IELTS Writing: The 4 keys to success


Whether you are taking IELTS Academic or General Training, you will need to write a 250 words essay in the Writing Part 2. You will perform much better if you understand what the examiner is looking for — and then deliver it.

First, let’s look at the IELTS assessment criteria:

  1. Task achievement. This means you should answer all parts of the question, your answer must be relevant, and you should provide supporting ideas for the points you are making.
  2. Coherence and cohesion. Your writing should be structured so it is easy to read and understand. This means you need to organise your ideas into paragraphs. You also need to link your ideas with words like howevertherefore and despite.
  3. Lexical resource. To get a good score, you need to use a wide range of vocabulary. Not everything has to be 100% correct, but any errors you do make should be few in number and should not affect understanding.
  4. Grammatical range and accuracy. As with vocab, you should use a variety of grammatical structures, and any grammatical errors should be few in number and should not affect understanding.

Now, let’s see how we can apply them to a candidate’s essay.

Task 2

Read the essay below. As you read it, think about the four criteria and decide how well the writer performs on each of them. Make notes.

IP_IELTS_blog_post-Writing-The4KeysToIELTSWritingSuccess-essayWhen you have made your notes, read on to compare your notes with a teacher’s notes.

IP_IELTS_blog_post-Writing-The4KeysToIELTSWritingSuccess-teacherNotesTask 2

Now you know what the examiner is looking for, you need to assess your own performance. Find a practice essay you have written, and look through your essay four times, focusing on one of the assessment criteria each time. The notes you make will tell you where you are doing well, and where you need to improve.


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