Recent Examination Question in Writing Task 2 in IELTS Exam held on 9th December 2017

The following question was asked in the IELTS Academic Examination Writing Task -2 held on 9th...

Avatar Written by Arpit Gang · 5 min read >

Recent Examination Question in Writing Task 2 in IELTS Exam held on 9th December 2017

Avatar Written by Arpit Gang · 5 min read >

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The following question was asked in the IELTS Academic Examination Writing Task -2 held on 9th December 2017. The question as it appeared in the examination is given below.

A model essay has been analysed and evaluated by one of our expert trainers.

“Some people think that it is necessary to travel to a country to know more about it, while some consider it futile as all the information is available on the internet & other sources.”

Discuss both views & give your opinion. Write at least 250 words.

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ESSAY

It has been a long standing debate about whether travelling to a country is necessary to learn about it. Some people opine that in this age and time of electronic revolution, where information is available on various media like the Television, Internet and Smart phones, etc., travelling is really a futile exercise. Others believe that one can truly experience a place only if one visits it in person.

One cannot deny the fact that because of technology, one can gather information about even the remotest place on Earth. One can not only see vivid images and live videos but also opt for a multi-media experience of a place. Especially for people who may not be able to travel because of physical disabilities or financial incapacities, technology can be a big boon.

However, such passive arm-chair tourism cannot replace the real feel of places. Images and videos and even multi-media experience cannot be likened to seeing, touching and feeling a place. It is not only about how a place looks, but also about getting an insight about the local people and their culture & traditions. It can also give one a chance to stay, involve & participate in local festivals & festivities that are exclusive to a place.

In my opinion, the TV & Internet can only provide us with a rough picture of what a place is like. It can give us the facts & figures about the various attractions of a place, which we can use to shortlist a place of our interest. But only travelling to that place can give us a real-time and unique experience of the place.  Also, I believe that travelling within one’s own country is the best way to know, understand and appreciate one’s motherland. For example, in a country like India, where the landform, people, customs, traditions and even the cuisine change every two hundred kilometers, travelling is really the best way to experience it in its entirety. Travelling, thus, truly broaden one’s horizons in every sense.

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ESSAY EVALUATION

The above essay would be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Task Response

  2. Coherence & Cohesion

  3. Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)

  4. Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Task Response

Under this criterion, the essay would be evaluated to what extent the student has followed the following:

  1. Whether arguments, opinions etc. have been given as per the question and in abundant number (Deviation from the topic can be penalised with a -1 band or more depending on quantum of deviation);

  2. If the essay has enough words (Deduct 0.5-1 Band for lesser length);

  3. Whether arguments are repeated (Deduct 0.5-1 Band) and

  4. If errors like the above are numerous, the essay would be awarded a 6 band.

    The above essay would be marked a band 8 in Task Response as:

    1. The essay discusses both the viewpoints & also presents an opinion (as required by the question).

      • Para – 3 discusses the points about positives of travelling to a new place while Para-3 enumerates the debate against travelling.

      • In the fourth & concluding paragraph, the writer gives his opinion about the debate, clearly supporting the need for travelling to a new place for various reasons.

    2. The essay is more than 300-words long, which is as per requirement.

    3. The arguments have not been repeated in the essay and the key ideas have been illustrated adequately. As required by the question, the writer has first discussed both sides of the debate & finally given his opinion. None of the arguments have been repeated and the writer has used examples to illustrate his point of view, e.g. “…For example, in a country like India, ……..horizons in every sense…”

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Coherence & Cohesion

In Coherence & Cohesion, the student’s essay would be evaluated on the following:

  1. Essay should be divided into 3-5 Paragraphs (if not deduct 1 band);

  2. Introduction and conclusion should be written clearly;

  3. Essay should have a clear flow from Introduction, Ideas/Argument’s/Examples, Conclusion. (If not deduct 1 Band);

  4. Each paragraph should have a clear idea/argument and examples to support the idea/argument. (If not deduct 1 band);

  5. Sentences within a paragraph should be properly connected through usage of connectors. (If not deduct 0.5-1 Band) and

  6. Within individual paragraphs, the writing should be clear and concise. (If not deduct 0.5-1 Band).

In the above essay:

  1. There are 4 paragraphs that have been organized in a logical sequence – beginning with a proper introduction and a conclusion.

    • Note that the 1st para introduces the topic, the 2nd para puts forward the opinion of people who think travel is not really a necessity, the 3rd para sets out the opinion of those pro-travel and lastly, the essay concludes with the writer’s opinion.

  2. Each paragraph has a clear idea that is appropriately supported by either examples or reasons.

    • In the 2nd para, the writer has given the following reason “…especially for people who may not be able to travel …….” to support his opinion.

    • Similarly, in para -3, he enumerates several reasons for those who support travelling by saying “…it can also give one a chance to stay, involve & participate ….”.

  3. Also, within each paragraph, sentences have been connected by the proper usage of connectors, ensuring the seamless flow of an idea.

    • Examples of these can be seen throughout the essay, e.g. “One can not only see vivid images and live videos but also opt for a multi-media experience of a place…”; “However, such passive arm-chair tourism cannot replace the real feel of places…”.

 Based on the above reasons, the essay would be marked an 8 band On “Cohesion & Coherence”.

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Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)

The criteria to evaluate Lexical Resource or Vocabulary are as follows:

  1. Use of a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings;

  2. Skillful usage of words and

  3. Rare errors in spelling and/or word formation.

To capture lack of vocabulary, more than 3-4 instances of inappropriate or irrelevant vocabulary would attract a deduction in bands (Depending on number of errors deduct bands or give 6 Bands for greater than 4 errors).

In the above essay:

  1. A variety of words have been used to present an argument or opinion. However, there is no unnecessary use of words.

    • Examples of this can be seen throughout the essay, e.g., Long standing debate; Opine; Financial incapacities; Real-time & unique experience, etc.

  2. Words have been used skillfully throughout.

  3. There are no mistakes in the usage of words or spellings.

 For the reasons stated above, the essay would score an 8 band in this criteria.

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 Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Criteria to Evaluate Grammar:

  1. Use of a wide range of sentence structures;

  2. Majority of sentences should be error-free and

  3. There should be only very occasional errors in grammar or punctuation

An essay with less than 3 unwitting or spelling errors gets an 8-band. If the errors are more than 3, deduct more bands. (Deduct 1 or more bands depending on number of spelling errors). Higher the frequency of grammar errors, lower the band.

The above essay would score an 8 band in this criteria as:

  1. The essay uses a wide range of sentences that are error-free.

    • Simple sentences like – Others believe that one can truly experience a place only if one visits it in person ; Travelling, thus, truly broaden one’s horizons in every sense

    • Complex sentences like – One cannot deny the fact that because of technology, one can gather information about even the remotest place on Earth; It is not only about how a place looks, but also about getting an insight about the local people and their culture & traditions

  2. There are no grammatical or punctuation errors in the essay.

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 The Above Essay would hence score 8+ Bands in the IELTS Test.

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