|In Writing Task 2, test takers write a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay of at least 250 words on the computer.
The task instructions give information about a point of view, argument or problem. They then tell test takers how to discuss this, which may involve providing general factual information, outlining and/or presenting a solution, justifying an opinion, evaluating evidence and ideas.
Topics are of general interest, – such as: whether children’s leisure activities should be educational, why families are not so close as they used to be and how they could be brought closer, how environmental problems can be solved, who should pay for the care of old people, whether smoking should be banned in public places.
Test takers should make sure that they complete the task carefully and provide a full and relevant response. They should organize their ideas clearly and make sure to support their argument with relevant examples (including from their own experience where relevant) or evidence. For this task, test takers need to be able to communicate more abstract and complex ideas and use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Task 2 contributes twice as much to the final Writing band score as Task 1. Therefore, test takers who fail to attempt to answer this task will greatly reduce their chance of achieving a good score.
Test takers are asked to write at least 250 words and will be penalized if their answer is too short. They should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task.
Test takers should also note that they will be penalized for irrelevance if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.). They will be severely penalized for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).