What’s in the IELTS General Training Writing paper? | People’s Career Call:8374545621

What’s in the IELTS General Training Writing paper?

There are two Writing tasks and BOTH must be completed. 

In Task 1, you have to respond to a situation by writing a letter, for example asking for information or explaining a situation. You need to write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.

In Task 2 you are given a point of view, argument or problem which you need to discuss. You need to write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes.

You must write your answer using full sentences. You must not write your answer as notes or bullet points. You must write your answer on the answer sheet. You are allowed to write notes on the question paper but this will not be seen by the examiner.

Marking

Certificated IELTS examiners assess your performance on each Writing task. There are four assessment criteria (things which the examiner thinks about when deciding what score to give you):

  1. Task achievement/response
  2. Coherence and cohesion
  3. Lexical resource
  4. Grammatical range and accuracy.

Task achievement (in Task 1) and Task response (in Task 2) includes how accurately, appropriately and relevantly your response covers the task requirements, using the minimum of 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2.

In Task 1, Task achievement refers to how well your letter achieves its purpose.

In Task 2, Task response includes how well you develop your argument in response to the task, giving evidence and examples which may be from your own experience.

Coherence and cohesion includes how clear and fluent your writing is, and how you organise ideas and information. It includes giving your ideas in a logical order, and using a range of cohesive devices (including linking words and phrases such as ‘therefore’, ‘also’, ‘on the other hand’, etc., and pronouns such as ‘that’, ‘these’, ‘they’, etc.) appropriately.

Lexical resource includes the range of vocabulary you have used, and how accurately and appropriately you use it.

Grammatical range and accuracy includes the range of grammar you have used and how accurately and appropriately you have used it.

Summary

Time allowed: 60 minutes
Number of tasks: 2
Marking: Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.

Tasks 1 & 2

General Training Writing – Task 1

What’s involved? In General Training Writing Task 1, you are given a situation and you need to write a response of at least 150 words in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter. The question paper tells you what information to include in the form of three bullet points.

You might need to ask for or give information and/or explain a situation. To do this well, you will probably need to do some of the following:

  1. ask for and/or provide general factual information
  2. express needs, wants, likes or dislikes
  3. express opinions or complaints
  4. make requests or make suggestions/recommendations.

The situations you need to write about are common, everyday situations such as:

  1. writing to a college accommodation officer about problems with your accommodation
  2. writing to a new employer about problems you are having with managing your time
  3. writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport
  4. writing to a renting agency to sort out problems with the heating system in your house.

The style of writing that you use depends on who you are asked to write to and how well you are supposed to know them. You need to choose a style that is appropriate for your audience and will help you achieve your purpose for writing, e.g. writing to a friend (informal) or writing to a manager (semi-formal or formal).

You should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. You need to write at least 150 words and will be penalised if your answer is too short. While candidates will not be penalised for writing more than 150 words, you should remember that a longer Task 1 answer may mean that you have less time to spend on Task 2, which contributes twice as much to your Writing band score.

You should remember that you will be penalised if what you write is not related to the topic. You will also be penalised if your answer is not written as a whole piece of connected text (i.e. you must not use notes or bullet points). You will be severely penalised if your writing is plagiarised (i.e. copied from another source).

You do not need to write any addresses at the top of your letter.

You must write your answer in the answer booklet

What skills are tested? This task tests your ability to write a letter in English according to standard letter-writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish a letter), to use accurate and appropriate language and to organise and link information well.
How much do I have to write? A minimum of 150 words.

 


General Training Writing – Task 2

What’s involved? In General Training Writing Task 2, you need to write a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay of a minimum of 250 words.

The instructions of Task 2 give information about an opinion, argument or problem. The instructions then tell you what you should discuss in your essay and may include:

  1. providing general factual information
  2. outlining a problem and presenting a solution
  3. presenting and possibly justifying an opinion
  4. evaluating and challenging ideas, evidence or an argument.

You will need to write about a topic of general interest, such as:

  1. whether children’s leisure activities should be educational
  2. why families are not as close as they used to be and how they could be brought closer
  3. how environmental problems can be solved
  4. who should pay for the care of old people
  5. whether smoking should be banned in public places.

You should make sure that you write your answer carefully so that you give a complete response that is also relevant. To do this you will need to organise your ideas clearly and make sure you use relevant examples (which can be from your own experience, if relevant) or evidence. For this task, you need to be able to discuss more abstract and complex ideas and use a variety of vocabulary and grammar. Task 2 contributes twice as much to your final Writing band score as Task 1. Therefore, if you do not answer this task, you will be unlikely to achieve a high band score.

You must write at least 250 words and will be penalised if your answer is too short. You should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task.

You should remember that you will be penalised if what you write is not related to the topic. You will also be penalised if your answer is not written as a whole piece of connected text (i.e. you must not use notes or bullet points). You will be severely penalised if your writing is plagiarised (i.e. copied from another source).

You must write your answers in the answer booklet.

What skills are tested? This task tests your ability to produce an essay according to standard essay-writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish discursive writing, how to paragraph), to organise and link information in a logical way and to use accurate and appropriate language.
How much do I have to write? A minimum of 250 words.

 


DOs and DON’Ts

DOs

  1. Include all the information you are required to.
  2. Write your answer on the answer sheet.
  3. Link your ideas and paragraphs.
  4. Keep to the timing.
  5. Check your writing when you have finished – for style, completeness, linking, logical structure and accuracy of language.
  6. Support arguments in Task 2 with examples and evidence.

DON’Ts

  1. Don’t copy from other people’s work.
  2. Don’t write less than the required number of words.
  3. Don’t repeat task instructions in your writing.
  4. Don’t write any addresses in the letter in Task 1.
  5. Don’t use note form or bullet points.
  6. Don’t leave out any required information.
  7. Don’t waste your time learning essays by heart to use in the exam. You will be penalised for this and you will waste valuable time that could be spent developing good writing skills.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where do I write my answers?

Write your answers in the Writing answer booklet. You will not get any paper for making notes, but you may write notes on the question booklet. The examiner will not see this.

Can I write in pen or pencil?

You can write in pen or pencil, but you must write clearly. You may erase/cross out and change parts of your writing, but you must make sure that your work is easy to read.

Should I write my answers in upper case (capitals) or lower case?

You will not automatically be penalised if all your letters are capitals. However, remember that punctuation is assessed in the Writing test and you may be penalised if it is not clear to the examiner where your sentences begin and end.

Will I be penalised if I don’t write enough words?

Yes. You must write at least 150 words for the Task 1 question and 250 words for the Task 2 question. If you don’t write enough words, you will be penalised.

If I make notes, will the examiner read them?

No. You will not get any paper for making notes, but you may write notes on the question booklet. The examiner will not see this.

Are the two tasks both worth the same number of marks?

No. Task 2 is worth more marks than Task 1. Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.

How long should I spend on each task?

You have 1 hour to write your answers for the two tasks. It is your choice how you divide this time. However, remember that Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score – you may wish to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. You should plan your work carefully before writing, and you should allow time to check your writing after completing a task or at the end of the test.

 

People’s Career, Lakdi-Ka-Pul, Hyderabad Teaching Center.

Phone: 8374545621 / 961 801 8708

www.peoplecareer.net

http://peoplecareer.blogspot.com/2011/07/our-students-speak.html

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