Some students (both in my classes and online) find it hard to believe that all of my essays are band 9. They are under the impression that you need to use "difficult" language to get a high score. This is how I respond:
- What is "difficult" language? Language is not mathematics; anyone can learn and understand a word or phrase.
- The most difficult thing is using words together correctly and naturally. Small words like articles and prepositions cause the most problems.
- If an essay has no grammar mistakes and a mix of long and short sentences, it's almost certain that it will get band 9 for grammar.
- If ideas are explained and developed in a clear, logical way, you will get a high score for coherence and cohesion.
- If you try to make your writing over-complicated, it will seem forced and unnatural.
Remember: if an essay is difficult to read, it's probably badly written. Good writing is surprisingly easy to read, and the arguments are easy to follow.