In the General Training version of IELTS, Task 1 requires you write a letter. In the Academic version of IELTS, Task 1 requires you to write a report on a diagram. In both versions of the test, Task 2 is the same: a discursive essay.
If you repeat the question word-for-word in your introduction, these words will not be counted as your own and your word count will be lower as a result. You should always change at least a few words in the questions or rewrite it completely.
Writing Task 2 has no specific genre although it always requires a discursive response and you should advise your students to read each question carefully and respond appropriately to the individual task they are given. For Writing Task 2 students may be asked to: present a solution to a problem; present and justify an opinion; compare and contrast opinions and evidence; evaluate and challenge an idea, argument or opinion. Their answer should always be in the form of a short formal essay for a tutor or examiner.
In IELTS Writing, there is no maximum number of words. However, you will not get a higher score if you write more words than required. For that reason, you should stop writing when you have reached the limit AND written a satisfactory conclusion.
In Task 1 candidates are asked to describe the visual information and are expected to present this information in an organized, coherent way. This necessarily requires an introductory statement, however brief. Similarly, a statement summarizing the main trends or features would be an appropriate ending. Speculation about the information or attempt to explain it is not required by the task.
The introduction should describe the diagram or data overall. This usually means paraphrasing the question, i.e. restating the question in other words. Try to include all important information such as time periods, countries and other important divisions in the data. If there is a clear main feature, you can point this out in the introduction too. Otherwise, save your descriptions of these features for the body paragraphs.
Read the question carefully first. If the question asks you simply to agree or disagree, then you should state your position clearly in the introduction. If the question asks you to discuss both sides of an argument, you should save your own opinion for the end. If the question includes an expression such as to what extent or How far, you may decide yourself whether to begin with a strong opinion or take a more balanced approach to begin with and state your final opinion later.
Absolutely, yes. Your conclusion should restate the overall topic and your main idea, briefly summarize the main point of each body paragraph, and end with a comment of some kind. Without a conclusion, your essay may lack coherence and this will bring down your score.
These are the assessment criteria used: Task 1: Task Achievement; Coherence and Cohesion; Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy Task 2: Task Response; Coherence and Cohesion; Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy.
The IELTS writing scripts are assessed by IELTS examiners. All IELTS examiners are fully trained in how to assess IELTS writing and speaking performances. Examiners’ training is kept up to date by regular standardization sessions and by a process called ‘certification’. This requires the examiners to demonstrate that throughout their examining they continue to adhere to the required assessment procedures and standards.
You can give yourself valuable feedback on your progress by using the following: 1) Writing Band Descriptors (Public Version) (PDF) 2) Sample Scripts (PDF) All of this information will help you to assess whether you are performing well in your writing tasks as well as the areas you need to continue to work on.
No, marks are not deducted for handwriting specifically but, obviously, an illegible script cannot be marked. However, clear handwriting by candidates allows their message to be more easily understood by the examiner. Clear handwriting also helps students to communicate their ideas more effectively, so you should encourage your students to write as clearly as possible.
There are no separate marks given for introductions and conclusions. However, one of the assessment criteria for Writing Task 2 is 'Task Response' (IELTS Handbook available here). If ideas are presented without an appropriate introduction and conclusion they may not be effectively argued or organized and so marks may be lost in this area.
It varies by university and many do not specify a requirement for each module. However, you should be aiming to achieve a score of at least 6 in IELTS Writing if you intend to study at an English-speaking university. A band score of 5 may be sufficient for some foundation and English courses.