IELTS Study Material
Writing
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Key Features


IELTS Task 1 Writing Task Achievement (TA) band descriptors place considerable importance on key features. Higher band scores require them to be appropriate, clear or fully extended, while lower levels refer to them being inappropriate, irrelevant, inadequate, inaccurate and repetitive!

We now know that the effective inclusion of key features will assist towards a higher TA band score, but what exactly are key features? The word ‘key’ means the most important, vital or critical.

So how do we identify the most important aspects of the question? Depending on the question type, these are the similarities, differences, trends, or the main stages in a process.

Unfortunately, identifying key features in Task 1 Academic Writing can be quite subjective, and even IELTS examiners can disagree over what is and what is not a key feature!

Where a task is heavily related to data which you have to compare or contrast, it is essential to provide the data given in the task script. The reader will face confusion, where this is not done, due to the inclusion of inaccurate data, the writing will be marked down.

TA will be severely marked down where the examiner considers the script fails to identify all key features presented in the task! Because this can, occasionally, be quite subjective with some questions, as previously mentioned; where a candidate is not certain if something is key, it is probably better to include it.

Although the inclusion of irrelevant and inadequate features can result in the TA score being marked down, it would require more than just one instance of that. Missing just one key feature, however, is considered a serious issue, and can result in a low Task Achievement band score.

Therefore, it is a better tactic to include something, rather than leaving it out, where there is some uncertainty.

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