Does IELTS Writing Task 2 scare you just like Halloween! Try these 7 tips!

Writing task 2 is the most Halloween-ish part of the IELTS exam. It is where your worst fears come true!!! So how do you overcome those fears? I will give you 7 expert tips that, just like Halloween candies, will fire up your courage and illuminate your mind. But before that, let’s take a closer look at the IELTS Writing task 2.

In case you are wondering, “Task achievement” refers to the relevance of your response to the question, while “coherence & cohesion” refers to the structure of your essay and sentences. “Lexical resources” are the range of your vocabulary, which must include various words if you are aiming for a high band score. “Grammatical range and accuracy” obviously refers to the variety of tenses and how precise you use them.

This task often asks your opinion about a topic, or sometimes you are asked to offer a solution for a problem. You might also be asked to describe the advantages and disadvantages of something, or it might be a discussion about a social subject.

Technically there is no difference between the Academic and General tests as far as writing task 2 is concerned. The question type is the same as described above, but the subject might be simpler in the IELTS General Training, for example, a subject about social trends instead of an academic topic.

Regardless of the test type, you need to be well prepared for the task. The following tips are vital points you should remember and apply in your writing task 2 to get your desired band score. So memorize them and go through them one by one when you are practising. They will become second nature and save you on the actual exam:

1- Understand the question

Everything starts with understanding, and IELTS writing task 2 is no exception. Pay close attention to the type of question and what is being asked of you. Underline or highlight the keywords as well as instruction words. They make up the frame you should write within. Stay in that frame, and don’t get distracted.

2- Clearly express your own opinion

Remember, IELTS writing task 2 is about presenting different points of view and clarifying your own opinion.  So, develop a clear idea as you move to the following paragraphs and express what you think about the question.

Keep Your position clear, though, for the whole essay and never change your mind, specifically in the conclusion paragraph!

3- Organize your writing structure

Structure in writing is made with paragraphs. Meaning you need to divide your essay into small sections and write about just one point of view in each.

Start with an introduction paragraph that gives a big picture of what the essay is all about. Then elaborate further on each point of view in the main body paragraph. You can support your points with explanations and relevant examples.

Pro tip: One key point in a well-structured essay is the space you leave after each paragraph so the examiner can easily navigate your ideas.

4- Draw a conclusion

At the end of your writing, you need to summarize everything you have already expressed and finish it with your own clear opinion about the topic.

Pro tip: The conclusion paragraph is not a place for new ideas or a change of mind!

5- Use a wide range of vocabulary & grammar

Your writing will reveal your fluency in English just by the variety of words you use and the range of grammar you correctly utilize.

So make sure you have plenty of linking or transition words as well as synonyms and opposites. Discourse markers and complex sentences can get you higher marks if used correctly. Collocation and idiomatic phrasal verbs can also improve your writing to a native level.

Pro tip: You need to use academic language if you are taking Academic IELTS. So practice relevant words and phrases.

6- Check your essay again

Even if you are confident that you haven’t made any mistake, just go back and re-read your writing.  Look at the structure of paragraphs and how they move forward with the ideas. Pay attention to verb tenses and repetitive words, then check the spelling and punctuation. Consider the integrity of your writing and make sure it is relevant as well as cohesive.

Pro tip: If you are taking paper-based IELTS, take the average word count in a couple of lines and multiply it with the number of lines to ensure you have 250 words. But in computer-delivered IELTS, you can see the exact word count.

7- Watch the timing

You have to be mindful of time management as 40 minutes can fly by without you realizing it. If you take paper-based IELTS, allocate the last 10 minutes to transfer your writing to the answering sheet.

Pro tip: Don’t be tempted to add sentences at the last minute. This will break the structure, and you will lose marks. However, in computer-delivered IELTS, you have the advantage of editing text without disorganizing your writing.

Final thoughts

IELTS writing task 2 is mastered by understanding the question first and expressing opposing ideas in cohesive paragraphs using a wide range of vocabulary and grammar. Just make your own opinion about the topic clear and stay loyal to it till the conclusion paragraph. Don’t forget to recheck your writing one last time while watching the time all along!

IELTS writing task 2 might look scary, but the truth is that achieving a high score is possible by a correct method of practice. Nothing is better than a mock test that is as hard as the real IELTS and is even scored by certified examiners!

Have your IELTS Writing essay assessed by certified
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