The IELTS (international English Language Testing System) is an English proficiency test that is accepted globally as a test of a candidate’s ability to listen, read, write and speak English. Owing to the high level of acceptance, people all around the world are more inclined to take up the IELTS test now a days. There are two basic formats of the test, namely the IELTS academic test and the IELTS general training test, which are written for different purposes.
IELTS Academic writing:
The first task (task 1) is called ‘Report Writing’. In this task, often, a graphical representation (such as a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, etc) or a pictorial representation (a diagram, a flow chart, a map, a life cycle) would be given, and the candidates should write a short report summarizing the key details. The second task (task 2) is an essay on a given topic.
Tips to achieve 7.5 bands in the academic writing:
1. Understand how the writing task is marked:
There are many instances where the academic test takers write reports and essays,but often fail to understand those criteria on the basis of which the score depends. Before starting your preparation, it is highly advisable to go through the BAND DESCRIPTORS FOR IELTS WRITING very clearly, as these criteria are followed by the evaluators while grading your test.
Task response: This factor decides the candidate’s ability to answer the question completely with the ideas that are fully developed and justify the opinion with reference to the given question. Twenty-five percent of the overall score depends on task response and task achievement.
Coherence and Cohesion: Coherence means the way of effective idea generation. Brainstorming for the ideas that are related to the topic gives a clear progession of the essay. Cohesion is the use of linkers or connectives to join the sentences and make a good paragraph structure.
Lexical Resource or Lexical response :
It refers to the range of vocabulary that a candidate uses whils writing. The wider the range, the better the essay gets. It does not mean that all the words should be complex. An ideal essay would be the one in which there are both common and less common words related to the topic.
Grammatical range and accuracy :
GRA (grammar range and accuracy) indicates that the candidates should use a variety of sentence structures (simple, compound, complex, complex-compound) , tenses, etc to show the reader their level of perfection in the English language.
2. Avoid memorising the answers:
This is a mistake that some test takers commit. It is true that there are a plethora of model answers that are readily available on the internet these days, all thanks to the growing technology. However, the IELTS exam evaluators are very well trained to Identify those answers which are memorised. If one goes through the band descriptors for the IELTS writing, they can clearly see that the band score for such memorised essays would be 0. Hence, do not plan to learn the answers. Try to structure the essay yourself.
3. Write a proper introduction and an appropriate conclusion for the essay :
The basic structure of the essay consists of an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion. The introduction should essentially contain just 2 to three sentences which introduce the topic to the reader.
Some important points to note while writing a high scoring task (band 7.5 or higher) are:
Never write any hook statements, such as a proverb or a quotation, as such statements are most likely to be considered as being informal, and hence could drastically reduce the overall band score.
Start the essay by rephrasing the given question in a sentence or two. You could adopt any method of paraphrasing,such as by changing the word order, or by using synonyms to modify the words in the given sentence, or by converting the voice of a sentence from active to passive. This will have credit in the IELTS exam.
Do not use a narrative tone while addressing the question. Narrative tone means that the sentence sounds like a story and not a formal one. Such a tonality should be avoided in the writing section.
Always write a thesis statement : The thesis statement is a sentence that tells what opinion you wish to convey in the given writing task. It will highlight the major points that a test take will elaborate in thw body paragraphs with examples and supportive evidences. A good thesis statement often stands out to be one of the desirable factors of a band score of 7.5 or higher. So, do practice writing the thesis for the essays.
Understand whether the opinion is asked or not :
Yes! You have read it right! Not all the essays on the IELTS writing test require personal opinions to be declared. Let’s consider the discussion essays as an example. The discussion essays are of two types- 1. discuss both views and 2. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Here, the second question type is asking for the candidate’s opinion,while the former one isn’t. Thus, decide and write your opinion only if asked.
Similarly, when writing the conclusion, do not restste your opinion unless it’s asked for. Also, never give any new ideas in the conclusion. An essay worth a band 7.5 or higher would have a conclusion that summarises the question very effectively within a sentence two that recapitulates the writer’s point.
While writing the body paragraphs, do not stuff too many ideas in one paragraph. Remember the thumb rule – one idea in one paragraph with supporting evidences and examples to prove your point. With proper, substantial proof, you can write a very good essay, letter or a report.
Avoid writing all the details in a report ( academic task 1). Just summarize the key, significant details as a short report. Do not give your opinion or any predictions in the report description. Likewise, always address the letter correctly( formal, semi-formal or informal) in the case of the general training test. It is important to note and use the appropriate tense in both the parts of the test.
Last but not least, maintain the appropriate word count ( a minimum of 150 words for task 1, and a minimum of 250 words for task 2) . Write around 180 -190 words for task 1 and 270-290 words for task 2. This would also add up to your score of 7.5 or over. Do check for spellings and grammatical errors too! Not to forget, the handwriting should be legible and readable.
Follow these steps ans achieve 7.5 bands or higher in the writing task!
IELTS Writing Task 2 | ESSAY QUESTION TYPES.(ACADEMIC and GENERAL)
The types of essays that you need to practice for the IELTS WRITING task 2 are