General Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2

In this lesson, we are going to provide some tips for IELTS Writing Task 2 in the general training and academic IELTS Exam. We are going to just get an overview and an introduction to this task and then go over some tips and approaches that will help you do well on this question. For Task 2, you should take about 40 minutes to complete. 40 minutes because Task 2 is worth 2/3 of your points for the writing paper. You have only an hour to take the writing paper. So on task 1, we recommend 20 minutes because it is only worth the remaining 1/3 of your points. Make sure you leave yourself a full 40 minutes for task 2 just because it's worth more points and you really want to do well on this question.


Task 2 is a 4 to 5 paragraph essay. It is a formal essay which means that it is going to include things like an introduction, two to three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Task 2 IELTS prompts always present some kind of issue that you need to discuss and you need to take a position on. There is never a wrong or right answer to these questions, but they are always debatable. You could come out on one side, or the other side of the topic or somewhere in the middle.


There are always basic common knowledge kinds of things, where you probably have an opinion on it. You do not really need to be an expert on any of the IELTS Task 2 topics in order to do well.

What are some keys to success?

Well first of all the most important thing to do, at the very beginning, as you are looking at your question, what you need to answer and planning it out.


You really need to read the question carefully. That is well worth your time not to rush through and think you understand the question, but actually to spend a little time making sure you know exactly what they want you to do in the essay. Another key is planning your answer. It is worthwhile taking a little bit of time.


Some students use up to 10 minutes of their total 40 minutes for this essay to just make a plan. Only take 10 minutes if you can write very, very quickly. If your handwriting and your writing ability, you can write fast, then 30 minutes will be enough time to write all of your ideas out. Most people write a little slower than that.


We recommend 5 minutes of planning time, which includes the amount of time it takes you to really study the question. You may need to read it twice. To get it fully, and then to make a plan for your essay. In order to know how long it is going to take you to do all these things, you really need to practice writing Task 2 responses by hand.


If you have some practice books, they will often include practice sheets that you can photocopy. You want to use the exact paper that you are going to write on your IELTS exam because this is first of all just practising what the test is like. But also when you write your essays on there, you will get a really good feel for what 250 words looks like when you write 250 words on an official IELTS writing answer sheet.


You should also leave a little time for editing at the end. 5 minutes is a goal. If you have 5 minutes that means you could almost certainly read through your whole essay at least once, maybe even more than that, and you could fix grammar errors or whatever errors you might be able to find.


That kind of thing can boost your score. If you do not have time in the end. Your goal should be to finish the essay. But as you practice, see if you can do this. Find out what kind of timing works for you. Then another 35 to write, and then 5 Minutes to edit, that would be a perfect situation and should be your goal as you are practising these Task 2 questions. 



For more information, please watch the video above.