People are often surprised when I tell them to stop thinking about 'academic' language, complex grammar or 'difficult' words. In this lesson, for example, I suggest that IELTS writing task 2 is more like a high school essay than a university assignment.
Here's some feedback from a student in relation to this advice:
I was initially very sceptical of your "high school" writing approach. I believed in a complicated, "academic" style writing with flashy words and complex sentences. Well, I was wrong.
With that mindset, on the IELTS test day I confidently penned a monstrous 400-word essay with multiple metaphors, symbolism, lengthy sentences, and analyses of complex real-world examples. I ended up getting a band 7 for writing (L9, R9, S8.5).
I was very surprised. What I came to understand is that the IELTS encourages clear, concise and coherent writing more than anything else. It really is a high school writing task. If I ever take the IELTS test again, I will make absolutely sure to follow the simple and effective strategy that you advocate.