Well, if you are reading this article, it is quite possible that IELTS Writing Task 2 is giving you sleepless nights (to say the least). So, let’s cut the chase and jump directly on to the topic.
Although, IELTS Writing Task 2 is common for both General Training and Academic students which is Essay writing, the topics might slightly differ. The IELTS writing task 2 latest topics for General Training can range from social issues to cultural disparities, education, travel, health, law and order, sports and so on and IELTS Academic essay topics like Technology, globalization, environmental problems, gender inequalities et cetera. The examiner in such questions wants to gauge the ability of the student to comprehend the topic and provide his or her analysis.
Different categories: The questions can be categorized into majorly two headings; Opinion based where the student is expected to give a direct view on the subject and the second is Non-Opinion based questions.
Here, the student has to provide the exact details that are asked for (problem/solution, advantages/disadvantages, etc.). Any opinion stated in these types of question can prove to be fatal. However, there is one more topic that student and trainers often forget to mention which is the Indirect Opinion question. In these, a student should express his/her thoughts but indirectly or using passive voice.
Apart from these, it has been recently observed that double type of questions can also be a part of the IELTS Writing Task 2 test. These can be an amalgamation of opinion and non-opinion questions or two opinion questions as well.
A misconception: While preparing for the writing section, it is wrongly assumed by many students that only by rigorous writing practice one might succeed in getting a good band.
On the contrary, writing has its deep roots tangled with Reading. It is absolutely necessary to understand and read about the anticipated topics well enough. It is an unrealistic expectation to know about all the subjects and generate ideas as soon as you start preparing for the essay writing.
How to prepare: At the outset, if you plan to write a band 7 and above essay, you should know how to segregate good points from the not-so-good ones. For that, an exact interpretation of the question is a must. IELTS is not interested in checking your general knowledge, rather your language and articulation skills.
Hence, the topics are from day-to-day life concerns that have a socio-economic impact. The questions will not focus on any political group, any kind of current administrative policies of any nation or the geopolitical impact of any policy. Current affairs are also not part of the writing task 2 section. Therefore, the student should not worry about them.
Time Management: The time allocation of task 2 is 40 minutes. This time has to be utilised effectively and efficiently. Whether you are giving a paper-based exam or a computer-delivered one, time management is a must.
Ideally, the given period can be divide into three sections, the first being planning. At this stage, a student must make short notes of the points, examples and so on so that when he starts writing the focus should only be on how to communicate and not on what to communicate.
This is an absolutely crucial time and should be used wisely. The second is the actual writing. Here the student should concentrate on expressing the points in the best manner he can. He should follow the sequence of the question and focus on vocabulary, grammar and proper punctuation.
Since the arguments have already been thought of, the student will able to write quickly. Third and inseparable part of the writing section is Review time. Make it a habit to always and always review the writing after completing the writing section.
Fact check: students who proofread their answers before submitting have very few spelling, grammar and punctuation errors compared to those who do not which ultimately results in better bands.
Longer essays are not equivalent to good essays: Coming to the word count, IELTS has set the minimum limit of 250 words, anything below this, calls for a penalty. Though there is no upper limit, the writing should be to the point and not elaborate where not necessary, around 20-30 over the limit is acceptable. It is important to know that there are a few drawbacks of exceeding the writing too much.
There is limited time so the question has to be answered completely and concluded timely. Extended writing means exhausting relevant vocabulary associated with the topic, repetition of the points and risk of going off-track. These all can mean a lower band and penance (which nobody is keen on).
The weightage of writing task 2 is double task 1, hence whatever your band score is in essay writing it will define your final band in the Writing module. Therefore, get aquatinted with the IELTS Writing Task 2 latest topics and practice on them diligently. If unsure about the IELTS, seek counselling.
About the Author
I am a certified IELTS teaching professional and have vast experience in training IELTS students to crack their test successfully and nurturing the IELTS trainers with their training journeys.