IELTS Writing Task 2 is the second section of the writing test, and it asks you to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. Your essay must be written in a formal style if you are taking the Academic test or can be fairly personal in style if you are taking the General Training test.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Overview
In both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training versions, Task 2 requires test takers to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the test takers’ own experience.
In task 2 writing, you have to write 250 words minimum. If you write fewer than 250 words, you will lower your score because you will not explain your ideas very well. You should need to be a superhero, try to produce a lot of good words.
If you write 340 words, you are not being organized. Also, the longer your essay is, the more grammar mistakes you might make, and the less time you have to write your task 1 writing, and what easier for the examiner to follow and read? A shorter essay or longer essay? Of course, the shorter essay will make them easier to follow. There is no benefit to write supper long essays. Task 2 writing is worth 2/3 your overall score, and you should spend no more than 40 minutes on it.
This task assesses the ability to present a clear, relevant, well-organised argument, giving evidence or examples to support ideas and use language accurately.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Marking
You will be marked on:
- Task Response (25%)
- Coherence & Cohesion (25%)
- Vocabulary (25%)
- Grammar (25%)
In both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training versions, Task 2 requires test takers to formulate and develop a position in relation to a given prompt in the form of a question or statement. Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the test takers’ own experience. Responses must be at least 250 words in length. Scripts under the required minimum word limit will be penalised.
Coherence and cohesion
This assesses the overall clarity and fluency of the message: how the response organises and links information, ideas and language. Coherence refers to the linking of ideas through logical sequencing. Cohesion refers to the varied and appropriate use of cohesive devices (for example, logical connectors, pronouns and conjunctions) to assist in making the conceptual and referential relationships between and within sentences clear.
This criterion refers to the range of vocabulary used and its accuracy and appropriacy in terms of the specific task.
Grammatical range and accuracy
This assesses the range and accurate use of grammar, as manifested in their test takers’ writing at sentence level.
How to Manage Your TimeE in IELTS Writing Task 2
Time management is difficult but very important in the writing exam. It’s quite easy to spend too long on one task, or even on one part of a single piece of writing. This certainly will lead to having serious consequence. This prevents you from finishing both 2 tasks of your writing within 60 minutes.
The best way to avoid this is to divide your time wisely and strictly as following:
Planning stage (10 mins):
- Read the question.
- Decide your overall opinion.
- Note down ideas: both arguments and evidence.
Writing stage (30 mins):
- Write the introduction. (5 mins)
- Write the first body paragraph. (10 mins)
- Write the second body paragraph. (10 mins)
- Write the conclusion. (5 mins)
Checking stage (5 mins):
Read through your writing. Look for mistakes and correct them.
It might seem odd if you spend so long preparing at the beginning. Instead, you should spend only 25 minutes or so writing your essay – but remember the most important stage is actually the amount of time you are going to spend on planning before writing your essay.
If you use this time wisely to generate plenty of good ideas, you will be able to write a good essay quickly. In contrast, if you start writing too early, there is a possibility that you will misunderstand the question, organize your information badly, fill your essay poorly or run out of ideas. Any of these things will definitely result in a low band score.
Remember that if you follow the timings above, you only need to write at a speed of ten words per minute to reach the minimum word count.