Top 5 Mistakes in Task Response
Top 5 Mistakes in Task Response that can keep you from scoring 7+ Bands in IELTS
By Sriyash Mangal
Top 5 Mistakes in Task Response
Before we dive into the mistakes, it is important to understand how your writing task-2 is assessed. IELTS examiners score every task-2 response on a scale of 9 for the following four criteria called the band descriptors:
- Task Response (TR)
- Coherence and Cohesion (CC)
- Lexical Resource (LR)
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA)
The final writing task-2 band score is an average of all the four scores. If the final score is not a full or half band then it is rounded DOWN to the next-lowest band or half band. For example, if you score 7, 7, 7, 6, the average will be 6.75 and your final writing task-2 score will be 6.5 and NOT 7.0. Therefore to achieve band 7 in the IELTS writing task-2 you must score 7 in all the four criteria.
Note: IELTS examiners never assign half bands for individual band descriptors. For example, you cannot get 6.5 for the task response. It will either be 6 or 7.
Clearly, to score 7 in task response, it is crucial that you:
- Answers all parts of the task
- Present a clear position throughout the essay (opinion)
- Properly explain your main ideas and support them with relevant examples.
If you fail to achieve anyone of these requirements, your score for task response will fall below 7. It should be quite easy, isn’t it? Afterall, most of us have written essays in school or college on a variety of topics. However, sadly this is where a majority of students commit mistakes and I will discuss these mistakes with examples wherever possible.
Top 5 Mistakes in Task Response
Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples form your own knowledge and experience.
Over a period of time, significant progress has been made in terms of gender equality at work. Although, I agree that both men and women should be given equal opportunities at workplaces, there are however some professions where either men or only women should be recruited owing to the differences in their respective strengths and weaknesses. This essay will discuss why some jobs are more favourable for men while others are better suited for women.
The student wrote a good introduction in terms of structure and has clearly paraphrased the question. But, in the outline statement (the last sentence) the student mentioned that “the essay will discuss why some jobs are more favourable for men and some for women.” And the student continued to write the main body paragraphs on these lines (not shown). This is where the task response went wrong. The question asked whether males or females should be excluded from certain professions because of their gender. In other words, is it right to exclude men or women from certain professions? It did not ask to discuss which jobs are more favourable for men or women and why.
Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children). To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Education gives us a knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better. People debate over the subject that whether unpaid community services should be mandatory for school students. This essay completely agrees with that because of the benefits that it gives to pupils. In my opinion, the advantages of adding community services to schools outweigh the drawback.
More people decided to have children in their later age than in the past. Do advantages of this outweigh disadvantages? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Nowadays, people are inclined to delay having children until they reach their middle ages. I would like to demonstrate several reasons for this tendency and discuss that the drawbacks outweigh its benefits.
There are some reasons for why people avoid to become parents at a very young age. Many couples want to be financially prepared before starting their own family life. People who are at a very early stage of career may find it extremely difficult to afford a child’s basic demands, so they wait until they are financially secure. Another reason could be that the young adults may want to enjoy their lives before having responsibilities of a new born. For example, it is easier for married couples to travel without a child.
Families living on a stable income are capable of providing their offspring with high quality education and nutritious diets. However, I believe that the disadvantages of this trend are more convincing. It has been scientifically proven that older parents are more likely to give birth to less healthier children. These children may suffer from a number of serious diseases ranging from autism to rickets. Perhaps, this may have an adverse effect on the overall competence of the workforce in the future.
In conclusion, it is understandable why people want to have children in their middle age, but they have to stay alert from the threats that may occur at an older age.
Task-2 questions frequently ask for your opinion. For example, all the following prompts require a student to express his/her opinion in the task response:
- to what extent do you agree or disagree,
- do you agree or disagree,
- discuss both views and give your opinion,
However, I frequently observe that student fail to express a clear opinion on the given topic..
With the rise in popularity of the internet, newspapers will soon become a thing of the past. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
A global decline in the number of newspaper readers and growing popularity of reading news on the internet has led to a concern that newspapers will soon disappear. However, in my opinion, while reading news online has numerous benefits, an important role of the newspapers even in terms of giving few benefits cannot not be neglected.
Main benefit of reading news online are convenience and cost-effectiveness. A person with a hectic schedule can read online news anytime on any electronic gadget such as iPad, computer, or mobile phone at a very low cost or for free…….
Some people say that music is a good way of bringing people of different cultures and ages together. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
It is sometimes argued that music is a good way to bring people of different cultures and age groups together. I completely agree with this idea. Music plays an indispensable role to connect different cultures and maintain peace and harmony in the society. But, many times it creates a barrier between people of different age groups.
Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Main body paragraph:
It is quite evident that cost incurred for construction of roads is far less than compared to railways and it benefits the population. Recent studies show that upper and middle class people prefer to travel in their own vehicles instead of railways for comfort and convenience. In addition, setting up roads in rural places can aid the locality. For instance, when the grandfather of my close friend was sick, he could not be taken to a hospital in time due to poor road connectivity.
The statistics presented in this example is clearly exaggerated and saying that 99% of Indian schools are not planning to adopt e-learning is totally unrealistic. I strongly recommend NOT to write such examples in your task-2 essays. A simple fix can be:
Majority of schools in India, especially those in small towns and villages, still do not have infrastructure to impart online learning and they do not even plan to adopt e-learning in the next 10 years due to lack of funding.
So, let’s recap what we have learned in this blog. Top 5 mistakes in task response are:
- Misunderstanding the Question
- Answering the task partially
- Not expressing your opinion
- Not extending your idea enough/ having too many underdeveloped ideas
- Stating unrealistic examples and overgeneralising
I hope that this article helped you to understand top 5 mistakes in task response that students frequently commit. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment’s section below.
Write more in English: Try keeping a diary or journal in English. Any practice can help you. Write more, and you will discover more common grammar mistakes you make.
Subscribe IELTS Writing Correction Service: Practicing without feedback will not result in much improvement. The best way is to buy a writing correction service for IELTS, so that you get detailed feedback on your answers and mistakes. This was you can improve much faster. See our affordable writing correction service for academic and general IELTS.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing your writing as much as possible will help, but unless you review your work or get a teacher to check it, then you are basically going to make the same mistakes over and over again. What to do? Write – read – correct- write – read – correct. Once you have finished writing a paragraph, go back and read it again before writing more.
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