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IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide

Author: SEO Voiceskills
by SEO Voiceskills
Posted: Aug 11, 2019

Ielts Academic Writing Task 2 is the second of two writing tasks on the IELTS. Even though Task 1 is by no means easy, most students find IELTS Writing Task 2 more challenging. The purpose of this guide is to help you master the IELTS Writing Task 2 skills you need in order to do well on this important section of the IELTS exam. In addition to the basics of IELTS Writing Task 2, we’ll cover how to organize your essay, the question types you’ll see on test day, and share our favorite practice resources.

IELTS Writing Task 2 BasicsIELTS Writing Task 1 vs. IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 involves composing a formal five-paragraph essay in 40 minutes. The first section—Task 1—should take you only 20 minutes. Why spend more time on IELTS Writing Task 2? This basic comparison offers a few reasons:

  • Points: Task 2 counts more towards your Writing band score

Task 1 = 1/3rd of your score

Task 2 = 2/3rds of your score

  • Word count minimums: Task 2 is longer

Task 1 = 150 word minimum

Task 2 = 250 word minimum

  • Planning your response: Task 2 questions require more thought

Task 1 = transfer of information from a visual into writing

Task 2 = answer an open/abstract question with no clear or "correct" answer

Let’s look at some basic IELTS essay writing tips for IELTS Writing Task 2:

Handwritten Responses

The IELTS is a pencil and paper exam, so your responses will be handwritten. It is essential that you handwrite your practice essays for Task 2. Writing by hand helps you develop a sense of pacing. In other words, you will learn how quickly (or slowly!) you write with pencil and paper in English.

Importantly, as you’re probably aware, precious points will be deducted if you do not meet the minimum word requirements in the Writing section. But it is a huge waste of time to actually count your words on exam day

Timing

Writing speed varies a lot from student to student. How you allocate time depends a lot on how fast you can write. The more you practice Task 2 responses, the quicker you will become. Your goal should be to allow enough time for these three things:

  • Essay planning 2 – 10 minutes
  • Writing 25 – 32 minutes
  • Editing 5 minutes (or more if possible)

As you practice, try very hard to cut down on the amount of time it takes to plan your responses before writing. Some students can take up to 10 minutes to brainstorm and plan. For most people, however, using 10 minutes at the beginning will take away too much time from writing and editing. I usually recommend three to five minutes of planning as a reasonable target. The more practice questions you answer, the faster you will become at generating ideas before you write.

Academic/Formal Writing

The IELTS expects you to use an academic/formal writing style. This means you should use the same kind of language that you would when writing a report for work or an essay for school. Obviously, you would avoid using "slang" words. You would also write in complete sentences and use proper punctuation.

About the Author

Voice training and Research Institute is a Pan India Partner for Ets (Educational Testing Service), Toefl and Toeic Usa. It serves as an active country partner for India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

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Author: SEO Voiceskills

SEO Voiceskills

India

Member since: Jan 08, 2018
Published articles: 35

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