August 23, 2019
When asked to IELTS aspirants,
"Which is the most difficult task out of the two writing tasks asked in IELTS Academic and General Training Writing test?”
Most of them answered – IELTS Essay Writing Task
Though Task 1 (Letter writing for IELTS General Training & Report writing for IELTS Academic) is easy by no means, many aspirants find Task 2 (Essay Writing) of IELTS Writing module more challenging.
In task 2, you are supposed to answer a particular question. To be more specific, IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write an essay on a given topic in at least 250 words. But, not to forget – the task is time bound. You are given 40 minutes to present the given topic skilfully in your own words and obviously without any mistakes.
You can be asked different types of essays in IELTS Writing Task 2. This includes – Opinion Essay, Argumentative Essay, Advantages/Disadvantages (Pros/Cons) Essay, Problem & Solution Essay and Mixed Essay. You have to identify the type of essay asked and write your response accordingly. You are expected to use your skills, experience and examples while answering.
Now, how is your essay scored? Here are the scoring criteria!
- Task Response
- Coherence & Cohesion
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range & Accuracy
Each criterion contributes 25% of the total Writing Score. If you do not care about these parameters in your writing, you will lose a good portion of your score.
Are you well aware about the IELTS Writing Task 2 now? Then, let’s proceed to some tips and strategies to ace this task like a Pro.
IELTS Essay Writing Task – Tips for a Better Score
- Map Out Your Ideas
- Be Familiarized With The Common Topics
- Ask Yourself Questions
- Employ Your Personal Opinion
- Manage Your Time
- Take Care of Lexical Resources
- Make Paragraphs
- Complete Your Answer
- Know Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
- Use Formal Language
Understanding what the question specifies, is overcoming half the problem. It is essential to pay attention to all the issues mentioned in the question. First, look at the question carefully then identify the question type- whether it’s a discussion, an opinion, a solution to the problem or a combination. Identify the main keywords and understand precisely what the examiner is expecting in the essay. Avoid writing on a general topic, or you won’t score more than a band 5.
2. Map Out Your Ideas
Before you commence writing, take 5 minutes first to brainstorm different ideas. Take a pencil and jot down as many as various aspects and perspectives, related to the particular issue in the essay. The test-taker would score more if he/she plans and organizes out their ideas in a proper paraphrased manner. It will in a way save more time as you have already pictured the essay in your mind and will help you pen your essay better and faster.
3. Be Familiarized With The Common Topics
IELTS tutorials, one of the top institutions for IELTS coaching provides multiple IELTS Writing Practice to familiarize you with the pattern of the test, model questions, etc. This will help in widening your vocabulary to brainstorm more ideas. Also, try to read newspapers more which will increase your vocabulary along with keeping you updated with your surrounding ongoing. Always remember that the IELTS exam doesn’t test your knowledge but competency in the English Language. So present your answer with a clear thought process with multiple examples to make your writing piece more enhanced.
4. Ask Yourself Questions
Another way to prompt ideas is to ask yourself questions while reading the essay topic like why/what/where/who/how to generate more ideas. When you ask these questions to yourself then you’ll be able to think more evidently and thereby creating more ideas.
5. Employ Your Personal Opinion
The most effective method to write an enhanced essay is to include your personal opinion in the essay. Imagine the topic of the essay is a question asked of you by your friend, and then phrase your piece as if you are conveying what you believe in, your thoughts on it. Also, try to use relevant examples and instances in the essay to make it more clear.
So, in the end, remember that IELTS Writing task won’t be another mountain to climb to score band 7+, if you think and understand thoroughly of what the essay topic requires.
6. Manage Your Time
Since the test is time bound, it is important to complete the IELTS Essay Writing task on time i.e. within 40 minutes. So, you must develop proper time management skills before appearing for the IELTS Exam.
Start writing your essay with a proper strategy. Do not spend more than 5 minutes in planning your essay. If possible, try to complete your essay within 36-37 minutes so that you can spend the last 2-3 minutes in proofreading. As you might have written the essay in a hurry, proofreading will help you identify spelling and grammar mistakes, if any. This way, you can complete your task efficiently within the stipulated time.
7. Take Care of Lexical Resources
Lexical Resource is one of the four Writing Assessment Criteria that contributes to your writing score. But, many of the IELTS aspirants are unaware regarding the use of lexical features. Lexical resource refers to the use of sufficient range of Vocabulary, correct usage of Spellings, proper implementation of Collocations and Word Formation.
Those who are unknown to this, use repetitive words in their essay. But, an examiner is looking for a variety of words and phrases in your answer. When he/she does not find any variety of language, it creates a negative impression about your Vocabulary. He/she considers that you have a poor language knowledge and marks you accordingly.
So, avoid repetitive words wherever possible in your essay.
8. Make Paragraphs
Many candidates do not use paragraphs while writing an academic piece or an article. They describe the entire topic clearly in just a single paragraph. But, doing so in IELTS Essay Writing Task will definitely cost your marks.
IELTS Essay Writing Task follows a specific structure. Have a look!
|Structure of an Essay|
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Break down your ideas into different paragraphs. Explain each idea of yours in detail with relevant examples in one paragraph. Then, start another paragraph with a new idea. But remember, your ideas should be logically linked though written in different paragraphs.
An essay with 4 paragraphs is ideal for IELTS Essay Writing Task. You can add paragraphs only and only if needed. Do not put any unwanted information or try to unnecessarily expand the paragraph. This will reduce the chance of achieving high band score.
9. Complete Your Answer
In order to finish the task before the time runs out, many candidates tend to leave the answers incomplete. There are some who choose another way of writing to complete their response i.e. they either write short sentences or put only bullet points. This is absolutely a wrong practice.
IELTS Test is meant to assess your English Language skills. And, if you leave the answers incomplete, the examiner will not be able to judge your skills. As a result, he/she will poorly grade your essay. So, instead of writing bullet points or short sentences, you must formulate each point in a separate paragraph with two to three lines of explanation. This way you can showcase your writing skills and create a good impact on the examiner to score better.
10. Know Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
Using appropriate grammar, writing correct spellings and placing the punctuation marks at right places play a vital role in IELTS Writing Task 2. You need to be extra careful regarding this. Even a minor mistake will directly reduce your score. Thus, a prior practice is worthwhile to ensure success.
11. Use Formal Language
In this times of SMS and other chat applications, it is quite a common issue to use informal expressions and shorthand texts. But, this practice is strictly prohibited for the IELTS Exam. Using inappropriate language or terminologies might offend the examiner and thus, your score will suffer. So, you should use formal language in your writing.
Now that you are acquainted with enough knowledge, it will be easier for you to achieve your desired score in the IELTS Essay Writing task. Committing mistakes will reduce your chance to succeed. So, ensure that you go through these tips thoroughly and put them into regular practice. Be clear and precise in expressing your ideas and add suitable examples to enhance your writing.
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