IELTS Writing Tips
Everest Podcast Ep 13 – IELTS Writing Tips
IELTS Writing Tips: In this week’s podcast our teachers discuss the exam and offer some IELTS writing tips and techniques. Below are some notes about the exam. You can listen to the podcast here, on Spotify or any podcast app.
The IELTS writing exam
1 hour in total
Two tasks (20 minutes & 40 minutes) but you need to leave time for planning & proofreading.
- Task 1 (150 words) – you get a graph, table, chart or diagram and you have to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words.
There are lots of different things you could get – data, describing the stages of a process, or how something works or an object or event.
- Task 2 (250 words) – you have to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. So this is quite different, and involves your opinion, unlike task 1.
What is the examiner looking for?
This assesses how appropriately, accurately and relevantly the response fulfils the requirements set out in the task
Academic Writing Task 1 is a writing task which has a defined input and a largely predictable output. It is basically an information-transfer task that relates narrowly to the factual content of an input diagram and not to speculative explanations that lie outside the given data.
Task 2 requires test takers to formulate and develop a position in relation to a given prompt in the form of a question or statement. Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the test takers’ own experience
Coherence and cohesion
This concerns overall clarity and fluency: how the response organises and links information, ideas and language. Coherence refers to the linking of ideas through logical sequencing, and the varied and appropriate use of cohesive devices.
This refers to the range of vocabulary used and its accuracy and appropriacy in terms of the specific task.
Grammatical range and accuracy
This refers to the range and accurate use of grammar
So your writing has to be well structured, it has to be logical, and it should always be easy to follow what you’re saying and understand your arguments.
So, what are a few good general things to remember about the writing exam?
- Remember that it’s the Academic IELTS – it’s academic & (semi-)formal in tone
- Broadly speaking, task 1 is like something you’d see in the sciences (technical, impersonal, based on statistics and numbers, etc) and task 2 is like something from the humanities (personal, critical, discursive, argumentative, etc)
- There are broad topics which come up again and again (and which you can learn vocab for): technology, the environment, crime & social issues, global cultures, and so on.
IELTS Writing Tips for Task 1
You could be asked to write about lots of things:
Data, eg bar chart, pie chart, line graph, table
A process or a procedure
An object, event or series of events
When you’re talking about data you’re reporting how things have changed and moved:
- Watch out for prepositions (from 1996 to 1999; an increase of 10%, it increased by 10%)
- Learn how to use adj/noun or adv/verb combos: “increased dramatically” / “a dramatic increase”
- Use a wide range of vocab: steep incline, steady decrease, fluctuate, collapse, vary, stabilize, etc
- Be really careful with your word combinations – there was a rapid increase but the number increased rapidly –adj + noun ; verb + adverb
There was a slow decline in the population; or the population declined slowly
When you’re talking about a process or procedure, or something like a set of maps, remember:
- tenses are important (eg present perfect – a new post have has been built in the east of the town)
- Sequence words are key – first, then, next, following this
- You’ll often need to use passives – first, the liquid is heated to 200 degrees)
IELTS WRITING CORRECTION SERVICE – One of our teachers can correct your IELTS task 1.
IELTS Writing Tips for Task 2
Opinion: what is your opinion? / (to what extent) do you agree or disagree?
Two views and an opinion: Discuss both points of views and give your opinion
Advantage / Disadvantage: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages (and give your opinion)
Problem and solution: What are some of the problems/causes and solutions?
Always make a plan!
Sample Question for Task 2
“Some people think that the aim of a university education is to get a good job.
Others believe there are wider benefits to a university education for both students and society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion”
conscientious – conscientious is another word for careful or meticulous, you make sure every detail is correct.
This word, conscientious, is easily confused, especially since we have two other words in English – conscience and conscious
conscience – which looks like con-science is the little voice in your head which tells you what’s right and wrong, your ethics or morality
conscious – means aware of something or alert, the opposite of unconscious – maybe you get hit on the head and you are unconscious. When you wake up you’re conscious
rich – you’re rich if you have lots of money, if you’re wealthy. However, something can be rich if it is full of something – a sound can be very rich, a colour can be rich, if it is vibrant and intense. Food can be rich if it’s very heavy – like cream for example.
And your vocabulary can be rich – full of useful and varied words.
IELTS WRITING CORRECTION SERVICE – One of our teachers can correct your IELTS task 2.
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