• Mai Duc Nguyen

Writing Task 2 Revision – How to Manage Time Wisely?



In this article, I would like to share tips on how to most effectively use time in the Task 2 section of the IELTS Writing exam. For further articles, please visit our blog page here: https://www.ieltswithmrduc.com/blog


Candidates are advised to spend about 40 minutes (of the total 60 minutes in the IELTS Writing exam) on Task 2. Here is my recommendation on how to manage these 40 minutes most wisely:


Reading the instructions and creating an essay plan: 3 minutes


After you open the question paper, study the topic by asking yourself the following questions:

- What is the topic about? What does it ask for?


- Can I recall any examples or experiences to include in the essay?


- What is my opinion on the matter or mentioned trend/ problem?


Once you understand the essay topic, create a plan to facilitate the writing process. An essay plan in Task 2 should fulfill these requirements:


- It should only take you a maximum of 3 minutes.


- It should only include important verbs, nouns (and not complete sentences!) and abbreviations, when possible.


- It should also draft the structure that your essay will be built on, e.g. the first body paragraph will examine causes of problem A and the second will analyze solutions to problem A.


- It only covers the body contents and not the introduction as well as conclusion.


Writing the essay: 33 minutes


The next 33 minutes should be spent on writing your essay. It should follow the common structure: Introduction, Body Contents (with 2 paragraphs) and Conclusion.


Specifically, the introduction should:

- Briefly introduce the trend or problem.

- Quickly analyze its causes, effects and/or solutions.

- Explain the purpose(s) of your essay.


Furthermore, each body paragraph should:

- Start with a short and concise introductory sentence.

- Develop reasons and analyses.

- Analyze examples and introduce personal opinions.

- Add transitional words and phrases, where possible, to connect sentences.


Finally, the conclusion should:

- NOT be the same as the introduction.

- Summarize main points raised in the body paragraphs.

- Answer the essay question, if any, for example: Do the advantages of this trend outweigh its disadvantages?

- Make a recommendation that is relevant to the essay topic, if there is time.


Proofreading the essay: 4 minutes


After finishing your essay, you should read it again to look for grammatical, lexical and structural mistakes. To be specific, you should consider the 3 evaluation criteria in Task 2, including (1) Arguments, Ideas and Evidence; (2) Communicative Quality; and (3) Vocabulary and Sentence Structure.


Importantly, you should also make sure that your essay has exceeded the minimum word limit (250 words) in Task 2.


Interested in time management tips in Writing Task 1? Please read this blog article from IELTS With Mr Duc: https://www.ieltswithmrduc.com/post/writing-task-1-revision-how-to-manage-time-wisely


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





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