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IELTS writing task 2 Tips

IELTS TIPS | Writing Task 2 | Ideas

There is a fear that a question will come up that you cannot answer because you know nothing about it. There is also a worry that the questions are geared towards Western orientated topics.

Below you'll get some insight into exactly what the examiner is looking for when they mark your essay so you know what you really need to have in mind when you think of ideas for IELTS writing.

Also you'll get some tips on what you can do to help you come up with ideas for IELTS writing topics.

What ideas for IELTS does the examiner want to see?

Many candidates tend to think that the examiner is looking for the best possible ideas that answer the question, and that they will award higher band scores for this.

Actually this is not true. There is nothing in the grading system that the examiner uses that assesses how clever your ideas are or to knock off points if s/he thinks they are too boring or uninteresting.

What is important is the relevancy of the ideas.

This means that they must answer the question that you have been asked. They must also of course be properly explained through further support.

Once you come up with some ideas you should use what you think are the best ones, but the important point about this is that you should not waste so much time at the beginning trying trying to come up with what you think is going to be the best idea to impress the examiner to the point that you have too little time to write a good essay.

With only 40 minutes to plan and write the essay there is not the time to do this. There is no point if you then don't finish the essay or have poor grammar because you are rushing to finish it.

As long as your ideas answer the question and you can explain and justify them, that is fine.

What strategies can I use to come up with ideas for IELTS?

Next we'll look at some strategies you can use to come up with ideas for IELTS essays.

Reading around relevant topics

You can broaden your knowledge of potential ideas for IELTS by reading around the kinds of topics that come up in IELTS.

You should be doing this anyway as you want to improve your reading skills and also your ability to have knowledge for the speaking test too.

Questions connected in some way to the following topics are fairly common in the exam:

  • Education

  • Health, Diet and Fitness

  • Globalization

  • Work and Unemployment

  • Crime, the Law, and Criminal Justice

  • Children and Families

  • Technological Development and Change

  • The Environment

  • Public Transport

  • Advertising

But these are quite broad topics so the questions will be directed to a particular aspect related to these topics. But keeping up-to-date with what is going on in the world by reading international newspapers or magazines will help.

A good way though to find out more about the specific issues related to these broad topics that come up is by looking at old essay questions and sample answers.

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