SALL English



IELTS Format - WRITING MODULE

Test Format
Examination Hints
Preparation Tips
HKBU IELTS Writing Resources
  - Writing Task 1 (Data Report)
  - Writing Task 2 (Essay)
  - Grammar
How long before you plan to sit IELTS?



Test Format

2 tasks
1 hour

Task 1 - Graph description - 150+ words (20 minutes)
Task 2 - Essay - 250+ words (40 minutes)


For further information on the contents of the Writing module, go to the CityU ELC IELTS site:

For other IELTS information, go to our HKBU SALL Resources on the Web IELTS page (go to Examination Information & Study Tips).



Examination Hints

In the examination:
 
  • Timing is a potential problem. You need to allow yourself only 20 minutes for the Task 1 Graph Description so that you will have enough time for the Task 2 Essay. (The Task 2 Essay is worth more than Task 1.)
  • Remember to leave at least 5 minutes at the end to proofread your writing. That will help you avoid making careless mistakes which could cost you valuable marks.
  • The Task 1 Graph Description is a very specialized format and type of writing. You need to be familiar with the format and the specific vocabulary required for this task.
  • For Task 2, make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking you to discuss before you start writing - otherwise you could lose valuable marks for content.
  • You must also take note of the word limits. If you are under the word limit, you could be severely penalized.


Preparation Tips

  • Do a lot of timed practices before you sit the exam, so that you do not run out of time when you are in the exam.
  • When you do a practice writing task, count the words afterwards to make sure you have written enough. After a while you will become familiar with approximately how much of the paper you need to cover with your handwriting at a certain size, in order to fulfil the word limit requirements.
  • Know your major grammatical weaknesses. Make yourself a mental list, and practise proofreading your own essays for these grammar points. You can use the HKBU Writing Enhancement Service. If you are not sure what these are, then try proofreading for these six common errors amongst Chinese students (read once through for each point, rather than trying to read for all six at once):
    - Singular / plural nouns
    - Subject-verb agreement
    - Active / passive voice
    - Articles
    - Present / past verb tenses
    - Wrong parts of speech
  • For Task 1, spend time learning and practising the specific vocabulary and format needed. There are two sites on the SALL Resources on the Web IELTS page that are especially helpful for this Task:
    - 'Describing Graphs, Charts and Tables'
    - 'IELTS Test Preparation'
  • Make sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of essay questions that could be used in an IELTS Task 2 essay, and how to structure each different type of essay. The CityU ELC - Prepare IELTS site has an excellent "How to Prepare" booklet on writing.
  • To improve your vocabulary, focus on learning synonyms for key words. You will get a greater mark if you utilise a greater variety of language and if you can avoid re-using the same words. For further vocabulary, learning, go to our SALL Resources on the Web Vocabulary page.
  • Also spend time learning and practising using linking words and expressions - this helps with the coherence of your essay.



HKBU IELTS Writing Resources - Writing Task 1 (Data Report)

SALL Resources on the Web - IELTS

Introductory information and exercises:

  • Introduction and steps for writing a graph description
  • NetLanguages Online IELTS Course (Writing module Sections 1 & 2)

Vocabulary for Task 1:

  • Study Skills Success (Visuals module - start at Describing a line graph)
  • IELTS Test Preparation (go to Enter IELTS Area then Graphs)
  • Describing Graphs, Charts and Tables

For extra practice:

  • Road to IELTS (select any topic and go to Writing 1 or Writing)
  • Study Skills Success (Visuals module)
  • Writing about Graphs and Charts

Computer programs in 'Language Learning Oasis' (OEM707)

Introductory information and exercises:

  • Excel in Academic English (go to Skills then Writing then Comparing Data)
  • Study Skills Success (Visuals module - start at Describing a line graph)

For extra practice:

  • Study Skills Success (Visuals module)
  • Road to IELTS (select any topic and go to Writing 1 or Writing)


HKBU IELTS Writing Resources - Writing Task 2 (Essay)

SALL Resources on the Web - IELTS

Introductory information and exercises:

  • Study Skills Success (Writing module)
  • NetLanguages Online IELTS Course (Writing module, Sections 1 & 3)

For extra practice:

  • Road to IELTS (select any topic and go to Writing 2 or Writing)
  • Self-Access.com (follow the instructions to access the program and find the IELTS writing Task 2 exercises)

Computer programs in 'Language Learning Oasis' (OEM707)

Introductory information and exercises:

  • Study Skills Success (Writing module)
  • Excel in Academic English (go to Skills then Writing then Discussion Essays)

For extra practice:

  • Road to IELTS (select any topic and go to Writing 2 or Writing)


HKBU IELTS Writing Resources - Grammar
SALL Resources on the Web - IELTS

To improve your grammar for IELTS:

  • Study Skills Success (Grammar module)
  • Self-Access.com (follow the instructions to access the program and find the grammar exercises)

SALL Resources on the Web - Grammar

  • Common Errors in English (go to "Common Errors/Proofreading" to find this site. After you've opened the site, go to "Stage 2: Exercise")
  • TenseBuster (choose a level and grammar point and go to Your Test. If your test score is low, work through that module.)

 

Computer programs in 'Language Learning Oasis' (OEM707)

To improve your grammar for IELTS:

  • Study Skills Success (Grammar module)
  • TenseBuster (choose a level and grammar point and go to Your Test. If your test score is low, work through that module.)
  • Virtual Language University (choose Gymnasium for Grammar for specific grammar points, or Language Building for Writing for combining/linking sentences and proofreading)
  • Issues in English 2 (choose level 3 or 4 and any topic, then choose Grammar)


How long before you plan to sit IELTS?

More than 6 months?
Long-term Study Plan

Less than 6 months?
Short-term Study Plan


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