IELTS, an abbreviation of International English Language Testing System, is one of the most popular tests that assess the language proficiency of non-native English speakers who want to study or work in countries like the USA, Australia or Canada.
The test uses a nine-band scale and includes four modules to identify levels of proficiency – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. There are two versions of the IELTS test, which includes Academic and General.
Those who want to apply for higher education and professional registration can apply for IELTS Academic, while IELTS General is for those who want to migrate for secondary education or training programs.
Regardless of the purpose, one of the biggest challenges people face while appearing for the IELTS exam is to achieve their band score in the essay portion in writing task 2.
Understanding the IELTS Essay
The IELTS essay is the task available in both Academic and General. In the exam, a student is given a specific topic and asked to write a 250-word essay in 40 minutes.
This topic provides an assessment of the ability to respond by giving and justifying a viewpoint, explaining the given topic, providing a summary of problems, discerning solutions and supporting the statements with relevant examples.
Why Most People Fail to Do Their Best in IELTS Essay?
One of the major problems people face in the IELTS essay exam is to maintain coherence. They often start writing without planning the ideas, which affects the flow and purpose of an essay.
It is essential for all the test takers to move in a uniform and organized way rather than messing up everything. Otherwise, this will result in unfavorable scores, as the examiner will not find any interest in reading the essay.
Understand the subject of the question:
Often when people get done with reading the question, they want to jump in and start right away. This not only makes the ideas and language irrelevant to the question but also indicates to the examiners that you lack command of English.
When it comes to writing an effective essay, the first and most important step is to read the question carefully and understand it thoroughly.
If the question is about giving an opinion on a certain subject, make sure to either agree or disagree with the argument and provide a variety of facts and examples along with a clear conclusion.
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to get a flexible framework and prioritize information in the essay since the process requires you to think critically or to create something innovative.
The more brainstorming, the better one can understand the subject. Also, it helps to choose the best of ideas and define them in a more logical and clear way.
Maintain a Proper Structure:
Like any other essay, there are three main elements that define a perfect IETLS essay. This includes the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion.
For the introduction part, start with some basic facts and examples or establishing the point of view on the given subject.
In the main paragraphs, elaborate those examples or opinions mentioned in the introductory part while in the conclusion wrap everything up with a concise message.
Though there are no specific rules for the size of the essay, adding unnecessary or repetitive words with the purpose of increasing its length is obviously not welcomed. It proves that the range of vocabulary is limited, which ultimately affects the band score.
Also, one should check if the words are not misspelled and punctuated correctly. Some of the most frequent mistakes that happen in the exam are using “there” instead of “their” or using “it’s” instead of “its”.
Time management has always been the major issue for the candidates appearing for IELTS essay exam. One of the best ways to solve it is to divide the time into three stages – Planning, Writing and Reviewing.
For the Planning stage, spend first five minutes in analyzing the question carefully and brainstorming the ideas. Spare 5 minutes for organizing the 250-word essay. Prepare a rough outline in the mind with the supporting examples or facts. Stick to the best ideas that need to be represented in the essay.
For the Writing stage, spend 5 minutes on introducing the topic and presenting the opinion and spend 20 minutes on writing the main body paragraphs of the essay. One has to make the most of this time as it is the most important part that helps in assessing the overall score of the essay.
Spend the last 5 minutes in proof-reading the essay. This is also the most crucial part of the exam as mistakes in the work often lead to misunderstandings and reduce its quality. Some of the main points that one has to cover in those 5 minutes are word usage, punctuation, readability, repetition, clarity, and consistency.
Though following the above tips can help you to score well in the exam, writing an essay is a skill that cannot be developed overnight. It demands a lot of practice and dedication to hone this skill. With the right amount of practice or assistance of experts through quality IELTS coaching, one can not only become advanced in vocabulary but also become aware of the varied sentence structure, dynamic writing styles and avoid repetition.
Raghavendra Anand is the proprietor of Apeiro Training Service, a leading training organization in Perth. In his career expansion, he has guided thousands of students with language and visa requirement courses like IETLS and PTE.