This post outlines everything you need to know about IELTS Writing Task 2 — from the basics, to a sample essay.
Bryan Dowie explains why a better vocabulary will result in a better band score in IELTS Writing, and offers some practical tips and exercises.
In this post, Peter Hare focuses on three areas candidates commonly lose marks in IELTS Writing — word count, spelling and punctuation.
The first thing you should know before going into your IELTS Writing test is what the examiner is looking for. Take a look at the four keys to success.
‘Reading and writing cannot be separated from each other: the more in-depth reading you do, the more in-depth writing you will eventually do.’ The University of Washington points to a clear link between reading and writing. Reading exposes you to different styles; it shows you how grammar is used correctly; and it helps you to build vocabulary and use it accurately. As the IELTS Writing paper has been referred to as the most difficult paper, all of these skills can help to improve the way you write. But to get the maximum benefit for your IELTS Writing test, and boost your band score, you need to use reading as a source for focused writing activities. Read on for an example of how you can do this.
For some candidates, it’s very tempting to write as much as they can in the one hour given in the Writing section — they want to really showcase their range of vocabulary and their ability to write long sentences. But do long essays really get you a better band score?
It’s difficult to go seriously wrong with the Reading and Listening tests in IELTS. Even if you have trouble understanding the text or the audio, the question paper gives you a pretty clear idea of what you need to write. And if you’re not sure, you can always guess. With the Speaking test, you’ll answer a series of questions, so even if you make a mistake with one of them, you’ll get another chance with the next question. Writing Task 2 is different — If you fail to understand the question, and go off on the wrong track, you could score no marks at all. And that could mean missing the band score you need.
Let’s start by looking at a sample Writing Task 2 question.
The easiest way to fail to get the band score you need is to go into the test without fully understanding what is required of you.
One reason the IELTS Writing test is challenging is because of the time constraints. You only have one hour to do two tasks. This means that using your time efficiently is vital.
It is very important to plan what you will write before you start writing. This might seem an obvious idea but many candidates, perhaps consumed with test-day nerves, see the test question and immediately start on their answer.
“In Academic Writing Task 1, it is very important to start by providing an overview of the data. If you don’t do this, you will lose points.” — Simon Cockell, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
In this post we will look at what this means, and how you can use your data overview to get your IELTS Writing test off to a flying start.