If you want to excel in the IELTS Writing Test, there are key aspects of writing a text that you must understand and apply:
In addition, you need to avoid making some other basic mistakes when writing if you are to achieve the goal of passing your IELTS Writing Test. Discover how to avoid making 8 common IELTS Writing Test mistakes that will lose you vital test marks, or alternatively visit our website now to schedule an immediate consultation with our IELTS private tutor and find out how Mr. Jeff can help you to significantly improve your overall IELTS Test score.
The purpose of writing any text is to communicate your key points concisely so that every reader fully understands what you have written. An excessively worded text often ends up as a complete disaster because it confuses the reader. Marks are also lost if you significantly exceed the number of specified words for each written text.
The length of a completed written task is very important. Test instructions will state the minimum number of words to be written for each task, being at least 150 words for Writing Task 1 (typically a report or a letter) and 250 words for Writing Task 2 (an essay). Any submitted text that is shorter than the required number of words will be penalised.
This may sound like the first mistake discussed earlier, however the underlying message here is different. It is a commonly held IELTS Writing Test misconception that producing a longer text will score you a better mark. This is not only a myth, but also a very risky action to take in the test. Writing a text that is too long jeopardises your marks because of the potentially higher number of mistakes being made.
Occasionally a student may be instructed to write about a topic that is not fully understood, but deciding to change the question and writing subject even slightly in order to write a better text is not allowed. The truth is that even if the submitted final text is expertly written, you will still score a very low mark. Further potential pitfalls are not making a written response to all parts of the given topic, or failing to follow the provided question guidelines. Every topic point addressed within the question must be covered in the written text, as the examiner will identify and mark each content point accordingly.
Having seen that some topics for the IELTS Writing Test are occasionally repeated, a student might be tempted to memorise sample texts. But examiners are trained to identify such memorised texts, and then authorised to immediately disqualify the student.
A key marking criteria for the IELTS Writing Test is to assess the coherence and cohesion of a text, and some students try to meet this criteria by including an excessive number of connective words in their texts. Not only does this impact any reader’s clear understanding of the text, but overuse of connective words is easily recognised by an examiner and results in a lower mark.
Writing Task 2 often requires comparison of two related ideas, and to answer such a question you must fully express your argument by giving a clear explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of all issues and provide a logical solution. For example, when highlighting key discussion points arising from an analysis of data represented in a graph, you must comment concisely upon significant correlations identified across all of the data rather than only describing unrelated individual trends.
An occasional individual mistake might be made as you complete an IELTS Writing Test, but provided the examiner can still understand your writing you will not be heavily penalised. However, if similar mistakes are continually made throughout the test it will be difficult to score above an IELTS Level 6.
By being more aware of these 8 common mistakes often made by students in their IELTS Writing Test, you are now ready to embark on a successful journey to score more highly in your test.
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