TOP TIPS for the IELTS Academic Writing Test

Hi. I’m Bee. Today I’m going to talk to you about how you can prepare for the IELTS academic writing test. First I’ll give you an overview of the writing test. Then I’ll explain Task 1 and Task 2. And finally, towards the end, I’ll give you lots of tips on how you can answer each task. So, first the writing test lasts one hour. It’s divided into two tasks. You should spend no more than 20 minutes on
the first task. This will give you 40 minutes for the second
task. And you need to write at least 150 words for
Task 1, and 250 words for Task 2. OK remember, you must manage your time yourself. You’re only told to start the test at the
beginning and stop writing at the end. Alright, let’s look at Task 1 first. You’ll need to describe a chart of some
kind. This could be a graph, table, chart or some
kind of diagram, or a combination of these items. For example, look at the bar chart on
the screen now. What does it show? What are the general trends you see? First, you can see that there are far more part-time students than full-time students
over the 10 year period. Second, while the number of female part- time
students has increased over the period, the number of part-time male students has shown
an overall slight drop. Looking at full-time students, for both males
and females there has been an increase over the decade. OK, so our first tip for Task 1; you need
to show the general trend of what is happening, and then also focus on the detail, and provide
actual numbers. Next, look at the rubric. When you are writing your answer, you must
NOT copy from this rubric. Instead, you should use your own words. This is our second tip. Change the vocabulary and the grammar of the
rubric so that it is different from the original. For example,
“The bar chart illustrates the number of Malaysian males and females taking courses in higher
education, either full-time or part-time, from 2005 to 2015.” Remember that you might not get a bar chart. It could be a pie chart or a line graph, or
a combination or different charts. It could be a diagram describing a process. Or it could be a map or a plan. So tip number 3 is, don’t just prepare for
one type of task. Be ready for any of them. Turning to tip number 4, remember you only
need to describe the charts. You do not need to give reasons. So, in the example from Malaysia, you do not
need to explain why the number of part-time students is much more than full-time students,
or why the number of female part-time students is increasing. Tip number 5 is pay attention to your grammar
and vocabulary. Make sure that you are using the correct tense. In this example you should use the past tense,
but it is possible with other charts that other tenses might be needed. Tip number 6 is to try to use as wide a variety
of vocabulary as possible. But remember, don’t copy from the rubric. Your organisation is also important. Use paragraphs, and link your ideas together. But don’t overuse words such as ‘furthermore’,
‘moreover’ and ‘besides’. That’s tip number 7. Finally, our last tip, make sure you do answer
the question. Describe the charts presented in the task! Now let’s move on to Task 2. This tasks requires you to write a short essay
by answering a question or questions. Remember, you should spend 40 minutes on the task. And, you need to write at least 250 words. Our first tip about part 2, is do part 2 first,
and part 1 second. If you are going to run out of time, it is
better to do so in part 1 than in part 2. The reason is part 2 carries more marks than in part 1. There are several types of essay that you
might need to write in part 2. It could be a problem-solution type essay. Or a for and against type essay. Or an expository essay. Or a combination of these essays. Now, let’s take a look at an example question: “Online social media is increasingly being
used by people from all over the world to communicate. Why is this happening? Is this generally a good thing or a bad thing?” “You should write at least 250 words.” First, how many parts are there in this question? As you can see, there are two parts. Tip number 2 is you must answer all parts
of a question to get a good score for part 2. So first, think of your ideas. Out of 40 minutes, spend around 5 minutes
doing this. That’s tip number 3. So, why are people increasingly using social
media? Jot down your ideas. Decide which ones are the best. Decide which ones are not very useful. And is using social media a good or bad thing? Again, jot down your ideas. Decide which are your best arguments, and
which ones to cross out. Tip number 4 is to next quickly plan your basic essay structure. In this essay, you would probably have 5 paragraphs
in total. The introduction, the reasons why people use
social media in paragraph two, advantages in paragraph three, drawbacks in paragraph four, and then a conclusion with your opinion for the final fifth paragraph. The notes you have made in the first five
minutes form the basis for your plan. OK, so next start your introduction. In the same way as Task 1, do not copy the
question. Use your own words. That’s tip number 5. And then continue with the body paragraphs
and conclusion. OK, here are some more tips for Task 2. Tip number 6 is to remember to watch your
time. Try to leave 5 minutes at the end to read
through your essay and to correct any small mistakes you see. Tip number 7 is to make sure you answer the
question and you keep to the topic. In this essay, if you only described the type
of social media people used, you would not be answering the question. And, you would get a lower score. If you wrote about how certain social media
websites are restricted by companies or governments, this would be going off-topic. This means a lower score. Make sure you write enough words. Under-length
answers mean a lower score. That’s tip number 8. For tip number 9, it’s to use paragraphs. If you don’t use paragraphs, you will get
a lower score. And finally tip number 10 is do try to use a wide
range of vocabulary and accurate grammar. This will result in a higher score. OK. That’s it for this video, for the IELTS academic writing test. Remember, the CILL is here to help you! The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Goodbye, and good luck on the IELTS academic writing test.

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