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.

7 thoughts on “IELTS TASK 2 WRITING

  1. Hi,
    As I am following your blog. Although it seems simple for principle to tackle this task, when i started to write it , hours are taken… so i wrote some sample task just to know if I follow your advice correctly.

    Q :In the developed world, average life expectancy is increasing. What problems will this cause for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of aging populations.

    Here is my writting. what do you think?
    It is certainly true that the increase of average life expectancy in developed countries could cause several problems for both individuals and society. There are various measures can be taken by governments and individuals to improve the situation.
    One of the main causes of the increase the number of retired people is that governments need to allocate much more money as a pension for this age group to survive. This requires a greater tax burden on working populations because of the reduction of working people and larger amount of money needs. Furthermore, if countries have a higher elderly proportion, the demand for health care will rise as the old people are susceptible sickness by nature. Another problem is that young adults will have to sacrifice their time to look after elderly relatives.
    However, it is not impossible to tackle these problems. Firstly, governments need to enforce the later retirement policy and rise the state of pension age. For example,retirement age rise to about 67 years old in France. At the same time, Governments should encourage people to have more children and immigration in order to increase the number of younger adults. With regard to the demand for healthcare, governments of developed world could play their parts by supporting the medical advances and health programs which might allow elderly people to stay healthy and work longer.
    In conclusion, the impact of higher aging population could be tackled by having more adult workers and reduce unhealthy conditions. If these measures are taken, I believe that the increase of retired people will cause less problems in most developed countries.

    Best regards,

  2. Thanks for this essay. I will have a look and get back to you in detail via your email and will also make a few brief comments here.

  3. This essay is a quite good response: you have targeted exactly the right issues and paragraphed it correctly – a little bit stronger support for some of the main points you raise and slightly higher sentence accuracy would help it gain a higher score.

  4. Hi, Mr. Barrie
    Thank you very much for you comment, it means lots to me. Anyway, I’m still confusing about how to use “rise and raise”. and does it affect your score, if you write wrong information? ( From my writting that I said 67 years old retirement in France ) :P

  5. Rise & Raise:
    “rise” is an intransitive verb (no object); if something rises it moves upwards.
    In the morning the sun will rise.
    The sun rises in the east. (“in the east” is a prepositional phrase and not the object of the verb)
    The retirement age must rise.

    “to raise” is a transitive verb (it has an object)
    The government raised the interest rates.
    The school principal raises the national flag every morning.
    His lawyer will raise an objection when the court case resumes this afternoon.
    The government must raise the retirement age to solve this problem.

    In the structure:
    subject + verb + object
    we must use “raise” not “rise” because “rise” is intransitive and has no object.

    Let me know if this is still confusing for you. I used to find grammar confusing – it always made me feel confused. (the ‘thing’ grammar is the ‘-ing’ form (grammar is confusing); the way I feel is the ‘-ed’ form (I am confused by grammar.)

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