Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Are you worried that you will not understand a word on IELTS Writing Task 2?

A lot of students are worried about this happening.

We have already shown you what you should do if this happens on the Speaking test.  Today we’ll talk about what to do if it happens on the Writing test.

Here is what you SHOULD NOT do:

1) Do NOT explain that you don’t  know the meaning of the word in your essay

Unlike the Speaking test, the Writing test is academic and formal.

If you don’t know the meaning of the word you cannot explain that you don’t know the word in the essay.

You cannot write “I am sorry I hope I understood the meaning of this word.”

That would be considered more casual and would not work on the Writing test.

2) DO NOT pretend to know the word and use it

Also, don’t pretend that you know the word and throw it into a bunch of different sentences if you don’t know how to use it.

That strategy also will not work. It will be obvious that you don’t know what you are writing about and your score will drop quickly.

What SHOULD you do:

Don’t worry about that specific word. Look around the word. Take what you DO understand and use that.

Play to your strengths.

Consider the words that you do know in the question and work with those.

It will not kill your score completely if you don’t understand it.

As long as you respond to all of the other parts of the question you can still get a good score.

Has this ever happened to you?

Did you have an experience where you didn’t know the meaning of a word in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Write your questions in the comments!

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