please help me by suggesting something that you think might help me.

    Thank you Ryan. Your blog is immensely helpful and I just wish it will assist me to achieve my desired score.

    (From India, Currently in Australia)

    • Ryan says:

      @Sonni Those marks are very impressive. The writing mark is curious, though. How are your structuring your essay?

      @Raj Thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you found my talk with Prashant helpful.

  4. Sonni says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for your reply.

    After going through your videos and your blog, I realized that I write very long essays. I guess because of that the quality of my vocabulary is diluted and the whole thing becomes very descriptive. (I love describing things.!!) As a result of that 60 mins are just enough for me to write both tasks, without giving me any time to review them.

    Somehow at present I am finding it very difficult to write concisely. I need to change my style in a week. However, I am glad that the 4 paragraph structure is same as yours. Now I am practising the 4 sentence structure, but there is still some struggle for the best vocabulary and phrases. I just wish I could use the best appropriate as well as accurate vocabulary for a Band 8 level score. Normally my vocabulary is very good. I have never come across a word in listening or reading for which I have to look in the dictionary. Unfortunately, my essay is poor in certain areas which drags me down.

    Sometimes I think I am not performing to my level.

    Thank you very much Ryan. Your resources are great!!! I thiink you are the best IELTS instructor online.

    Thanks & Regards,

  5. sonni says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for responding.

    I write 4 paragraphs similar to your style but I realized that I write very long essay. I think that makes the essay more descriptive and dilutes the quality of my vocabulary.

    I understand each and every word in listening and reading but somehow I am not using my resources in writing exam.

    Hope I clear the exam on 25th August.

    I really appreciate your work and have complete faith that your instructions will help me to achieve my results.

    Thanks again.

    – Sonni.

  6. Halima says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I am going to take the IELTS test (academic module) in 2 weeks time. I have got difficulties with the reading task, how could I practise for it? Although, I need to know some phrases/ vocabularies for writing task 1.
    I did take the IELTS test before, but my score for reading was to less.

    Thank u Ryan.

  7. Sonni says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I have the same 4 paragraph structure but I am writing very long essays. I am not sure why but I think I am not using enough Band 8 vocabulary and phrases.

    I should shorten my essays and make them more concise.


    – Sonni

  8. gggg says:

    Hi Sonni, seems we are in the same boat. My exam is this Saturday. Would u mind posting ur results here once u got it? I truly feel the problem with my writing is also its structure….

  9. may says:

    hi ryan, i am scheduled to take the ielts academic this september 15, but i am not confident still with my writing. I need to get 7 for my writing. What books or tips can you recommend for me study for that short time period. Thank you

    • Ryan says:

      Hi May,

      1 week is not much time. Instead of books, I would recommend you get a private tutor. A private tutor can help you pinpoint exactly where to improve.

      Good luck,

  10. Sonni says:

    Hi gggg,

    I got my results.

    Listening:9, Reading:9, Writing & Speaking: 7.5

    I waiting for my result of another exam. It will be released on 13th sept. I ill let you know. Hope I will get 8 each this time.

    All the best to you.

  11. gggg says:

    Hi Sonni, I got my results too, after getting all modules 8, except for writing in which i’m still stuck on 6.5 (Mark didnt improve even by a little bit!), after strenuously following the sacred structure from here. I hope u have a better luck than me. Your marks definitely improve alot compared to mine.

    Sonni is it possible you would kindly share some tips to me, through skype perhaps? Please add my skype, search cloud_5566 u should only find one in sydney. See ya!

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