IELTS Writing – 9 Points for The Essay

The ability to write in English is essential for every student who is going to study abroad. Regardless of your future academic major, you will have to submit written work, including essays and thesis, when you go to a foreign university.

That is why it is so important to do well on the written part of the IELTS exam.

What is IELTS Writing?

Writing is one of the 4 parts of the IELTS exam. The writing part takes 60 minutes. The IELTS exam is general (for employment and migration) and academic (for study abroad). The written part of the two exams is different.

How does IELTS Writing work?

IELTS Writing tasks depend on the type of exam you are taking – General Test or Academic.

General IELTS Writing consists of 2 exercises:

Task 1 – a written response to a given situation (e.g., writing a letter, etc.) in at least 150 words

Task 2: An evaluation of the position given in the assignment and a description of your point of view in at least 250 words.

Academic IELTS Writing also consists of 2 tasks, but of a different type:

Task 1 – graphic description

The student must make a complete description of visual information, which can be in the form of:

  • graphic
  • table
  • diagrams
  • scheme
  • maps, etc.

The description should be at least 150 words. It is recommended that students spend no more than 20 minutes on this part. It is important to note that the student should not write an essay but a short report description in the first assignment.

Task 2 – Essay Writing

A student is assigned a task and must write an essay on a given topic. There are several types of essays in IELTS Writing:

1) Opinion essay. The student must agree or disagree with the point of view presented.

2) Discussion essay. The student must describe two opposing viewpoints on the issue presented.

3) Advantage Disadvantage essay. The student must evaluate the advantage and disadvantages of the situation presented.

4) Solution essay. The student must write what he or she believes is the correct solution to the question presented.

5) Direct Question essay. The student must answer a specific question on a topic presented in the assignment.

The essay should be at least 250 words in length. It is recommended that students take 40 minutes to write the essay.

The first assignment is graded:

completion of the assigned task (25% of the grade)

coherence of the text (25% of the grade)

vocabulary (25% of the grade)

grammar (25% of the grade)

The grade for Task 1 is 34% of the total grade for the writing task.

The second assignment is graded:

completion of the assigned task (25% of the grade)

coherence of the text (25% of the grade)

vocabulary (25% of the grade)

grammar (25% of the grade)

The mark for Task 2 is 66% of the total mark for the written task and is, therefore, more important than the mark for the first task.

The main aim of IELTS Writing

The writing part of IELTS primarily tests a student’s ability to write in English. Therefore, assignments must be written correctly from a grammatical, stylistic, semantic, and punctuation point of view.

In the written part, the student must show his or her ability to write and express thoughts in English and his or her vocabulary, imagination, and knowledge of grammar.

Remember that the written part is assessed in terms of correctness of the assignment, content, and organization of the text, vocabulary, and grammar.

What is the difficulty of IELTS Writing?

For most international students, the writing part of IELTS turns out to be the most difficult. There are several main reasons why students get low scores on IELTS Writing:

  • ability to write in English
  • ability to express your thoughts in writing
  • low vocabulary
  • lack of knowledge of grammar
  • inability to organize a text
  • poor time management

How to prepare for IELTS Writing?

The complexity of the writing part means that you should pay special attention to preparing for it. Regardless of the type of IELTS, the second essay writing task is considered more severe and critical.

  1. Important information on preparation is given in the corresponding textbooks. Purchase several quality textbooks that will explain in detail the specifics of the IELTS test and the pitfalls.
  2. Write in English as much as possible. This way, you will develop the habit of writing and expressing your thoughts in a foreign language.
  3. Improve your grammar level by doing grammar exercises online or from manuals.
  4. Read texts in English in different directions, especially authentic ones. They will help you better understand English writing of other topics and styles and increase your vocabulary. Also, you may find lots of different texts and essay examples, for example, on the essay writing service websites or essay databases.
  5. Find examples of IELTS essays written by the examiners themselves. Careful study of these essays will help you understand what the text needs to be to get a high score and memorize vocabulary that will help improve your score. After reading the examples of good essays, you will notice quite a few patterns and be able to write your successful essay.
  6. Study the IELTS practice tests and their assignments. You can find them on the Internet and in specialized guides. This way, you will know what to expect on the exam.
  7. Pay attention to feedback from other students who have already taken IELTS. Personal experience is precious when it comes to difficulties. There are plenty of forums, blogs, articles, and videos where students share their experiences and offer advice on successfully writing IELTS Writing.

To get a high enough score on IELTS Writing, follow a few simple tips:

Mental Attitude. Set yourself up psychologically for writing. On the one hand – engage your imagination. On the other hand – don’t forget to be serious about your work, grammar, vocabulary, and everything else you’ve learned in your IELTS preparation.

Time Management. Effective time management is the key to success. There are only 60 minutes for the two parts of IELTS Writing. Experts advise you to devote about 20% of this time to the first task and about 40% to the second. When calculating your time, analyze your strengths and weaknesses and decide what you want to pay the most attention to. Don’t forget to allow yourself time to review both assignments!

Read assignments carefully. Many students are inattentive to assignments, overlooking important phrases, wording, and requirements. Make sure you are doing exactly what the exam asks for.

Think through the text in advance and be concise. When you receive an assignment, take some time to think about what you will write. Outline your text and write it down in a draft. Be concise – organize the text carefully, divide it into meaningful paragraphs, and make it enjoyable and straightforward to read.

Use the “right” words and phrases. On the one hand, your text should not be overloaded with abstruse statements, and on the other hand, it should contain words and phrases that show the depth of your knowledge of English. Try to maintain a balance. Most importantly, please do not use words you are unsure of their spelling or meaning.

Thank you for reading this article to the end. Now you know a little more about what to expect on the written part of the IELTS exam. We hope you do well and wish you the best of luck.

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