I have been actively assessing Writing Task 2 on some Facebook pages with the intent to assist IELTS test takers so that they score the requisite band. This blog aims to highlight some commonly made mistakes committed by most of the test takers.
1. Pick the original question
Many test takers for practicing purposes pick a modified question, which is incorrect. Pick the original question as a modified question may or may not address all the four components of the writing task.
2. Understand the question
Read the question carefully and understand the things which you need to address. Underline the main words and phrases which will help you to answer the question.
3. Plan your answer
Many students jump to answer the question without spending atleast 5 minutes in thinking and planning about how to address the question. If the question is about agree or disagree make sure that your argument substantiates it appropriately. There are times when we are unable to take a stand and feel that both the perspectives are equally important, then say so. However, this comes with a disclaimer that you should have amazing skills to convince the assessor your point of view. To be on a safer side, pick one stand and write accordingly.
4. Rehearsed response
Plenty of times, we watch various videos and reach a conclusion to write in a particular manner. Unknowingly, we create a mental template of how to write. As a result, when we write in the exam, the terms or a sentences may be either inappropriately used in the exam or it may look like a rehearsed response to the assessor. Stand warned!!! A rehearsed response will get you band 6. Learn to write different terms for the same thought – for example
In my opinion can be written as
it seems to me
opinion , communication
in my own point of view
from my personal standpoint
according to my thinking
from my point of view
as I see it
as far as I am concerned
according to me
5. Follow Structure
IELTS expects one to follow a structure which is
a. Paraphrase the question
b. Body para 1 – Argument + Reason+ Example
c. Body para 2 – Argument + Reason+ Example
d. Body para 3 – Argument + Reason+ Example
6. Writing too short or long
Does the assessor count the number of words? Yes, the assessor does. If you write too short, your band is impacted. If you write too long and deviate from the topic, the assessor will count the words. Hence, my suggestion is write precisely so that your essay emerges a well knitted write up.
All the best for your exams.