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What is the IELTS Task 2 Essay Trying to Assess?

JohnWriter 13 | -   Freelance Writer
Oct 10, 2017 | #1
I always hear review students for the IELTS tests telling each other "Write more, you'll score better." Each time I hear that statement, I can't help but stifle a laugh. While it is true that writing more words could help to increase your IELTS score, if you are just writing for the sake of writing or filling the minimum word count, then you will not score better any better than if you just wrote the minimum number of words. This mistaken notion of writing more words for the purpose of just writing defeats the purpose of proving English comprehension, discussion, and writing abilities.

IELTS Task 2 AssessmentThe prompts for IELTS Task 2 essays are always clear in its presentation. The paragraphs should be no less than 3, no more than 5 to gain an acceptable passing score. Each paragraph should be no less than 3, but no more than 5 sentences. In the prompt:

"It is important for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age. Punishment is necessary to help them learn this distinction. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? What sort of punishment should parents and teachers be allowed to use to teach good behaviour to children? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience."

The number of paragraphs in this essay has been outlined per topic discussion as 5 paragraphs composed of:

1. Paraphrased statement.

2. One personal opinion with justification.

3. Type of punishment and public opinion that supports it.

4. Personal opinion with personal justifications as to why this punishment will be effective.

5. Conclusion.

To clearly discuss this type of essay, it is important that the writer focus on only one reason for every discussion. Since the maximum allowable sentence requirement is only 5 per paragraph, it is impossible to fully develop and discuss more than one idea per paragraph.

The problem with the test takers is that there is a tendency to forget that the IELTS test is not a test of English vocabulary. The aim of the test is not to prove the amount of English words that you know. The purpose of the test is to give you a chance to prove that you can be a good candidate for English curriculum colleges and universities based on several considerations. The purposes and / or considerations are:

1. To prove that you can understand English instructions through the execution of the instructions provided in the essay.

2. Provide an example of your English writing skills that will prove your ability to complete English based class and course requirements.

3. Allow the examiner to decide if you have the English speaking, reading, and writing capacity to compete with the native English speakers in a classroom setting.

By focusing on only one discussion topic per paragraph, the exam taker will stand a better chance of increasing his Coherence and Cohesiveness score along with his Task accuracy requirements. Writing a minimum of 3 simple sentences per paragraph, provided the English text can accurately express itself, and provided that the examiner can easily understand what the exam taker is trying to express in his paragraph, will gain a higher score than a disjointed essay composed of unrelated information of 2 sentences each per paragraph. That sort of writing will lower the score for the student in the previously mentioned scoring sections.

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