To score a higher (6+) band on the IELTS exam, candidates need to be familiar with (AND skilled at using…) HEDGING.

Hedging is using CAUTIOUS language, to draw the reader’s/listener’s attention to differences between facts and claims. 

If a writer/speaker doesn’t use enough of these linguistic devices to express HESITATION and uncertainty, they’ll come across as either rude, unprofessional, and/or not nuanced enough in their critical thinking and reasoning skills.

INDIRECTNESS can be expressed using both vocabulary and grammar.

For example:

I don’t really think

appears to

a bit

tends to

is likely to

in some ways





It is claimed that

in some cases



prone to

had better

Can you add to the list?

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Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an IELTS Teacher Trainer, helping CELTA-qualified English language teachers become better at teaching SKILLS, as opposed to just testing them. 

Check out my courses here:

How to Teach IELTS Listening:

How to Teach IELTS Reading:

How to Teach IELTS Writing:

How to Teach IELTS Speaking: