IELTS Writing Secret

How to Answer Part 1 of the Academic Writing Module

 Part 1 of the IELTS writing module is an easily passed part of the test if you follow the answering system explained below.  Although the data presented in the questions for part  1 are always different, they all follow a very similar pattern, and so long as you actually read the question and the information provided, it should be easy to provide an impressive, higher band score answer.

Tip 1: It is important to remember that you only have 1 hour for the writing test, so you must make sure that you do not spend more than 20 minutes completing part 1 as it is only worth 33% of the marks available for the writing.

Tip 2: You will lose marks if you do not write the minimum number of words required for each answer. The words counted do not include any words of the question title and are:

Task 1: 141 words (To be safe you should do at least 150 words) Task 2: 241 Words (To be safe you should do at least 250 words)

Writing Task 1

In the academic module, Task 1 is always a presentation of data on a specific topic. This is presented in the form of a graph or a diagram. Whatever the data is, the question format is always the same. So to answer part 1 question effectively and gain maximum possible marks on achieving the task requirements you should make sure that you do the following in your answer:

Academic Task 1 Requirements

1. Introduce the subject

2. Explain the main features with data

3. Show trends with data

4. Make a conclusion

Here is a breakdown of the four areas that decide what band score candidates are awarded to for part 1.

Tip. Unless the question is fully answered according to the explanation provided below, then the candidate cannot get more than a Band 5 for their answer.

Marking Criteria

Marking Criteria

Explanation

Answering the Question

Were   all    the    parts   of    the    question answered? These are

·         So was there an introduction of the data presented

·         examples of the data provided

·           an analysis of data given

·         and a summary of the main trends in the data

Style

How easy was it to read the essay? Was it logical and did it have the following:

·         An introduction and a conclusion

·         Paragraphing

·         Good use of language connecting the different paragraphs

·         A logical progression towards the conclusion ‐ did the essay develop

towards a conclusion?

Vocabulary used

How    varied and accurate was the vocabulary?

Grammar used

How wide was the range of grammatical structures uses, and how accurately and

appropriately were they used?



How to Answer Part 1 of the General Training Test

Part 1 of the IELTS writing test is an easily passed part of the test if you follow the answering system explained below. Although the question tasks presented in the  questions for part 1 are always different, they all follow a very similar pattern, and so long as you actually read the question and the information provided, it should be easy to provide an impressive, higher band score answer.

Tip 1: It is important to remember that you only have 1 hour for the writing test, so you must make sure that you do not spend more than 20 minutes completing Part 1 as it is only worth 33% of the marks available for the writing.

Tip 2: You will lose marks if you do not write the minimum number of words required for each answer. The words counted do not include any words of the question title and are:

Task 1: 141 words (To be safe you should do at least 150 words) Task 2: 241 Words (To be safe you should do at least 250 words)

Writing Task 1

In the general training module, Task 1 asks the candidate to write a letter for a specific purpose. The question provides the reason why the candidate is writing the letter, the person to address the letter to, and three specific points that have to be mentioned in the letter. To answer Part 1 question effectively and gain maximum possible marks on achieving the task requirements you should make sure that you do the following in your answer:

General Training Task 1 Requirements

1. Use the correct tone and letter format

2. Mention all three points.

3. Write at least 150 words, (less than 141 words will cost marks.) This does not include the salutations (the

beginning and closing phrases of the letter.

The letter is a formal one as you are writing to a person who you do not know so you need to write in a formal tone. An informal letter is a letter that you write to a person who you do know (a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance). Below is a comparison between formal and informal language in letter‐writing:

Formal Writing

Informal Writing

Dear Sir/Madam,

Hi,

I am writing to you to request details about

I want to know

I trust

I hope

I would appreciate

I want

I would be grateful

It would be great

I would like to

I’d like to

Confirm

Check

Yours sincerely

Bye

Additionally

Also

Provide me with

Give me

Establishment

Business

I look forward to receiving your reply

Hope to hear from you soon

Here is a breakdown of the four areas that decide what band score candidates are awarded to for part 1.

Tip. Unless the question is fully answered according to the explanation provided below, then the candidate cannot get more than a Band 5 for their answer.

Marking Criteria

Marking Criteria

Explanation

Answering the Question

Were all three parts of the question answered?

Style

How easy was it to read the letter? Was it logical and did it have the following:

·         Appropriate     tone     (formal                          or informal)

·         Appropriate style ( a letter style)

·         A beginning and an ending

·         Paragraphing

·         Good use of language connecting the different paragraphs (cohesive connectors)

Vocabulary used

How    varied and accurate was the vocabulary?

Grammar used

How wide the range of grammatical

structures uses was, and how accurately and appropriately were they used?



Writing Task 2

For both Academic and General Training Modules, the Writing Task 2 is the same. The answer is worth 66% of the available marks for writing, so you should allow 40 minutes to complete Task 2. You are presented with a discussion topic and asked to discuss it and present your own opinion on it. The questions may vary, but the task requirements always remain the same, which are:

Academic and General Training Task 2 Requirements

1. Use the correct tone and essay format (an introduction to the topic, an analysis of both sides of the argument and a

conclusion where the writer gives their own opinion.

2. Always use paragraphing.

3. Write at least 250 words, (less than 241 words will cost

marks.) This does not include the essay title. So do not copy the essay title to gain extra word length.

Tip: Every essay question will have at least two possible views – for and against the discussion topic. To gain top marks you need to present both views before providing you own view point in the conclusion.

Marking Criteria

Marking Criteria

Explanation

Answering the Question

Were all three parts of the question answered?

Style

How easy was it to read the essay? Was it logical and did it have the following:

·         Appropriate     tone     (formal                          or informal)

·         Appropriate style ( an essay style)

·         A beginning and an ending

·         Paragraphing

·         Good use of language connecting the different paragraphs (cohesive connectors)

Vocabulary used

How    varied vocabulary?

and

accurate

was

the

Grammar used

How wide the range of grammatical structures uses was, and how accurately

and appropriately were they used?

 Tip: The key to successfully answering Task 2 is to use an essay style with an introduction, an analysis of both points of view and a conclusion based upon the evidence presented. To do this successfully it is essential to use the following:

  • paragraphing

  • a formal style

  • an introduction and a conclusion

  • presentation of both view points

  • your own opinion

  • to write over 241 words, not including the essay title

To get the higher marks it is again important use connective devices to link the paragraphs together. Below is a list of higher level connective devices and when to use them.

Tip: Avoid using clichés where possible ‐ a cliché is a set phrase to describe a situation. Classic examples are the following:

Cliché

Explanation

Every coin has two sides.

Explaining that there are two sides to an argument

This is a hot button topic

Describing a contentious issue

Frankly speaking

To give an honest view point

To look for greener pastures

To    improve    one’s    chances    in    a    new environment

To have a bright future

To improve one’s future life

The rapid development of technology

The speed of technological change

The rapid development of the economy

The speed of economic change

Below is a list of clichés and the suitable high‐level language that can be used instead to gain rather than lose marks.

Cliché

Explanation

Every coin has two sides.

Every argument has two sides

This is a hot button topic

This is a highly contentious issue

Frankly speaking

Honestly speaking

To look for greener pastures

To seek new better opportunities overseas

To have a bright future

To greatly improve one’s future chances

The rapid development of technology

The speed of technological progress

The rapid development of the economy

The speed of economic progress

So if you bear the above in mind and practice answering the above questions (Task 1 and 2 both) within a 1 hour time limit, you will greatly improve your chances of passing the Writing module. Indeed, if you practice using the above techniques to answer the 20‐40 individual practice writing tests on the IELTS‐blog.com website (each with a separate Task 1 and Task 2 question), and the incorporate the teachers’ feedback there is no reason why you should not get a high band score in the IELTS Writing module.

The 10 Key Mistakes Made by IELTS Candidates Taking the IELTS Writing Exam

IELTS candidates frequently fail to get the score they require because they make some basic mistakes. Unless you are a Foreign IELTS examiner you do not know what these basic mistakes are. IELTS preparatory courses teach you how to pass the IELTS writing exam from the student’s perspective. Now for the first time you can learn how to pass the IELTS writing exam from the perspective of the person who gives out the scores‐the IELTS examiner.

Let’s take a look at the ten most common and easily solved problems made by IELTS candidates taking the IELTS writing Exam:

10 Key mistakes Made By IELTS Candidates taking the IELTS writing Test

Mistake

Explanation

1. Writing down memorised answers

A memorised answer is written by a non‐native speaker is easy to recognize and will stop you from passing the exam

2. Not writing enough

Failure to write the minimum amount of words

means that the candidate will be marked down

3. Not writing like an individual

Although it is common to think as part of a group in many countries, most examiners come from Western countries where they expect people write personal or individual answers to questions.

4. Being inadvertently racist

Describing one ethnic/national group as unique

and deserving special treatment is considered offensive by people from Western countries.

5. Using clichés

A cliché is a phrase used to describe a situation such as “every coin has two sides” which is over‐ used by many candidates. Choose your own way

of describing something.

6. Writing inappropriately

Unless the question asks you to write to a friend, your answers should always be written  formally.

7. Not using paragraphing

It is essential to use paragraphing in Task 2 of the Writing exam.

8. Not answering the question

Always answer try to answer the question, otherwise you will not pass the exam

9.   Using         vocabulary        and         phrases inappropriately

Do not use vocabulary and phrases unless you know how to use them in a written answer.

10. Not managing exam time well

If you take longer than the recommended amount of time on each task, you will run out of

time to write a good answer.

And here are the way’s to simply avoid these problems:

10 Key mistakes Made By IELTS Candidates taking the IELTS Writing Test

Mistake

Solution

1. Writing down memorised answers

Repeatedly practise writing down your own answers ‐ with the feedback from IELTS‐Blog.com teachers you will learn to be able      to          write   your   own           high‐scoring

answers

2. Not writing enough

Practise     writing     the     minimum     word amounts in the required time limits

(Task 1‐141 words in 20 minutes. Task 2 ‐ 241 words in 40 minutes.)

3. Not writing like an individual

Avoid writing things such as “because I am (your own nationality) I think…”

4. Using clichés

Avoid using English sayings which you have

not seen used by native English speaking writers.

5. Being inadvertently racist

Recognizing that there are many different types of people in the world and that there no one country or ethnic group can be the best at anything. So writing something such as the following would be acceptable: “The (your own nationality) have a reputation for

being very hospitable…”

6. Writing inappropriately

Use formal speech always, unless specifically told otherwise in the Task question (this applies only to General

Training candidates)

7. Not using paragraphing

Practise writing essays with paragraphing and using connective devices.

8. Not answering the question

Always try to answer the question.

9.   Using         vocabulary        and         phrases inappropriately

Practise using new vocabulary and phrases by identifying them in material written by native English speaking writers, such as

newspapers and magazines.

10. Not managing exam time well

Practise writing your answers under timed

conditions‐remember it is 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2.

Thank You!