Writing Test in IELTS

The Importance of the Two Types of IELTS Writing Tests

The IELTS exam consists of four parts, namely Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The whole exam takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes with 40 minutes being allotted to the Listening Test, 60 minutes each to Reading and Writing, and 11-14 minutes to the Speaking Test. This test is scored out of 9 bands where 0 band means no knowledge of English and 9 band signifies expertise.

Importance of the IELTS Writing Test:

In this article we will talk about the importance of the IELTS Writing test. The writing section forms an important part of the exam as it judges the candidate's ability to communicate in the written form. It evaluates how well the candidate is able to structure and frame his thoughts and how clearly he is able to express them. This is especially important for individuals appearing for the Academic module as their ability to write many matters in their professional lives. Candidates appearing for the Academic module are the ones who are applying for admission for higher education or for professionals who are looking to get further training in English speaking countries. This exam ensures that they are able to communicate well in English and that they will be able to understand their course materials. The writing test ensures that students do not face a problem with the written work given to them as it forms a great part of their grades. The General Training module is for people applying for migration or for general work experience and training programs. For them, the writing test checks that they do not find it difficult to communicate with others in their day to day lives. The test for this module checks whether your English skills are sufficient in a broad social context rather than a specific study related arena. You will need a good command over the language in both written and spoken terms to survive in the country you wish to go to.

This test consists of two tasks called Task 1 and Task 2 and this applies to both modules - General Training and Academic. Experts recommend that for the writing test, time devoted to Task 1 should be 20 minutes and for Task 2, it should be 40 minutes. We will study the different tasks and types of questions that come in the exam separately for the two modules.

Academic Module:

  • Task One: In the academic module, Task 1 consists of a graph, chart or any other pictorial information which the candidate has to describe in his own words. You will be given twenty minutes in which you have to explain the given information in around 150 words. The information could represent statistics, a process, an object or any other data. If you have to explain the process, it would mean explaining how something works. You would have to explain the various stages in a particular process. Explaining given data statistics entails elaborating on the trends you decipher from the given charts. You should also give reasons for the changes in the direction of the data. On the basis of this information, you will be asked to frame a report.

  • Task Two: Task 2 consists of an essay which is to be completed in 40 minutes and should be around 250 words in length. The question is slightly more difficult and asks you to present a written argument. It could ask you to respond to a particular point of view, argument or just ask you to elaborate on your opinion on a subject. You are expected to justify your views with the help of examples. It is advised that you divide your essay into three broad paragraphs. The first paragraph will be the introduction which should tell the reader about the areas you will talk about in your essay. The second paragraph should have the main body or the main content of the essay and the last paragraph will contain the conclusion which summarises your entire essay. You can divide the main body into more than one paragraph. Reasons for your standpoint to the argument are expected.

General Training Module:

  • Task One: The first task in the General Training module provides the main point of difference between the two modules in the writing test. The task asks you to write a letter in 150 words on any given topic. Again, this task should be completed within 20 minutes. The letter could be an official letter, semi-official or an informal letter. The question could ask you to write a letter to your friend asking about her well-being, or maybe asking her for a favour. Other questions could ask you to frame a complaint letter and so on. Divide the content of your letter into three parts - introduction, body and conclusion - as you do in the essay. This will ensure that you attempt the question in its entirety.

  • Task Two: Task two of both modules is similar as you are again asked to express your views on a particular subject or respond to a given point of view or argument. Like in the academic module, you need to complete this task in 40 minutes. The length of the essay is to be 250 words. The candidate should outline a logical discussion and put forward his views on the subject. Examples and reasons which support your essay will win you marks

Your spellings and grammar should be accurate. Another important criterion of a well written essay is judicious use of your vocabulary. Next, you will be judged on the organisation of your thoughts and the amount of coherence and cohesion in your essay. There should be an order to your essay. Sentences and paragraphs should be well linked. Above all, examiners look for task achievement in your writing tests. They see how well you answer the question and whether you cover all main points of discussion.

Since you are now equipped with all this information, it is hoped you will attempt the writing test with confidence and ease.

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