TOEFL or IELTS Writing: Proven Editing Techniques to Increase your Score
Do you need to improve your TOEFL or IELTS writing score? How you practice and the feedback you receive is critical. There are many ways to work with a coach or editor. Here, I’d like to introduce you to my highly effective method for boosting your test results.
Initially, many people I’ve met with expect me to simply correct the mistakes in their writing sample and give them general feedback on how to improve their essays. Picture trying to develop other skills in this way. For example, think about watching a YouTube video about how to hit a home run in baseball. Would you then feel prepared to step up to the plate and send the ball flying out of the park? Writing is similar. Simply because you have looked at and understood an editor’s corrections doesn’t mean that during the test you will be able to quickly and accurately remember and avoid your past mistakes.
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I use a more hands-on, personalized, and specific method that has earned my clients the scores they require. Depending on the client’s most common mistakes, I develop a key and add it right before their essay begins. Take a look at this example:
I make notations in the file like the ones you see in the graphic below. This text is an extract from a response to the question “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television advertising directed towards young children (aged two to five) should not be allowed. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.”
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Then, I send the document back to the client and request that they fix as many of the problems as they can. After doing so, they return the file to me, and I supply additional feedback if necessary. At this stage, their writing looks similar to this:
This process, in addition to improving the writer’s essays, also helps expand and strengthen their vocabulary as they are asked repeatedly to find and use a wide variety of synonyms. As we all know, a greater understanding of English terminology helps increase people’s scores in all the sections.
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Finally, not everything can be covered in the manner presented so far, so I add comments for issues that were not dealt with by the bold, italicized, underlined, or highlighted text. When possible, the writer corrects the problem or improves the language, and if anything is still uncertain, they reply to my comment.
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I understand that this method takes more time and energy than simply reviewing an editor’s corrections. However, it is well worth the effort since it will better prepare you to avoid repeating the same errors, be able to recognize and correct your own mistakes when doing a quick edit during the test and generally improve your writing ability. Plus, all this work is not just to meet a score requirement, it really will help you be better prepared to write application essays and produce better work when attending the school of your choice.
I hope you can enjoy the learning process and I wish you great success on your next TOEFL or IELTS exam!