IELTS Study Material
Writing
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Format & Data

a) Format

IELTS Academic Writing has quite strict requirements for how scripts should be formatted. Due to Task 1 requiring only 150 words, it is important to ensure that responses are not lengthy. The aim is to make them clear and concise!


Also, numbering notation, sub-heading, and bullet points should not be used, as this will result in a severe reduction in the Task Achievement (TA) band score.

Format & Data


Write short responses, and do not use sub-headings and bullet points. The answer script should be written in a descriptive format. Where answers are presented in the form of a speech, or a letter, again the TA score will be marked down heavily.


As with overviews, and key features, using a correct format, throughout the entire response script, in Task 1 Academic Writing, is another simple thing to remember, which will avoid severe marking penalties.


b) Data

As most Task 1 Academic Writing questions are based on data, how this data is used in the response is critical.


The task requirements usually involve data and information being compared, contrasted, put into different groups, or highlighting changes over time. Where this is done without using the actual data/figures to support it, this may be more difficult for the reader to grasp, and will certainly be less convincing. Consequently, the examiner will mark down the TA score.


Where data is used, but inaccurately, this will also lead to a reduced TA score. How great a reduction will depend on the severity with which this impacts on the reader. If the task achievement is largely unaffected by this, with only minimal confusion on minor features, with key issues not being influenced, then it is less of a problem.


However, where key features are changed and confused, due to inaccurate data, then the TA score will be marked down in the same way as it would be when no data is used at all.


Ensuring that data/figures are accurately used to back up any data-based statements is another critical point to remember.


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