Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Some Task 2 questions are very difficult!

They might be about things that aren’t as relevant in your life or in the modern world.

One example is a curfew for teenagers.

Today’s video comes from a super tough IELTS Task 2 question regarding teenage curfews.

Find out how to nail a 7+ for your Task Response score for both Argument and Opinion essays.

For the templates you need for high-scoring, well-organized essays, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS.

Idioms for starting over

Jessica shares how students will often include odd details in essays that don’t support their reason.

This can be because they’ve learned incorrect strategies.

They might have seen it in sample essays that are often low scoring.

We do not recommend you study sample essays on IELTS websites.

When this happens, students have to start from scratch!

Two idioms for starting over:

  • Start from scratch: start over
  • Go back to the drawing board: start over

Today’s question

I am wondering if the question of Writing task 2 asked only “What is your opinion?” can we change opinions in the argument essay?

In some areas of the US, a curfew is imposed in which teenagers are not allow to be out of doors after a particular time at night unless they are accompanied by an adult.

What is your opinion about this?

We usually think about an Opinion essay as providing both sides and then asking your opinion.

However, there are some that provide only one side.

This student is asking if you can still talk about both sides, even if both aren’t stated in the topic.

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You must stick to the topic in IELTS Writing

If there’s one side presented in the topic, you can say you don’t agree, as long as you stick to the topic.

Often, when we give feedback on essays, the main thing pulling down their Task Response score is they’re not sticking to the topic.

If you feel passionate about something related, it’s easy to get distracted.

You might end up sharing an opinion of something that’s not exactly on topic.

Don’t let this happen, as it will cause your Task score to drop to a 5!

#1: Brainstorm- children should have a curfew?

First, brainstorm the side you don’t agree with.

  • Crime might decrease if teenagers aren’t out after dark

Think back to your own life.

When you were out late at night, were you doing positive things?

Don’t be afraid to use personal experiences!

Whatever you can do to come up with real, specific ideas is perfect.

#2: Brainstorm- children shouldn’t have a curfew

  • When teenagers are given responsibility, they rise to the occasion

They want to be trustworthy.

If they are presented with rules and taboo, they want to break them.

Alcohol drinking age would be a good example.

In the states, many young people drink because it’s prohibited.

In other countries where the legal drinking age is lower, underage drinking is less of a problem.

What determines your Task score for Task 2?

You must cover everything in the question.

You must make your personal position clear throughout the essay.

Main ideas must be extended clearly with details and examples.

Every sentence has to be connected to the question in the topic.

Do you always have to discuss both sides?

We had an interesting post in our course Facebook group:

Is it true that I have to always discuss both sides, otherwise I won’t be able to score more than a 6?

This is only important for your Task Response score.

If the Task 2 question presents two sides of something, you must address both in your essay, or you’ll get below a 6 for Task.

Argument essays are best here.

However, if a Task 2 question only presents one side, or one opinion, you do not have to talk about both sides.

Pay attention to the question!

When can you write an argument essay?

Having said that, there are always two opinions about any given topic, and argument essays are possible here too!

For many reasons, writing an argument essay is usually the best choice for most IELTS candidates.

If you completely agree with the opinion given in the question, though, you still can write an opinion essay.

Takeaway

You must stay on topic for Writing Task 2 essays!

It’s vital that you understand what the Examiner is grading for the Task Response score.

Refer back to the topic while you brainstorm and write.

This will ensure that you don’t stray from the topic.

You must also make your position clear and fully support your ideas.

For more strategies and template sentences for every essay type, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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