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Steps to Band 9 of IELTS Essay Writing

1. Overview
IELTS Writing Task 2 requires a test taker to write 250 words academic essay on a given topic in 40 minutes. To get a top score essay, like band 9 or band 8, you should finish the job perfectly with five steps.

Step 1: Analysis of the given question It would help if you understood the subject without any doubt and what the examiners are expecting. If your answer leaves the issue a little, you miss the chance to get top scores. So you need to identify the question type, keywords, and instructions to ensure that your understanding matches the essay's topic and requirement.

Step 2. Planning Band 9 essay must have a perfect structure. Test takers usually plan for up to 10 minutes to organize ideas and structure before writing to make a great essay.

Step 3. Introduction An introduction is a start to impress examiners to shoot band 9. Answer the question directly and tell the examiners your view or argument.

Step 4. Main Body Paragraphs Demonstrate your detail and logic, state your main points, and support explanations and relevant examples to build the top band essay's body.

Step 5. Conclusion Do you succeed in a band 9 essay? Provide an excellent summary of what you have already said is the last nail of your masterpiece. Never ignore it.

2. Band 9 Essay Criteria
In general, examiners check essays from 4 factors:
  • Task Response
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
Band 9 is the highest score of IELTS writing. It means test takers should avoid any tiny mistakes in any aspect. The key points are as below:
  • Fully addresses the task
  • Presents a fully developed position to the question with fully extended and supported ideas
  • Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention
  • Skilfully manages to paragraph
  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural control of lexical features
  • Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy
Actually, band 9 essays, of either academic or general tests, aren't impeccable. If you study them, you may see room to refine them. In other words, even if your essay has a few tiny defects, you still have a chance to get the top band. However, Rome wasn't built in a day; how do we achieve a band 9 essay step by step?

3. The Way to Get Band 9
For many IELTS test-takers, band 9 isn't a realistic goal. As a matter of fact, band 8, band 7, and even band 6 are also good scores and are acceptable in most cases. Compared with band 9 essays, their criteria are relatively broader and are easier to meet. Here we introduce respectively how to score them in brief and offer samples.

Starting from Band 6, you will see criteria for each level and sample essays selected accordingly. Studying them is a shortcut to sharpen your IELTS essay skill and get the top score step by step.

3.1 Band 6 Essay
Assessment criteria for Band 6 essay
  • Addresses all parts of the task, maybe unbalanced
  • Presents a relevant position, possibly unclear or repetitive
  • Arranges information and ideas coherently
  • Uses cohesive devices effectively
  • Uses paragraphing, but not always logically
  • Uses an adequate range of vocabulary
  • Attempts to use the less common vocabulary
  • Makes some errors in spelling and grammar, but do not impede communication
  • Uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms
Band 6 Essay Sample
Sample 1
Nowadays, celebrities are more famous for their glamour and wealth than their achievements, which has set a bad example for young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
It is acknowledged that celebrities play an important role in our society, and accordingly, they affect a large slice of people, especially young people. Although many celebrities these days have no achievements to be mentioned, their publicity has increased for their high-class lifestyle and glamour. I think half are ...
Sample 2
Fast food is becoming one part of life everywhere, this has bad effects on our lifestyles and diet. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
With the advent of globalization, modern people have begun to consume a large proportion of junk food, which has positive and negative effects. Though ready food provides various benefits for the modern generation, it has also come with significant environmental and health costs. Thus, I agree with the statement and ...
Sample 3
Many offenders commit more crimes after serving the first punishment. Why is this happening, and what measures can be taken to tackle this problem?
People believe that the majority of offenders restart crime even if they have to spend time in prison. There are umpteen reasons behind this notion. In the upcoming paragraphs, this essay will discuss the reason and take some measures to ameliorate this problem.
Undoubtedly, the predominant cause behind this issue ...
Sample 4
It is believed that secondary school children should study international news as one of their school subjects. Others think that this is a waste of valuable school time. Discuss both views and give your opinions.
In this globalizing world, some people think that international issues should be taught in high schools, while others believe that it would not be worth the time for children to study such a subject. As far as I am concerned, global issues should be incorporated into central subjects at high school to promote ...
Sample 5
Many people fail to achieve a balance between work and the other parts of life. What causes the situation? How to overcome this problem?
Achieving a balance between work and other aspects of life can be challenging for many people for various reasons. In the essay, I will present some obvious causes and discuss how to handle this puzzle.
The first is economic and living pressures. Societal and workplace expectations often create stress for ...
3.2 Band 7 Essay
Assessment criteria for Band 7 essay
  • Addresses all parts of the task
  • Presents a precise position throughout the response
  • Supports main ideas, logically organizes information and ideas
  • Uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately
  • Presents an exact central topic within each paragraph
  • Uses a sufficient range of vocabulary
  • uses less common lexical items
  • May produce occasional errors in word choice and spelling
  • Uses a variety of complex structures
  • Has good control of grammar
Sample 1
Some people think that all lawbreakers should be taken into prison. In contrast, others believe there are better alternatives (for example, doing work or learning skills in the community). Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Whether all lawbreakers should be taken to prison is a complex and debated issue. Some believe there are better alternatives, for example, doing work or learning skills in the community. The essay will discuss the views of two sides and state that either side has defects in dealing with lawbreaking in a just and ...
Sample 2
Nowadays, celebrities are more famous for their glamour and wealth than their achievements, which has set a bad example for young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Celebrities' behavior and influence on youngsters have increasingly become the focus of contemporary society. Though some modern stars' money and extravagant behavior could send a wrong message, they at the same time have the potential to be a role model for the young generation. I don't think they are bad examples for ...
Sample 3
Fast food is becoming one part of life everywhere, this has bad effects on our lifestyles and diet. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Over the years, people's lifestyles and diet habits have evolved due to the lack of time. It makes people depend on fast food, which deliriously affects their lives. I agree with this statement, and this essay will explain the reasons.
Even though these convenient foods are quick and easy to handle, they negatively ...
Sample 4
In both education and employment, some people work much harder than others. What makes people work harder than others? Is it always a good thing to work hard?
In today's contemporary era, the number of industrious individuals who devote a large amount of their time to success at work or study has increased. Because of several awards and incentives employees receive at their workplace and job satisfaction, they motivated themselves to work as hard as possible. Although ...
Sample 5
A family has a great influence on children's development, but the influence outside the home plays a bigger part in children's life. To what extent to you agree or disagee?
A child's life largely depends on the family and environment where the newborn is brought up in. While families play an unarguably vital role in inspiring children, I would firmly incline with the people who argue that the outside world greatly influences their development. There are manifold reasons for the former ...
3.3 Band 8 Essay
Assessment criteria for band 8 essay
  • Sufficiently addresses all parts of the task
  • Presents a well-developed response to the question
  • Sequences information and ideas logically
  • Manages all aspects of cohesion well
  • Uses paragraphing appropriately
  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly
  • Skilfully uses uncommon lexical items
  • Rare errors in spelling
  • The majority of sentences are error-free
Sample 1
Some people think we should keep all the money we earn and not pay taxes to the state. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Paying taxes is a fundamental aspect of modern societies and serves several purposes. Governments collect taxes to fund public services and infrastructure, such as education, healthcare, transportation, and national defense. So, I'm afraid I have to disagree with the statement.
First, governments cannot consist of ...
Sample 2
Some people believe that individuals over 65 should not be allowed to continue working. Others think that people should be allowed to work for as long as they choose. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Compulsory retirement age is a widely implemented policy in many countries, according to which senior workers are statutorily obliged to resign from their posts and start receiving their pension. While some people support this policy, many others believe that the elderly should have the right to dedicate themselves to ...
Sample 3
The cultures of many countries around the world become more similar than they used to be. What are the reasons for this trend? Is it positive or negative?
The world is being evolved as a global village, and various countries' culture is becoming more similar than ever before. There are apparent reasons which stimulate this trend, and the advantages for this norm are aplenty.
Globalization is considered to be the primary cause for increasing similarity among nations. ...
Sample 4
Nowadays, it is more convenient and easier for people to travel to other countries. Is this a positive or negative development?
Nowadays, tourism is the most lucrative and developed industry globally, which offers modern planet dwellers various opportunities to travel and meet other cultures. Although it seems like a positive development at first glance, which benefits society at large, it is also hidden dangerous for the environment and ...
Sample 5
A person's worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honor, kindness, and trust, no longer seem important. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Without a doubt, people's view on how they treat and respect one another has changed for the past 30 years or so, as fewer people really care if someone is kind or not, or if someone is honest or not. Therefore, some people tend to pay heed to what others possess as either money or occupation. I agree with the ...

4. Last Step to Band 9
Just studying others' essays isn't enough to touch Band 9 or any high scores. The practice is as same as important. We collect recent years' IELTS essay questions here. Hopefully, they can help you.