Today’s blog post is about the importance of reviewing and editing your writing before you hand it in at the end of the exam. First, read the text below once for gist (a general understanding).
At the beginning of your IELTS Writing exam, before you start writing, it’s important to spend some time to planning your essay. You shuld also leave time at the end to go through youre work. By planning well at the beginning, you can avoid lots of edits later at the end. It should not be necessary to rewrite whole sentences if you have planned adequately and have a clear idea of what you want to say before you start writeing. Brainstorming, planning and drafting are important skills to practice in preparation for your exam and will save you a great deal of time during the exam.
However, you will be under pressure because of the time constraints of the exam and its likely that you will make small errors. The most common errors are with spelling. but often errors include grammar errors, like omitting articles (a, the) or using the wrong auxiliary verbs (eg. have instead of has). It’s also important to check your subject-verb agreements. Maybe you have included extra words you don’t need or omitted an important word.
Repetition is also something you should check. It is tiresome for reader when words or phrases were repeated to often in a text and it suggest to examiner that you do not have a range of grammar and lexis, which is what you must demonstrate in order to score well. Obvously, theire are times when you will need to use the same word more than once but try to avoid doing this, Instead, try to use synonyms (words mean the same same thing) which demonstrates a knowledge of lexis, or paraphrase the original sentence (say the same thing in a different way), which demonstrates a mastery of English usage and grammar.
Punctuation is another thing to check. Make sure you has used commas full stops and apostrophes correctly and that each new sentence begin with a Capital Letter.
About 3 minutes is all you really need at the end of the exam to check and correct your work, which is not much. But you should remember that this is a crucial stage and so make sure that you don’t run out of time towards the end.
Now that you have read and understood the text, read it again, this time thinking about how it looks on the page/screen and how it sounds in your head. What do you notice?
Now read and answer the following questions:
- What are the common errors I mention?
- Can you find examples of each error in my text?
- Now, can you edit those mistakes to correct them?
- How many times do I repeat myself?
- Can you rewrite my repeated words and phrases, either using synonyms or by paraphrasing?
Well done – you have just reviewed and edited the text! Next week, I will provide you with my edited and corrected version for you to compare your answers with.