IELTS Writing Task 2: Answers to Common Questions

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,288 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

Here are some common questions about Writing Task 2 that I'm often asked by students.  I'm sure they will be helpful for you!

Q: Because Task 2 is worth more points, should I answer this one first? 

A: You can do this if you want however, when students start with Task 2 they often end up spending far too much time on Task 2.  My advice: start with Task 1 and then complete Task 2.

Q: Do I lose points if I write over the 250 words for Task 2?

A: No, you don't lose points however, if write over the word limit (eg: 280+) you might not have enough time to review your answer. You really shouldn’t need to write much more than 250 words.

Q: Will my score be reduced if my handwriting is poor?

A: If the examiner cannot understand what you have written because the handwriting is so poor, yes you will lose marks. It’s very important that the examiner can read your answers.  This doesn't mean you have to be perfect - but it must be readable/legible.  You should practice your handwriting by answering lots of IELTS practice questions. Research shows that you remember more information when you write it by hand (instead of typing).

Q: Is it okay to use a mix of British and American English?

A: Do not mix British and American English. If you use the British spelling of 'colour' all the way through, and then change to the American spelling, 'color', then it will be considered a spelling mistake.

For more information about Task 2, click here.

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