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DON’TS in the IELTS Writing Task 1

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Both IELTS writing tasks could be challenging to deliver. There is a crucial difference between the Writing task 1 and the Writing task 2. However, sometimes very simple mistakes could determine your final results. Here are some DON’TS in the Writing Task 1 that can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes.

 

IELTS writing task 1

 

Don’t copy the task without paraphrasing it

If you copy the main task sentences, examiners will not mark them and it will be recognised as ‘’copied material’’.

To avoid this issue, paraphrasing exercises would come in handy. Try to familiarise yourself with the common vocabulary used in the IELTS Writing task 1 and learn more synonyms. For example, typical verb increase could be replaced by grow, expand, rise, elevate, etc.

 

Don’t use only the numbers describing the quantity

By analysing factual information many test takers focus only on writing the numbers. However, there are many ways to describe percentage or numbers. Here, again paraphrasing is a vital part. For example, 33% could be paraphrased as a third of…, 50% could be paraphrased as a half, 25% - a quarter. Be creative!

Don’t analyse every single detail

Remember your task is to recognise and compare the main features. It is rather common that students end up spending far too much time on the IELTS Writing task 1. It is a waste of your precious time and you won’t get any extra marks for writing any unnecessary information.

 

Don’t overuse linking words

Even though linking words play an important role in the IELTS Academic writing tasks, don’t overuse them.

Most important linking words are the ones ensuring the coherence of the Writing Task 1. Therefore, try to use them to separate paragraphs or express opposite opinions. If you overuse them, it will look like you are just trying to insert the words in, without thinking.

 

Don’t use informal language

The IELTS Academic writing tasks require a formal writing style. Therefore, you are expected to follow certain requirements. For instance, avoid slang and colloquial language as these indicate informal expressions.

For example: "give a hand" = "help’’, "wanna" = "want to’’, "gonna" = "going to’’, etc.

 

Don’t give your opinion

The IELTS Writing task 1 and Writing task 2 require different essay styles. The Writing task 1 is not a discursive essay, therefore don’t express your opinion. Only work with the factual information and don’t try to give reasons for the data, unless it is explicitly stated in the diagram.

Also, you shouldn’t add any new information or draw any conclusions from the given information. Remember, always follow the requirements in order to succeed in the IELTS Writing task 1.

 

Don’t present messy handwriting

Messy handwriting is one of the most common reason students lose unnecessary marks. The IELTS examiners will try to read and understand your written essay. However, if your written information is very untidy and impossible to understand, the examiner will not be able to mark it.

Try to practise your handwriting and be as tidy as you can not to lose precious marks.

 

Don’t panic!

This is another reason why sometimes students lose their marks.

Even though it is understandable that you could be nervous, you should be prepared and focused. Stay calm and just write about what you see! You will be fine!