Pass writing

Lie, cheat, and steal! - that’s my motto (before the exam)


I don’t want you to take it too literally so in your exam don’t cheat and don’t steal anything from anyone! That being said…


To increase your chances of passing any writing exam you should:


1. Know and understand what the writing part of the exam you want to take consists of


How many parts does it have?

What type of writing questions do you have to write?

What types of writing questions can you choose from?

What is the word limit?

How much time do you have?


2. Practice writing all forms.

3. Keep track of your errors and always try to correct them. If you know what type of mistake you make, you know you have to pay special attention to it.

4. Learn words that go together, for example, kind regards, yours sincerely, dear Sir

5. Find model answers of each writing type you are expected to write in the exam. Analyze their structure and vocabulary. Try to figure out why they work! Look for linking words, advanced vocabulary, the length of paragraphs, etc.

6. Learn synonyms and antonyms.

7. Practice word formation and learn words using word families. You want to automatically come up with the word you want to write in the exam. You don’t want to think for too long about how to write a noun when you only remember an adjective created from that noun.

8. Say the same thing but differently – it is a great method to develop your grammar and vocabulary.

9. Practice editing and rewriting. First, you learn how to write but then you have to know how to edit what you have written. It is very important! Very often students express themselves in writing but they forget how to improve what they have written. If you have developed the habit of editing and rewriting at some point you should instinctively know how to write better without making a lot of corrections.

10. Read more! You will never write well without reading a lot. The same thing goes for the writing questions you have to practice for your exam. Read as many model answers as you can. You will see they are very similar. Steal some nice phrases from them.

11. You don’t have to tell the truth in your writing.

12. Remember to choose an appropriate writing style, register, and format depending on the writing question.

13. Plan what you are going to write about.

14. Practise writing topic sentences, closing sentences, paragraphs.


In your writing exam remember to


read the task(s) carefully

make a very general plan of what you are going to write about

look at the clock

don’t write illegibly


So following my motto


Lie in your writing exam

Cheat by copying bits and pieces from books, magazines, newspapers (I mean parts of a sentence!)


ONE LAST TIP: Practice makes perfect!

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