Nearly every IELTS book and IELTS teacher says there are 4 IELTS question types. They are wrong.
1. The 4-IELTS Question Myth
The myth is simple. IELTS Books and IELTS teachers nearly always say there are “4 kinds of IELTS Task 2 Questions.” They usually say the four kinds are:
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- Problem / Solution
- Discuss two different views
- Discuss / Give your opinion about a statement.
2. Why this idea is wrong
Well, if they are right, what kinds of questions are these 4? (Apart from 1, which is fairly obvious).
There is a short discussion below each question.
In other words, this question is a mixture of evaluating “the advantages and disadvantages” of two “solutions”.
In other words, this question is a mixture of discussing “the advantages and disadvantages” and describing two “solutions”.
In other words, you can answer this kind of question anyway you like as long as you stick to the topic and answer the question provided.
3. Why this is important for you.
This is important because if you look at questions like 2, 3, and 4, and you think “This is a problem – solution question”, you will very likely not answer the question completely.
Do you remember the description for Task Response? Here is a quick summary for bands 5, 6, and 7.
Task Response – Answering the question
Addresses all parts of the task.
Addresses all parts of the task
although some parts may be
more fully covered than others.
Addresses the task only
partially. (This means “in part”, or “not all parts”.)
Responds to the task only in a
minimal way or the answer is
tangential. (This means it talks about something unrelated to the question.)
In other words, if you misunderstand the question because it must be “one of the 4 types” you can easily do poorly on Task Response.
When I was an IELTS examiner, I often gave people 5, 4, or even 3 for Task Response because the IELTS candidate did not answer the question.
I don’t want you to have this problem!
4. What should you do instead?
What you need to do is actually very simple. It is what native speakers do when they are asked these kinds of questions.
To find out what they do, wait for the next post: The only Task 2 Writing introduction strategy you ever need! Coming soon!
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