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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 think most crimes are the result of circumstances like poverty and other social problems. Others believe they are caused by people born evil.
The debate over the root causes of crime revolves around contrasting perspectives regarding the influence of individual character versus external circumstances. While some attribute crime primarily to environmental factors such as poverty, inequality, and social disadvantage, others emphasize personal responsibility ...
Sample 2
Some people think that family is the most important influence on young adults. Other people think that friends are the most important influence on young adults. Which view do you agree with?
The influence of family versus friends on young adults sparks debate on the various factors shaping individuals' values, beliefs, and behaviors during their formative years. I think that both family and friends play significant roles in the development of young adults in different ways.
Some emphasize the unique ...
Sample 3
Some people say that the Internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to so much information creates problems. Which view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
The Internet has revolutionized the way people access information. Although there is some useless or troubling data, no one can deny that it provides unparalleled access to a vast and diverse array of valuable resources, knowledge, and insights. It empowers people to seek out information, engage with diverse ...
Sample 4
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Telephones and E-mail have made communication between people less personal. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
The advent of mobile phones and email has undoubtedly revolutionized communication, enabling individuals to connect instantaneously across vast distances. However, some think technological innovations have made communication between people less personal. I agree with the statement.
Firstly, mobile phones and email ...
Sample 5
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Playing a game is fun only when you win. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
For most people, the enjoyment of playing a game is intricately tied to the satisfaction of winning. So am I. It stems from various psychological, social, and competitive factors that contribute to the allure of victory and the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it.
Firstly, winning in a game provides a sense ...
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
Nowadays, not enough students choose science subjects at universities in many countries. What are the reasons for this problem? What are the effects on society?
In numerous countries, the declining trend of students opting for science subjects at the university level has become a cause for concern. This phenomenon stems from various factors, each contributing to the dwindling interest in scientific pursuits. However, its ramifications extend beyond individual career choices, ...
Sample 2
Some think advertising may have positive economic effects. Others believe it has negative social effects because it reduces satisfaction. Discuss both views.
In contemporary society, advertising serves as the cornerstone of commerce, wielding immense influence over consumer behavior and market dynamics. Some argue that advertising yields positive economic outcomes by stimulating demand and fostering economic growth, but others contend that its pervasive presence leads to ...
Sample 3
Since most information about culture and history can be found online, museums and art galleries are no longer needed. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
In today's digital era, where information is readily accessible at our fingertips, the necessity of physical museums and art galleries might be questioned. However, despite the wealth of information available online, I believe these cultural institutions remain indispensable for several reasons.
Firstly, museums and ...
Sample 4
Some people think technology development decreases crime, while others believe it actually encourages crime. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
The impact of technology development on crime is a complex and multifaceted issue. Opinions are divided on whether it decreases or encourages criminal behavior. Both perspectives present valid arguments based on various factors.
On one hand, proponents of the idea that technology development decreases crime argue ...
Sample 5
Some people believe that success in life comes from taking risks or chances. Others believe that success results from careful planning. In your opinion, what does success come from?
The age-old debate over whether success in life stems from taking risks or careful planning reflects differing perspectives on the nature of achievement and the pathways to success. Both viewpoints draw on distinct principles and experiences to support their arguments.
Proponents of the belief that success comes ...
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

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.