This advice may well sound too simple to be serious. It is indeed simple advice, but it is critical to IELTS Writing success.
When you write an essay, how many times do you look back at the question to check that what you are writing is answering the question you think you have been asked?
Am I serious? You bet!
Many candidates get a very low IELTS score in Task 2 writing because they have not answered the question they were asked. Look at what the Public Band Descriptors say about this:
Band 5: addresses the task only partially;
Band 4: responds to the task only in a minimal way or the answer is tangential (not directly related to what was asked)
Band 1: answer is completely unrelated to the task
If you think Band 1 would not be given to a good writer, think again.
How do you make sure you are writing on the topic you have been asked?
Re-read the question every time you start a new paragraph and identify which part of the question the paragraph you are writing answers.
Every time you write a sentence identify how that sentence answers the question you have been asked. Don’t do this from memory – take your pencil and POINT to it on the question paper.
Even though you are under severe time pressure, do not just write the essay without constantly referring back to the question you have been asked.
The penalty for missing the topic and writing an irrelevant answer is huge – do not become a victim to this frequent mistake by IELTS candidates.