IELTS Writing Section | Tips & All You Need to Know About

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IELTS Writing Section


IELTS, a globally recognized standardized test for higher education and international migration, evaluates your proficiency in the English language and significantly enhances your chances of meeting the admission criteria of your desired foreign university. The International English Language Testing System consists of four distinct modules.

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Among all the modules, our primary focus will be on the writing section. This segment evaluates your skill in articulating your comprehension and ideas using a sophisticated and diverse vocabulary along with impeccable grammar. The writing section encompasses two assignments to be completed within 60 minutes, with 20 minutes allocated for task 1 and 40 minutes for task 2. In the first task, you are required to compose a descriptive essay that elucidates a visual presentation using your own words, such as explaining a graph or diagram. Conversely, task 2 entails crafting an argumentative essay, necessitating you to propose and substantiate a solution by constructing a coherent and rational argument on the provided topic.

Task 1: The descriptive essay

Imagine you possess knowledge of a graph that your friend is curious about, yet only you can see it. How would you go about explaining and conveying that visual information to her? This precisely encapsulates the essence of the descriptive essay task. Instead of relying on visualization, your task is to transform the imagery into precise words, capturing its essence as faithfully as possible. For instance, consider a graph depicting demographic shifts in India contrasted with those in China. You are allotted 20 minutes to compose a response of at least 150 words for this task.

Shifting to task 1 of the IELTS Writing section in the General IELTS exam, you are tasked with crafting a letter to someone. The provided instructions will guide your content, including specific points to address within your letter. Given the time constraint, it becomes crucial to devise your approach as soon as you encounter the graph. Here, “reading” goes beyond interpreting the visual representation; it involves analyzing the IELTS content swiftly to determine the key elements to incorporate into your response. Instead of fixating on the graph’s fluctuations, your emphasis should be on showcasing your English language prowess and effectively conveying the presented information through descriptive narration.

Task 2: The argumentative essay

In this segment, you will be provided with a subject matter, and the objective is to evaluate your capacity to provide a substantiated viewpoint, engage in a discourse on the topic, encapsulate particulars, delineate challenges, propose potential solutions, and bolster your narrative with rationalization, rationale, and pertinent instances from your personal knowledge or encounters. This component allows for a 40-minute window to compose a minimum of 250 words. The task serves to gauge your adeptness at presenting a lucid, pertinent, and well-structured argument, bolstered by evidence or illustrations to fortify concepts and utilizing language with precision. Naturally, considering the time constraint, it becomes imperative to make a concerted effort to streamline the time dedicated to outlining your responses prior to actual composition.

Tip: Writing a good essay is not an easy task. To make your essay effective and framed perfectly, begin with an introduction that tells your reader exactly what to expect in the rest of your essay, clearly present your opinion on the topic given, give concrete examples that show why your opinion is the correct one, and conclude with a summary what you have said, to drive all of your points home.              

Topics usually asked

The subjects introduced in the Academic module are grounded in substantial themes such as science, literature, and politics. Certain individuals perceive these themes to be more intricate to address compared to the topics explored in the General exam, which tend to revolve around everyday existence. Task 2 typically encompasses a range of subjects, including but not limited to Education, Culture, Governments, Terrorism, Technology & Science, Tourism, Parenting, International Aid, Environment or Ecology, Art, and Sports.

Marking scheme

Certified IELTS examiners possessing relevant teaching credentials are carefully selected and endorsed by either the British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia to oversee the assessment of your test. The evaluation parameters for the writing module meticulously scrutinize your grammatical accuracy, sentence structure, and vocabulary usage, all of which significantly contribute to achieving a favorable score. IELTS scores are assigned on a scale ranging from 1 to 9 for each of the assessment components, including Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The final IELTS score obtained is determined by calculating the average of your band scores in each of the corresponding test segments. The writing task is evaluated based on four distinct criteria.

  • Task achievement: how well you were able to present and answer the questions
  • Coherence and cohesion: the way you have structured your answers citing paragraphs and use of linking words ( firstly, to sum up, in my opinion, etc).
  • Lexical resources: examines how rich is your vocabulary and it’s correct use, avoiding errors in spelling and word formation.
  • Grammatical range and accuracy: it tests how good is your grammar and to make its use effective, use a wide range of grammatical structures and tenses, manage punctuation and try to avoid errors in sentences.

Each of these four criterias are calculated from 0 to 9 points.

IELTS Writing tips and strategies

  2. Word Count: The first task necessitates a 150-word response, while the second task calls for a 250-word composition. Any deviation from the specified word limits can result in a deduction of marks. Therefore, meticulous attention to the word count is imperative. Prior to embarking on your response, organize your answer by allocating the word count for each paragraph or section.
  3. Time Management: Considering the allocated time, Task 1 allots a mere 20 minutes for your description, while Task 2 carries double the marks, thus demanding a dedicated 40-minute allocation. Skillful time management is pivotal to effectively navigate the time constraints.
  4. Familiarize with Common Topics: Endeavor to acquaint yourself with prevalent topics that frequently emerge in the test. Although the spectrum of subjects may be unpredictable, honing your expertise in areas that have recurrently appeared in past years can prove advantageous.
  5. Make Practice Your Routine: Achieving a high score does not hinge on last-minute cramming of vocabulary and grammar. Cultivate a daily writing routine, commencing from this moment, to progressively enhance your skills. There is a wealth of practice tests accessible online, and you should take full advantage of them. Enhance your comprehension of various subjects, encompassing both academic and general themes, to adeptly tackle any unforeseen topic.

Writing task needs your hands to be skilled over different topics in different styles. And this skills is acquired with a constant and diligent hardwork. It seems exhausting but this is the way to hot the score board and shine as a supernova.

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