Don’t get tricked by IELTS traps!

Lately the IELTS exam is making Writing Task 2 more challenging.

This is making students get lower scores.

Find out today how you can still get the score you need on test day.

We recently updated the 3 Keys IELTS Writing module, taking into account how the IELTS exam is evolving.

With our study system, you can get a 7 or higher!

What traps are being used more often by IELTS?

  • Mixed Essays

These are often a mix between an Opinion essay and a Problem/Solution essay.

The question asks you for the causes and then asks you for your opinion.

  • Minor changes to familiar essay questions

IELTS is taking essay questions they know students practice a lot and changing them slightly.

This is very tricky, as students may see the Task 2 question on test day and not read it closely because they think they have seen it before!

An Examiner friend of Jessica’s let her know that IELTS is doing this more and more often.

Sample Task 2 Question

This answer tripped up a couple of 3 Keys Personal Coach students recently.

They misread the question, causing their Task score to be a 5.

Employers sometimes ask people applying for jobs for personal information, such as their hobbies and interests and whether they are married or single.

Some people say that this information may be relevant and useful. Others disagree.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Both students wrote an essay about whether employers should be allowed to ask for personal information.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what this question is asking.

Does IELTS recycle topics?

Yes, IELTS does recycle topics!

They won’t use the exact same question, but they will use the same topic and alter it.

They have used a topic in the past asking if employers should be allowed to ask for personal information.

It would be tricky if you had written that practice essay and then got this question!

Step 1: Take your time reading the question

Don’t make assumptions.

Even if you think you’ve seen this question before, read the entire question carefully.

Don’t read it quickly.

Take your time!

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Step 2: Underline key words

Look for key words in the topic and underline them.

Employers sometimes ask people applying for jobs for personal information, such as their hobbies and interests and whether they are married or single.

Some people say that this information may be relevant and useful. Others disagree.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Step 3: Determine what the 2 sides are

Because it says “discuss both views,” this is an Argument essay.

Often students will see the “give your opinion” and write an Opinion essay.

Your essay would score a 5 for Task if you don’t discuss both sides.

Use the key words to determine the 2 sides or views.

  • One side: personal information is relevant and useful to employers
  • Other side: personal information is not relevant and useful to employers

Step 4: Brainstorm

In your brainstorm, include the exact key words from the topic.

Don’t worry about Vocabulary repetition during the brainstorm.

Just get your ideas down.

You need strong, connected ideas.

Refer back to the topic while brainstorming to make sure your reasons and details answer the question.

Sample brainstorm

Side one: personal information is relevant and useful to employers

This data could help an employer find a good fit for their company.

A company might want a person’s interests to fit their brand and company culture.

Side two: personal information is not relevant and useful to employers

A lot of personal details are totally unrelated to job performance.

Marital status, for example, is not relevant and should not be asked or considered by employers.

Takeaway

Don’t let IELTS Task 2 questions trick you on test day!

Follow today’s steps every time you brainstorm a Task 2 essay.

This way the steps will be a habit, and you’ll be able to follow them on exam day.

Sign up for 3 Keys IELTS to get the essay templates we talked about today for:

  • Argument essays
  • Opinion essays
  • Problem/Solution essays
  • Mixed essays

And every other essay IELTS might throw at you!

Every strategy you need for a 7 or higher on IELTS is in 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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