Can you write 250 words in 40 minutes on a topic you may or may not be familiar with?
Well, if you're aiming for a band score 7 in IELTS Academic Writing, this is one of the challenges you face for Writing Task 2.
Read on to learn more about this part of the Writing test and find out exactly what you need to do.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 2
Let’s start by looking at what IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is.
In IELTS Academic Writing Task 2, you have to write an essay of at least 250 words in response to a particular opinion, two different views or a problem.
This is important to know because the type of essay you have to write will depend on the Writing Task 2 question you get. You don’t want to waste valuable time in your test thinking about how to answer the task when you could have looked at examples of the different types before your test.
Although there are certain features you need to include for all types of essays, the types of information you have to include can change depending on the type of task.
If the task asks you to say how much you agree or disagree with an opinion, you have a choice; you can agree completely, disagree completely or write about both sides of the argument.
If the task asks you to discuss two different views and give your own opinion, you have to talk about both views and make it clear which, if either, you agree with.
If the task asks you to explain why a problem exists and how the situation can be improved, you have to write about the causes and what you think the possible solutions are.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 example question
So, now you know there are different types of Writing Task 2 questions, let’s take a look at an example task and a band score 7 answer.
The following task from the Official IELTS Practice Materials 2 is on the common IELTS topic of education.
Before reading on, look at the task and identify if you have to agree/disagree with an opinion, talk about two different views or explain the causes of a problem and some possible solutions.
As you can see, the task asks you to agree or disagree with an opinion, and so you have a choice:
you can agree completely and explain why you think children with different abilities and from different social backgrounds should mix at school
you can disagree completely and explain why you think children with different abilities and from different social backgrounds should not mix at school
you can discuss both sides of the argument
As you’ll see below, you’ll need to address all parts of the task to get a band score 7, and in this case it means talking about children with different abilities and children from different social backgrounds!
IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 band score 7 example answer
The following is a band score 7 answer for the Writing Task 2 above from the Official IELTS Practice Materials 2.
If you read the answer, you’ll see that the writer agrees with the opinion given in the task and explains why children from many different backgrounds (e.g. ethnic, social, family) and with many different abilities should mix at school.
Other reasons this answer got a band score 7 are:
the writer’s opinion is clear throughout the essay
ideas are supported with explanations and examples
ideas are clearly organised and paragraphs are used logically
reference words, e.g. ‘they’ and ‘this’, are used to link sentences and paragraphs
there are examples of collocation (words used together in a natural way), e.g. ‘problems could be avoided’, ‘a reasonable possibility’ and ‘a source of conflict’
there are different kinds of grammatical structures, e.g. ‘If one is aware…’ and ‘...not having had a chance to...’
there are only a few errors in spelling and grammar, e.g. ‘...got accostumed accustomed to...’ and ‘...helped me better understanding understand and accepting accept...’
If you’re wondering how this answer could be improved, one way would be for the topic to be mentioned in the introduction rather than referring to the Writing Task with ‘this statement’.
Another way would be for the conclusion to state that the kind of education the writer had would be beneficial for everyone (not only the writer), e.g. ‘I am very certain that this kind of education can help me people better understand and accept the world around me them...’.