IELTS Tips and Tricks: Mastering the Writing Task

The biggest problem of all with Writing Task is finishing both tasks on time. What no one tells you is that if you don’t finish any, you lose a full band point. This never has to happen to you!

The key to making sure your report and essay qualify as finished is that they have a clear Conclusion paragraph. That paragraph can be one sentence long, if necessary. And the best news of all is that you have already written that sentence!

At the end of the Introduction (paragraph 1) of the report for Writing Task 1, you have written a summary of the information. In the same position, at the end of the first paragraph, in Writing Task 2, you have written your Thesis Statement. Simply repeat both sentences at the beginning of a Conclusion paragraph, you have made your writing qualify as finished, even if there is more you want to write. And you don’t lose a full band point unnecessarily.

This is what you do:

1) Make sure you write a good summary on Writing Task 1 and a good Thesis Statement on Writing Task 2. (Your report and essay won’t work without them anyway).

2) Take care of your watch! No one will keep you on track when it comes to elapsed time. It is up to you to monitor your own progress.

3) In Writing Task 1, if 18 minutes have passed and you are still writing body paragraph sentences, finish the sentence you are writing, quickly. Then start a new paragraph (and make sure it looks like a new paragraph), and start with the words, “In conclusion, …” Then rewrite the summary. If you can, change a word or two (but not the meaning). If not, write it exactly as you did at the end of the Introduction.

4) In Writing Task 2, if 38 minutes have passed and you are still writing body paragraph sentences, finish the sentence you are writing, quickly. Then start a new paragraph (and make sure it looks like a new paragraph), and start with the words, “In conclusion, …” Then rewrite the Thesis Statement. (This should be done in any case. It is an essential part of the essay).

5) Ideally, in Writing Task 2, you should write the Restatement in the reverse order of the Thesis Statement. For example, if it is an opinion essay and you wrote your opinion and three reasons in the Thesis Statement, write the three reasons first, and then the opinion, in the Reaffirmation. Again, if you have the time and can, change a word or two (but not the meaning). If not, write it exactly as you did at the end of the Introduction.

6) Make sure you finish these “In conclusion, …” sentences on time. Homework ends at exactly 60 minutes.

Obviously, this won’t save you any losing points if all you have is a few sentences and your essay is too short in the first place. But if you’ve written most of the essay and followed the format, it’s essential that you don’t lose a full band point just because you’re not finished. So make it look finished!

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