Tips for attempting the Test Efficiently: IELTS Writing Test (Part III)
There are 2 tasks to be completed in a IELTS Writing Test. The candidate needs to write at least 150 words to complete Task 1 and at least 250 words to complete Task 2. The total time allotted to complete both the Writing tasks is 60 minutes. Since Task 2 holds double the weight age as compared to Task 1 in terms of writing score, it is advisable to complete the Task 1 in 20 minutes and Task 2 in 40 minutes. The format of writing test for both IELTS Academic as well as General Training is different to some extent. Both these formats and the tips to write them efficiently are described below:
Test Format: IELTS Writing – Academic
Time Allotted: 60 minutes
There are two tasks to be completed – Task 1 & Task 2. Replies to both these Tasks should be written in an academic, semi-formal or neutral style.
Task 1: In the first task, candidate is provided with a diagram, graph, chart or table and is asked to summarise and describe the information in his or her own words. Candidate could be asked to select and contrast information from two sets of data, explain the stages of a procedure, describe the physical attributes of an item and how it works. Task 1 has to be completed in a minimum of 150 words.
Task 2: In the second task, candidate is asked to write an essay in reply to a view point, statement, opinion, argument or some issue. The opinions raised are of generic interest related to academic field. They are appropriate for and easily understood by the candidates willing to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate studies or trying to get professional registration. The essay written should be formal in style. Task 2 has to be completed in a minimum of 250 words.
Test Format: IELTS Writing – General Training
Time Allotted: 60 minutes
There are two tasks to be completed – Task 1 & Task 2. Topics provided in General Training module are of basic & general interest.
Task 1: In the first task, candidate is provided with a situation or a persisting problem. He or she has to write a letter, asking for information or demanding solution for the problem while describing the situation. The letter could be personal, semi-formal or formal in style. Task 1 has to be completed in a minimum of 150 words.
Task 2: In the second task, candidate is asked to write an essay in reply to a view point, statement, opinion, argument or a general issue. The essay can be more personal in response and not as formal in style as compared to Task 2 essay in Academic Writing. Task 2 has to be completed in a minimum of 250 words.
- In a IELTS Writing test, candidate does not need to answer in the form of right or wrong / true or false / filling the blanks. Hence, the format of writing test is entirely subjective unlike Listening and Reading sections where the responses are objective in nature
- Through a candidate’s written text, the examiner assesses how well he can use his English language skills to present information and describe a particular situation or a view point
- Candidate should study the question carefully so that while answering it, he or she covers all the points raised in the question
- Candidate should strictly follow the minimum word limit for each of the 2 tasks. Candidate is bound to lose marks in case he writes below 150 words for Task 1 and below 250 words for Task 2
- Candidate should use his or her own words while writing the text, because the examiner does not take account of words which are copied from the question
- Candidate should write his response to both the tasks in full as paragraphs, not in note form or in bullet points. A response written as opinion arranged in paragraphs shows candidate’s ability, to organise main and supporting points, to the examiner
- In Academic Writing Task 1, candidate should describe only relevant and key information from data presented in a graph, diagram or table. Candidate should not copy the words or text from the question. Instead, it is better to use synonyms
- Additionally in Academic Writing Task 1, candidate should remain factual while describing the data presented and should not draw his own interpretations or reasons for the data
- Candidates should avoid writing very long sentences in the Writing test. Very long sentences become less coherent which is the main aspect of a writing test which the examiner assesses.
- In Task 2 of the Writing test (both Academic & General Training), candidate should plan his essay structure before writing. He should start with an introduction; followed by opinions to support his statement; real-life instances and example to prove his points; and lastly, a conclusion summarising his point of view
- Candidate should focus on making his point of view and opinion as clear as possible in his for Writing Task 2 (both Academic & General Training). Clarity is another main aspect of a writing test which the examiner assesses
- Candidate should spend around five minutes to plan his essay before starting to write. Also he should spare five minutes at the end to review his answer and check for mistakes
- The last paragraph in Task 2 should be a conclusion which has to be consistent with the opinions and viewpoints included in the essay
- Candidate should focus to spell words correctly. Incorrect spellings could lead to deduction of scores. To avoid spelling mistakes, candidate should try widely used simple English words instead of less used complex ones. For example, use ‘surrounding’ or ‘environment’ instead of ‘milieu’
- Also, some candidates confuse singular and plural nouns. For example, the plural form for many nouns includes an ‘s’ – shops, houses, students, books, issues. Hence, candidate should focus on this when writing
- Candidate is advised NOT to memorise a model answer for the Writing test. The examiner will assess that answer does not match the subject of the essay
- Lastly, Candidate is advised to start reading English texts from Journals, News Papers and Magazines to increase his awareness about general societal issues prevailing and happening in daily life. This will widen his resource bank of opinions and thoughts