Many students ask me if their cause is helped by using ‘difficult’ words and knowing a lot of them. To them I say that it doesn’t really matter if you know 500, 1500 or even 15000 words. It is a matter of how you use them. And by the way, what is the aim of communication, whether written or oral? You must agree that it is to make your readers/listeners understand your exact message, right? In IELTS you will not be writing for an academic audience. You are not expected to write like that wonderful writer, James Joyce? Have you even attempted to read Ulysses? Read it. And then go through Ernest Hemingway, or Paulo Coelho, or maybe Richard Bach. You will understand what I mean.

Can we even hope to use language the way these great men did or regularly do? Of course not. So what’s the way out? The following may help you. At least, my students regularly benefit from practicing them in their writing tasks:

  1. Be simple. The simpler-sounding you are, the higher you’ll score. But it is very difficult. Simplicity begets elegance and grace. Have you ever ‘opined’ in your ‘epistle’? Christ! Don’t even think of dreaming to do this.
  2. Be relevant. Answer the question/s or opinion asked. Be to the point. You have never been interested in someone else’s long-winded responses, have you? Then why should you be surprised if they return the favour?
  3. Avoid repetitions, use loose synonyms. I know you love your job, but the job here is not as good as the job you will be able to get if you apply for a job abroad, isn’t it? And do you know, yesterday I saw a saw that couldn’t saw….What do you think of it? 🙂

These, among a few others, are the most important features of any high-scoring writing. Try it and let me know.

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