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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
Some people think the government should pay for health care and education, but others believe it is not the government’s responsibility. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
The provision of healthcare and education is a fundamental concern for any society. While some argue that the government should be responsible for providing healthcare and education, others believe these services should be left to the private sector. In this essay, I will examine both views and provide my own opinion ...
Sample 2
Some people say that traveling abroad is necessary to get knowledge about other countries, while others suggest that TV and the internet can also help people know about foreign countries. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
There is a common belief that if people want to expand their knowledge of other countries, it is vital to visit them. This opinion might be revenant for affluent societies. However, for learning about diverse cultures and traditions, access to internet connection and TV is enough. Without a shadow of a doubt, I agree ...
Sample 3
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?
The survival of an individual in the present world mainly depends on his efforts in his daily activities, including education and livelihood. Many people put an extraordinary effort into their life to reach their particular dream, while many others are not giving much energy to their mission. Working hard is essential ...
Sample 4
More and more people are seriously overweight. Some people suggest the solution to this problem is to increase the price of fattening foods. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
There is no doubt that overweight is an alarming situation in many countries. While some people believe that the only way to solve this problem is to raise the price of high-fat foods, others may argue that there are multifarious ways to eliminate the former issue. I partly agree with the statement in question and ...
Sample 5
When asked to choose between a life without work and working most of the time, people would always choose not to work. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give your opinion.
It is quite a natural response that people tend to give out without actually giving a thought about their choice. However, if you were to ask the same question to a poverty-stricken person, they would choose a job as they know the struggles of not having work. In my opinion, a life without a profession almost seems to ...
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 they have the right to use as much fresh water as they want, but others believe government should control the use of freshwater as it is a limited resource. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
While some people believe that they have the right to use as much fresh water as they want, others believe that the government should control its use as a limited resource. This essay will discuss both views and provide my own opinion on the matter.
On the one hand, those who believe they have the right to use as ...
Sample 2
Some people think the government should establish free libraries in each town. Others believe that it is a waste of money since people can access the Internet to obtain information. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Many nowadays think that authorities should provide free libraries to urban dwellers. In contrast, others see this effort as a squander of the government budget, as the current generation has access to the information via the World Wide Web. This essay will consider both perspectives but will aim to support boundless ...
Sample 3
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 4
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 ...
Sample 5
Nowadays in many countries, the proportion of the older population is higher than that of younger people. Is it a positive or negative development?
Recent studies show that age proportion in the population plays a vital role in the development of all countries. Also, it is assessed that in many nations, especially in the developed states retirement age population is higher than the young generation. This essay illustrates the effect of this trend on their progress ...
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 the Olympic Games are exciting and can bring nations together. Others, however, think that it is a waste of money. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Some people think the Olympic Games are one of the most crucial bonds among various countries, though a considerable amount of money spent on this activity remains a heated controversy. From my perspective, I strongly support that the Olympic Games are an exciting event and can bring nations together.
On the one ...
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.