9 Powerful Tips To Score In Writing

Tip 1: Informal letter

You may be asked to write an informal letter to a friend or family member. Often, the question will require you to describe or explain something, or it may ask you to say what you think about a suggestion or a plan. The exam question will give you some ideas, and will tell you what you should include in your letter.

Remember: It is important to show that you can write in an informal style.

Example of opening:

      Hi Sally,
      Dear Mum,

Example of ending:

      Your lovely daughter,

Tip 2: Follow the required number of words

Make sure that you follow all the instructions very carefully, and write the required number of words. If you are taking the Extended syllabus, aim for about 185 words. If you are taking the Core syllabus, your target should be about 135 words.

Tip 3: Use more adjectives and adverbs

When you write, use your imagination as much as possible, but remember that your answer must always be relevant to the question.

One way to improve your writing is by using more adjectives and adverbs.


      We had food and the music too was good.

The above sentence could be made better by applying some adjectives like the below sentence.

      We ate really delicious food and the music was fantastic!

Tip 4: Know your marks allocation

Up to nine marks are awarded for content, and up to nine marks for language (5 + 5 in the Core papers).

“Content” refers to the relevance and development of ideas; “language” refers to style and accuracy.

Tip 5: Formal letter

Below are some important points about writing a formal letter in your IGCSE exam:

  • You do not need to supply addresses or a date, unless you are specifically asked to. However, you need to address the person that you are writing to.
  • A formal letter is the type you write to someone you have never met before, or to someone with whom you have no personal relationship.
  • If the letter begins with ‘Dear Madam’ or ‘Dear Sir’, it should end with ‘Yours faithfully’.
  • If the letter begins with somebody’s name, for example ‘Dear Mr. Robert’, it should end with ‘Yours sincerely’.
  • A formal letter will usually contain at least two paragraphs, and will use formal language and no abbreviations.

Tip 6: Style of writing

You may be asked to write an article or narrative, or to give a simple description, or to write something persuasive. It is important that you read the question very carefully, and that you express yourself effectively. You should also show that you can vary the style of your writing, depending on the topic.

Tip 7: Summary writing

In Exercise 5 of the IGCSE English as Second Language (E2L) paper, you’ll be required to write a summary for a text. Below are some important points to help you to score maximum marks for this section:

  • Your answer should be written as a single paragraph if the question requires it.
  • The summary question will direct you to a specific topic in the text, so it is very important that you underline the key points and make brief notes before you write your answer.

Tip 8: Keep to the topic

In Exercise 6 and 7, you may be asked to write your opinion about something in the form of a newspaper article, or perhaps for your school newsletter or magazine.

Usually, you will be given help in the form of a list of ideas or other people’s opinions, but you do not have to use them in your answer. You are free to use your own ideas but make sure you keep to the topic.

You must show the examiner that you can use the English language for a specific purpose and that you can organise your ideas in a logical way.

Tip 9: Organize your ideas

Although you don’t have much time for planning, you should underline the key word(s) in the question to make sure you do exactly what is asked.

Write very brief notes, putting your ideas into a logical order. Check for repetition. When you have finished your writing, check your spelling, grammar and punctuation.

476 Replies to “9 Powerful Tips To Score In Writing”

  1. Hi IGCSE centre ! Just wanna ask you a question . For essay writting , what happens when we exceed the word limit ? I’ve asked my teachers but they all gave me diff answers . some said yes n some said no and now im veeryyy confused ! My igcse exam would be in just 3 days more so i hope you can answer this as soon as you read . thankyouu ??

  2. Can we write a scene related to movie like Jurrasic World in narrative writing where ressurected dinosaurs play a role of main character.For example Tyrannosaurus rex and Blue (raptor) are protagonist.

  3. Dear igcse team;
    I’ve taken igcse for the first time and im so frustrated cus i have very serios problem in my writing and the teachers does nothing for my progress. I am not familier with igsce exams and i need to study past year exams with answers to be aware what kind of writings are accepted. I am so scared about mid term exams i have. Would u pls give me some tips what to do …

  4. Dear IGCSE team can you tell me if it is better to start answering the question paper by answering the essay questions first or the comprehension?

    • Hey there,
      We would recommend to follow the question paper from first page to last page. There is a reason for the paper being designed in this way 🙂

  5. Kindly advice how many marks will be deducted for wrong spelling and in which questions spelling has be correct for English paper 510.

  6. Dear IGCSE Team ,
    I am a very weak student in English, whether it is oral or written.My vocabulary is weak too , can you give me some of your precious tips for getting higher scores in my exams(going to be held in may 2016). My parents as well as my teachers have higher expectations from me , and that really kills, please help me !! would be really thankful 🙂

    a) something from passage A
    b)something from passage B

    Do we have to write two summaries or only one??
    Pls I have an exam tomorrow

  8. Dear IGCSE centre,
    Can you please give me some tips to write a good narrative.
    Please can you reply fast I have my exam tomorrow.

    • No, reading is not the only way! Go to Quizlet or a similar app/website like Vocabulary.com, and each day find 5 new words and add it to your list. By the end of each week, review the words. At first, you may find it hard to remember, but if you add sentence examples and make your OWN examples, then it just sticks to your mind. Also, you should force yourselves to use these new words in writing. Once you’ve used them, it is even easier to remember.

  9. Hello IGCSE,
    I am not very good student in English. I don’t have much vocabulary or other creativities. But i want to do well. I am confused in writing Section-B articles and Section-C essays. Can you please help me and say how can make my article more catchy, sharp. also let me know what types of essay are best for scoring good grades and how can i improve my skills.


    • Hi Peyton,
      Article writings need a lot of good facts. If you can include some in your writing, you can fetch good marks.

      We can’t tell you which essay is best for you. You must assess your own strength. Try to write different types of essays and let your teacher marks them. You would be able to find out which is your best strength, and you can concentrate in that.

  10. In note making do i have to start with capital letter. What will happen if I start with simple letter and does not use punctuation? My teacher says that we have to use only simple letters except for words like people’s names etc. I am very confuse after reading the comments above, Please gove me an answer soon.

  11. In a summary if a point is given by using you can i use that pot by using you or do i have to use I.
    for example:you should not talk while eating (as an example for a point in a summary)
    if this point is given do i have to use “I” or just use “you” when stating this pont?

  12. Hye,do you have any tips for article writing especially when they ask to give example and should i choose and write one of the comment or both? Since my teacher told me to choose one :one positive comment and one negative comment. But when i saw the example for article writing,they write all the comment. It’s make me confuse.

    • Hi Amira,
      You must follow the instruction in the question. Normally the question will ask you to list the good and bad, then provide your own opinion.

      Read the question carefully, you have got all the instructions clearly stated in the question.

  13. Hi igcse team
    I am Rachel
    I have my English paper tomorrow and I am very scared for the letter writing……I don’t understand what the question is asking us to do ………pls help!!

  14. Dear IGCSE centre team,
    I wanted to know if we could use sub-points while making notes in English passages.


    • Hi Sangini,
      Though we do not understand what do you mean by “sub-points”, however, we could only tell you only the first/two points will be taken into consideration, if the question asks for one/two points. If you provide more than what the question asked for, only the first would be marked.

  15. In opinion writing , should the students stick to one side or can they talk about both sides and finally give their opinion in the last paragraph ?

  16. Dear igcse team,
    I’d just like to clarify whether or not we can write in second person for summary writing?

    • Hello there,
      Summary writing is not a narrative. So you can’t write in “second person”. It is a factual writing.

    • Hi Sohana,
      For English First Language, if the question asks you to do so, then you must write the title.
      For English Second Language, it is not mandatory to write the title. However, writing the title would help you to stay in the topic.

  17. Hi igcse
    I want to know, do you guys will give marks for hand writing and spellings
    And I toke english as a second language and what is the difference between first language and second language.

    • Hi Aravind,
      If your handwriting is not legible, the examiner can’t read anything and thus no marks would be awarded. You can always compare the syllabus between the English First Language and English Second Language. Better still, download the past papers and compare them.

  18. Dear igcsecentre, I need ur assistance in english…i want some more tips for writing an article and summary in the paper….How many idioms shud I include in my article?

  19. Dear IGCSE Centre,
    I would like to know if i can write more than 200 words in 0510 paper 2 extended writings. If so, by how many words can i exceed the word limit?
    Thank youu

  20. Dear IGCSE department,
    Can you guide me and explain me how to write an article. Both for FOR and also if i am AGAINST.
    Also explain me the format of article. Give me some tips while writing the letter.
    Thanking You.

  21. Dear IGCSE team, Can you please guide me through on writing a perfect article and a letter?
    I went through the model answer article but it doesn’t support my code which 0510.
    Would be of great help.
    Thank You. :’)

    • Hi Bareera,
      The Model Answers for English as Second Language IS meant for 0510 🙂

      Just look at how the Model Answers being crafted to answer Exercise 6 and Exercise 7. You can see how the 3 bullets point being answered.

  22. Hi,
    I would like to know whether a title should be present (when writing an article) or not in the exam.
    Also, is adding a date and adress a necessity or not in the letter part?

    • Hi Enas,
      A title will help to keep you on the topic. It would be good to have it, though it is not necessary.

      A date and address are not necessary in the letter.

  23. Thank You so much for a very helpful article but I do have a question & expect a reply. ASAP!
    I have an idea that we have to write the first part on the left top corner of page but on which corner are we supposed to write the last part of The letter in both cases, formal and informal letter?

  24. hi igcse team.
    i want to know what are the most appropreate lanuage techniqus to answer for section
    B in paper 1

  25. I would like to know that what is meant by “use of different sentence structures” please do give some examples.I would also like to know that if i am told to write an e-mail (like year 2015) do I have to use the same format as a letter or is it different.



  27. Dear IGCSE
    DO you have any tips on time management? The paper we have is of 2 hours but I am always in short of time.

  28. Dear IGCSE centre team,
    How do I pick out points and make them more persuasive when it comes to writing a formal letter.For example to an editor of a magazine.

    • Hello Mia,
      Persuasive writing is based on how you structure your sentences and the use of appropriate vocabulary.

      The points would be developed based on the question.

  29. actually i am having my igcse english examinations tom and my major problem is time management as i take little time inorder to understant the plot so plz suggest the needfully……..

  30. Hi, i am interested about igcse writing tasks for second language as an extended student. Which words arent calculated in summaries,letters and articles? Because we always have arguments about number of words

        • Word limit is just a guideline for you not to exceed the set time frame. If you are able to write more and still within the set time frame, definitely you could do so.

            • Hi Srikanth,
              The most important things you need to do are: read a lot and write a lot.

              We can’t stress enough of “read a lot”. By reading, you will gain tremendous knowledge on how to phrase your sentences, types of vocabulary, style, etc… Besides reading, you ought to practise writing as well. You have to put to use what you have learnt.

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