Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What you should not do in the IELTS Writing Task 2

Not every person enjoys writing. Writing involves too much brain activity that anyone can easily get tired. When I took my IELTS test, it was the writing subtest that gave me stress. I hated writing a lot, but I had no choice but to take the test as I needed the IELTS certification for my student visa in New Zealand.
 For starters, I read online about the IELTS. A friend of mine told me that it is best to know what the exam is all about before actually taking them – made sense to me. When I saw the second task in the writing, I was quick to conclude that I would need help in this part. Since my friend was enrolled in a review center for the IELTS, I did not hesitate to do the same. In writing classes, the lecturers literally gave a lot of writing activities. They even have lectures on grammar, sentence structure, and skills needed for the test which really came in handy during my test. During the one-on-one coaching, my teacher pointed out things that I should avoid in the writing task two which I will be sharing in this post.

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  • Avoid going off topic. Honestly, this was my major problem when I wrote my essays. When the question asks for a general advantage, it should be written in a “general tone”. What I mean is that you do not have to personally own the advantage. Think of points that the general public would consider on that question. No matter how smart you are, yet you failed to understand the limits of the question, you will surely get a poor score.
  • Avoid starting your essay without an outline. The outline is a guide for writers to organize their ideas and to reduce the possibility of going off the topic. Write an outline for about two to three minutes to help your essay have a smooth flow.
  • Avoid copying words from the task for your introduction. When you just copy what is on the title, it clearly shows poor vocabulary. The need to paraphrase is a must. This will show that you can write in your own words your own understanding of the task.
  • Avoid poor time management. The task two usually takes longer so my coach advised me to do it first than the first task. Be conscious with the time. Give yourself about 5 minutes extra time to review your essay.
  • Avoid giving neutral answers. When you are asked to agree or disagree, choose one side and explain why you choose this. If you plan to show one side of the argument, make sure that you will be able to attack this side so that you still have a strong stand of your choice. Neutral answers do not yield good band scores.
  • Avoid using jargons. Do not use big words in your essays. Make sure that the vocabulary can be easily understood and appropriately used in the context.
  • Avoid too much transition words. Write essays that have transition placed on the right places. Do not use them because they make essay better. Use them appropriately.
  • Avoid misspelled words. It is really important to check your essay. Check the spelling especially pluralization.
  • Avoid overusing comma. This was my problem. My coach pointed out rules on how to use commas because my commas were found everywhere in my writing.
  • Avoid writing too much that compromises the content. Write at least two to three body paragraphs. You are asked to write at least 300 words. It is okay to go beyond it, but make sure that the flow and content are not compromised.
Reviewing on this what-to-avoid tips will surely result to a better writing score. I myself am living witness to that. I followed these and got a score of 7.0 in my writing test. Practice a lot and find a teacher who can help you improve your English writing skills.


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