So I am back with more useful information about IELTS Writing, and this time the focus is on Task 2.

In my previous blog about Writing Task 1, I talked about how you could avoid making common mistakes that would mean you would lose marks in your test, and I wanted to do the same thing with regards to Task 2. (By the way, if you haven’t already read my post about Task 1 yet, I recommend that you do so now: Weekly IELTS Top Up – Writing A!

Once again, let’s look at something called the ‘Public Band Descriptors’.  This reveals what the IELTS examiners are looking for when they assess a candidate’s writing ability. As I mentioned before, this is a tool we use all the time at the teaching centre to show students exactly what they need to be doing to achieve a certain level with their writing, and if you’re practising at home I would highly recommend that you start using it often too!

Let’s look at the column called ‘Task Response’ – this is the part that analyses how well you have ‘responded’ to the question, in other words, have you answered the question appropriately or not.

Now pay close attention to bands 5 and 6. You’ll see for band 6 it says “addresses all parts of the task” and “presents a relevant position … presents relevant main ideas”. However, in band 5 it says “addresses the task only partially” along with “…there may be no conclusions drawn” and finally “presents some main ideas but these are limited and not sufficiently developed”.

What this basically means is that you must carefully read and analyse the question, and think about how to answer it properly. Usually there are two main parts to the question, like Problem and Solutions, or advantages and disadvantages. So, plan your essay into proper paragraphs that answer both parts equally well and use good, relevant ideas to support each aspect. Also, don’t forget to include a conclusion – it is very important to finally reflect upon what you’ve written with regards to the task question, even if you only manage to write a very brief conclusion paragraph.

Therefore, don’t rush into your writing. Take 5 minutes to carefully read the question and plan your ideas before you write, and allow yourself to answer both parts of the question equally well, with appropriate ideas and a conclusion – it could mean the difference between a 5.5 and a 6!

Keep studying well!