• Mai Duc Nguyen

Writing Task 1 Revision – How to Manage Time Wisely?

In this article, I would like to share tips on how to best manage time in the Task 1 section of the IELTS Writing exam. Next week, I will do the same thing with a blog article about Task 2. So please stay tuned and visit IELTS With Mr Duc frequently to see our latest updates!

Candidates are advised to spend about 20 minutes (of the total 60 minutes in the IELTS Writing exam) on Task 1. Here is my recommendation on how to use these 20 minutes most efficiently:

Reading the instructions and creating an essay plan: 2 minutes

First, after opening the question paper, you should read the instructions carefully. Then, study the graph(s)/ chart(s)/ diagram(s) quickly to create an essay plan. In the essay plan, make sure that:

- The whole plan is short and concise.

- It only consists of important verbs, names and trends.

- Full sentences are avoided as much as possible.

- Abbreviations are used when possible.

Writing the essay: 16 minutes

The next 16 minutes should be spent writing the actual essay. Your essay should have an introduction and about 2 body paragraphs. A conclusion might not be needed. As for the length, furthermore, you should aim to produce 170-190 words.

Make sure that you describe trends and make comparisons where relevant. Under exam pressure, time will fly faster than under revision-at-home circumstances. Therefore, while revising for the IELTS Writing exam at home, you should time yourself while writing essays.

Proofreading the essay: 2 minutes

After finish writing the essay, it is important to read it again to spot any grammatical and/ or lexical mistakes. This is a great chance to improve your band score. During these 2 minutes, make sure to reflect on the 3 evaluation criteria in Writing Task 1, including: (1) Task Fulfillment, (2) Coherence and Cohesion, and (3) Vocabulary and Sentence Structure.

Consider asking yourself these questions:

- Does my essay exceed the minimum word limit of 150?

- Does my essay have a logical structure?

- Does my essay describe all important trends and make all important comparisons?

- Does my essay include unnecessary components, such as personal opinions and future predictions?

- Did I use transitional words and phrases to connect my ideas and link sentences?

- Did I use a variety of words and grammatical structures both appropriately and correctly?

Do you have other tips? Please share with us and our readers by commenting below!

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