Task 2 essay
In this post, we are going to look at how we can get ideas for the IELTS Task 2 essay. Also, we will look at how we can ask questions so that we can have a range of vocabulary.
The IELTS examiners use a document called the Band Descriptors. You can find a copy of the Public Version IELTS Band Descriptors in the link below. You need to understand (or have a teacher who understands) these Band Descriptors so that you can get your target IELTS score as quickly as possible.
In the essay, you need 4 ideas in 2 main paragraphs. You also need to use a range of vocabulary (repeating the same words over and over and over and over…… and over…..again will mean that you’ll likely get a lower score than someone who uses synonyms and antonyms, etc.
Let’s have a look at a question.
Do you think single sex schools are better than co-educational schools? Discuss both views and give your opinion.
To get ideas you need to examine the question carefully. This means looking at the question more than once. Most students briefly look at the question and then start writing immediately after the IELTS instructor has said, “You may begin”.
- This is almost never a good idea.
“Why not?” you ask. “I don’t have time to write everything and finish with a minimum of 250 words, so I must start right away,” you say.
- Slow down.
- You do have time and you’ll make more time by planning correctly.
Planning is your key to success in IELTS. Ideally, you would have planned extremely well before the test. However, you also need to plan your answer to the Task 2 Essay question very carefully as well.
The first step to planning an IELTS Task 2 Essay answer
One of my students, actually most of them, said that he panics a lot once he has read the question for the first time. Then, his mind goes blank and he just thinks “I can’t do this. I don’t know anything about it. I can’t think of any ideas and I don’t have enough vocabulary”
That is the wrong way to think.
In his private lesson with us, I told him the following:
Look student (we’ll call him student from now on) when you first look at the question, ask yourself good questions!
He looked at me and I could see he was confused.
What I mean is that you should look at the question. Then, ask yourself “What do I know about this?“
Then ask yourself the most basic questions: What, when, where, why, how, who.
So, for example, with the question Do you think single sex schools are better than co-educational schools? Discuss both views and give your opinion, you could ask: What is a school?”
The answer could be: A place that teaches kids/ a place to learn/ a learning institution, etc.
When you do this, you give yourself more ideas and vocabulary so that you don’t need to keep repeating “school.”
He was wide-eyed and open-mouthed. “Ohhh.” he said, “It’s so simple.”
Now, I knew that he understood.
Yes, it is simple. It is not easy, but it is simple.
What are your ideas about this question? Share in the comments section. We might even correct your essay.