How to prepare for IELTS Writing Task 2

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What is asked in IELTS Writing?

Unlike IELTS writing task 1, IELTS writing task 2 has a similar structure for both Academic and General. However, IELTS Academic writing task is slightly more difficult.

Overall, you get 60 minutes for the writing test. Whether Academic or General, spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. Task 2 in both – Academic and General – is worth double the marks of Task 1.

What are you asked to do in IELTS Writing Task 2?

You are supposed to write an essay in at least 250 words and you get 40 minutes for it. In this task, you will be asked to write your response to the given issue, problem or opinion mentioned in the essay question. You will write a discursive essay in 250 words, in which you may even be asked to compare and contrast different ideas or challenge an idea. In case it’s a problem or an issue topic, you may be asked to evaluate the problem and provide a solution.

How are you assessed in IELTS Writing?

You are assessed according to your ability to achieve the following:

  • Task achievement/ Task response: You should be able to cover all the requirements of the task.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: You should be able to present all the information logically in paragraphs.
  • Lexical Resource – Range of Vocabulary: You should be able to use a wide range of vocabulary to convey precise meanings.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: You should be able to use a wide range of structures. Your sentences should be a good mix of Simple and Complex sentences with rare grammatical errors.

Your Band in IELTS Writing is calculated according to your level in the above-mentioned areas. You get Band 1 if your answer is completely unrelated to the task. You get Band 9 when you address all parts of the task with a wide range of error free vocabulary and sentence structure in logically coherent paragraphs. IELTS Writing Task 2 is worth double the marks of IELTS writing Task 1.

Types of Essay Questions in IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS writing task 2 essay topics can be on family, society, work, technology, education, sports, tourism, etc. You can get any of the following five types of questions on these topics.

  • Opinion Essay – A situation is presented to you and you are asked to give your opinion on it. Example: Computers are gaining importance in modern education. Some people believe that certain subjects such as science and mathematics are better taught using computers. What is your opinion? Hints
    • Collect the points to be included in your essay.
    • Write your essay in four or five paragraphs.
    • Paraphrase the question statement in the first paragraph, followed by your thesis statement.
    • Elaborate on one detail in the second paragraph – how some subjects can be better taught by using computers.
    • Elaborate on the second detail in the third paragraph – how teaching without computers can be more beneficial.
    • Conclude your essay in the last paragraph by paraphrasing your thesis statement.
    • Use linkers.
    Sample Essay 1 (High Band Score) The use of computers in education is increasing everyday. Many opine that the teaching of various concepts, especially in science and maths, is comparatively efficacious in a class where teaching can be aided with computers. Even I think that knowledge of a number of subjects can be imparted more effectively by using computers. However, teaching through interactions, discussions, experiments and activities has its own significance. Computers are becoming powerful tools for generating students’ interest in subjects such as science, social Science and mathematics. They can greatly help to solve students’ language and problem solving skills. Huge amount of information on the latest developments in science can be gathered using internet. Students get motivated to work on their science projects even during recess and are able to handle more complex assignments in maths and science. Hence, technology, especially computers, is increasingly becoming a significant factor in school and college classrooms. Conversely, the number of scientists has not increased with the proliferation of computers in school classrooms. Moreover, most of the teachers across the world do not have time for learning and practising technology. Resultingly, the computers are there but not for all subjects and teachers. Also, computers restrict teaching to the four walls of the classroom, thereby stopping outdoor activities and projects through which learning happens faster and certain soft skills are also imbibed in the learners. To conclude, computers can enhance the process of teaching by encouraging students to get into the habit of researching independently or in teams. In fact, science and maths can be taught effectively with computer support. But having just computer based teaching would not be the correct method of teaching various other subjects. Sample Essay 2 (Low Band Score) The use of computers in education is increasing everyday. Many feel that the teaching of various concepts, especially in science and maths, is comparatively better in a class where teaching can be aided with computers. Even I think that knowledge of a number of subjects can be imparted more effectively by using computers. Computers are becoming powerful tools for getting students’ interest in subjects such as Science, Social Science and Mathematics. They can greatly help to solve students’ language and problem solving skills. Huge amount of information on the latest developments in science can be gathered using internet. Students get motivated to work on their science projects even during recess and can able to handle more complex assignments in Maths and Science. Hence, technology, especially computers,are increasingly becoming a significant factor in school and college classrooms. Conversely, the number of scientists has not increased with the proliferation of computers in school classrooms. Moreover, most of the teachers across the world do not have time for learning and practising technology. Resultingly, the computers are there but not for all subjects and teachers. Also, computers restrict teaching to the four walls of the classroom, thereby stopping outdoor activities and projects through which learning happens faster and certain soft skills are also imbibed in the learners.So, computers can make the process of teaching better by encouraging students to get into the habit of researching independently or in teams. In fact, Science and Maths can be taught effectively with computer support. But having just computer based teaching would not be the correct method of teaching various other subjects.
  • Advantages/ Disadvantages Essays – A prevalent trend or situation or technology is presented to you in the question and you are asked to write its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Solution Essay Questions – A problem is given to you in the question. Sometimes you are asked to provide only the solution and sometimes both – causes and solutions.
  • Direct Essay Questions – In such essays, you are required to address the two or three questions presented in the question.

How should the structure of an IELTS Task 2 essay look like?

You should write your essay in four or five paragraphs (Body paragraphs can be two or three).

  • Paragraph 1: Introduce the IELTS writing topic by giving a background statement followed by the thesis statement.
  • Paragraph 2: This is the first paragraph to support your thesis. It should have a topic sentence followed by a supporting example and an explanation. The last sentence of the paragraph should conclude its topic.
  • Paragraph 3: This is the second paragraph to support your thesis. It should have a topic sentence followed by a supporting example and an explanation. The last sentence of the paragraph should conclude its topic.
  • Paragraph 4: This is the concluding paragraph of the essay. It should summarise the points mentioned in the previous two paragraphs in one or two sentences. Then the thesis statement should be restated. The last sentence should include a recommendation, suggestion or prediction.

The above-mentioned structure will have 15-20 sentences which will be written in around 250-275 words.

IELTS Writing Tips

  • Understand what has been asked in the essay question.
  • Plan your essay before writing it. Collect all the points you would like to include in your essay.
  • Use a mix of simple and complex sentences.
  • Use transition words.
  • Take care of grammar pitfalls.
  • Use low-frequency words in between to show your lexical ability.
  • Use examples from personal life to support your argument in the essay.
  • Write short sentences.
  • Link your points to make your essay cohesive.
  • Do not repeat points.

FAQ

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In the IELTS Writing task 2, you are asked to write an essay in at least 250 words.
You get 40 minutes for the writing task 2.
The writing task 2 is worth double the marks of writing task 1.
You can attempt whichever you feel like. It is your choice. However, it is better to attempt Task 1 first.
Yes, the examiner will penalise you if you write under 250 words.
There are different types of essays that you can expect in the writing task 2, such as solution essay, opinion essay, advantage or disadvantage essay.
You should write your essay in 4-5 paragraphs.
The spellings are important in the IELTS Exam. The examiner will penalise you for wrong spellings.
Yes, it will matter because it is a part of grammar.
Yes, an IELTS essay is different from a normal essay as it has a certain structure with an introductory and a concluding paragraph.
It is your choice. You can use a pen or a pencil.
Yes, the examiner will provide you with extra writing paper if you ask for it.
Yes, your essay should have a concluding paragraph.
Yes, you must include your thesis statement (your opinion) in the first paragraph.
In both you are asked to write an essay in the writing task 2. The only difference is that the IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is more difficult than the IELTS General Writing Task 2.