Grammar For IELTS – Essential Tips

IELTS Speaking

Proper grammar is essential for getting a high IELTS score. Even though there is no separate section for it, grammar is crucial for succeeding in all of the four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Having proper grammar will boost your scores, especially in the speaking and writing parts.

IELTS Speaking Assessment Criteria

  • Fluency
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammar Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria

  • Task Achievement and Response
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Gramma Range and Accuracy

As you can see from the assessment criteria provided above, grammar makes up 25% of these sections. Making grammatical errors, even minor ones will reduce your score. Besides, there are many descriptions in the reading and listening parts of the exam. To accurately understand them, you need to improve your grammar. Here you can find common topics you could work on.

Verb tenses

One of the things you should work on is the correct usage of verb tenses since it can be used at every point in the exam. For instance, the first set of questions in the speaking part require you to answer general questions about yourself. If your answers include things you do regularly, you should use the present tense, or sometimes the present continuous or present perfect continuous. Similarly, you will need to use verb tenses in any other part of the IELTS test. That is why it is very important to review every verb tense you know and use them correctly.

Passive voice

It would be rewarding if you also worked on your knowledge of the passive voice. Since passive voice is just a general topic in grammar, you may have to use it at any point in both the speaking and writing sections. Whenever you want to sound more formal and impersonal, you can use it instead of the active voice.

Passive voice is generally used when we are more interested in the specific activity sooner than who exactly does it. You most certainly can use the passive voice in both of the writing tasks, and particularly in reposts, where you need a more formal tone.


Many students make mistakes related to such simple topics as definite and indefinite articles. In the writing test, you will only have a few minutes to proofread your entire writing. Knowing for sure what articles are needed in your writing will help you reduce the time spent on checking them, and concentrate on other essential aspects. Using the correct articles will also boost your speaking score. You may not even realise it, but the examiners are very attentive to the grammatical mistakes you make. Therefore, you need to be more aware of your speech and train yourself to use the correct articles.

More grammar for IELTS...

Even though most students’ mistakes are related to the topics mentioned above, you should pay attention to other grammar topics as well! To get a high score, you need to review every grammatical structure, even if you know them well. Depending on your level of English, you may use several books for grammar. Here are some excellent examples:

Finally, read, read, and read!

Reading is the best way to improve your grammar and become more comfortable with the usage of complex grammatical structures. It would be best if you improved your overall English grammar as well as enhanced your vocabulary. This way, you will be able to understand all the descriptions in the reading and listening parts, as well as perform well in the speaking and writing sections. Having a robust grammatical background will give you the confidence to speak more fluently and transfer your ideas into writing more efficiently.

Work hard and do not forget to take the sample tests.

ALISTAIR BROWN: As a writing and speaking examiner for more than 10 years, I bring a lot of experience. I have seen the frustrations that students have with IELTS from a career where I have actively guided and corrected students’ studies. I am looking for the most effective ways to teach IELTS as I understand students’ needs.