IELTS writing answer sheet – Explained


Although there are several tests for knowing your level of proficiency in English language, the IELTS test holds a special place among them. It is the International English language testing system, which is conducted jointly by the Cambridge University, the British Council and the idp, which is the International development programme. In this article, we will understand the important features of the IELTS writing answer sheet, and this article will also help you to understand what are the things that you have to keep in mind while writing.

Firstly, understand that there are two reasons by the test takers are attempting the IELTS test. One of the main reasons is for continuing their Masters or undergraduate programs in an English speaking country pardes purpose the module which has to be selected is known as the IELTS academic module. Another main reason for taking the test is to migrate to our country where English is primarily spoken, and for this purpose the apt module is the general training test.

The IELTS test, for both the academic and general training tests, is broadly divided into four parts. These are called divisions of the IELTS test.

1. The IELTS listening test

2. The IELTS reading test- this is divided into academic reading and the general training reading.

3. The IELTS writing test – similar to the reading test, the writing also differs for academic and general training test.

4. The IELTS speaking test.

To start the discussion about the writing test, academic writing consists of two tasks which have to be completed by the test takers. The first task is known as report writing where the candidate should write a report of minimum of 150 words based on the data that is seen in a graph. After this, the next task is called essay writing where an essay of at least 250 words has to be written on a given topic.

In the general training writing test, the two tasks are letter writing, which is task 1 and essay which is the task 2. The overall time duration for completing the writing test is 60 minutes, and it must be kept in mind that no extra time will be given for this.

How does a writing answer sheet look like?

IELTS writing answer sheet is ruled sheet of paper. Many candidates would assume that the writing answer sheet is a plain sheet. But it is not. To make things easier for the test takers, it is in the ruled format. There are approximately 10 to 12 lines on the first side of the answer sheet. From the second sheet onwards, you will see nearly 20 lines. Above this, there are several details which have to be filled by you.

1. The candidate’s name – before you begin the writing test, you should fill this detail. Write your name exactly as it is in the passport, and this is the name that is reflected in the final result, which is called the test report form.

2. The candidate number – this candidate number is a unique 6 digit code which is a numerical one. It identifies that you are the candidate who is writing the exam, and in order to check your results online, you should have this candidate number. Be very careful while writing this.

3. There will be two boxes in which you have to tick the appropriate one, and the two boxes corresponding to the academic module and the general training module respectively.

4. The centre number – every IELTS exam centre is given a unique code which is called its centre number. It consists of both alphabets and numbers, and hence it is called an alphanumeric.

5. The test date – there will be separate boxes for you to write the date of the test, and this is written in the format of date, month, year.

These are the details which have to be filled by all the test takers before the test begins.

You will see that there are various sections which are for the official purpose only. Sections will be seen below the lines I have to write the answer. The various factors are

1. TA – this is called the task achievement which is the factor for grading your score on the basis of whether you have completed the whole task appropriately or not. This is a special factor for task 1 only. The score is given out of 9 bands.

2. CC – this refers to coherence and Cohesion, which is the ability of the test takers to generate the areas which are relevant to the given question and form the ideas together in the form of paragraphs.

3. LR – this is known as the lexical resource, and the score depends on the range of vocabulary that you use while writing. Score is given out of 9 bands.

4. GRA – this is the grammatical range and ability, and as the names indicate, you should make sure that you are using a wide range of grammar, such as sentence structures, active voice to passive voice conversion, if conditional sentences, etc and this has to be accurate in order to score well for GRA.

In addition to these band descriptors, you will also see that there are several factors which can reduce your score and these are represented on the answer sheet as well.

a. Underlength – make sure that job you write at least 150 words for task 1 and 250 words for task 2. Otherwise, you will receive a penalty for what is called underlength.

b. Memorized – avoid memorizing the sentences and essays to avoid getting a low score based on this component.

c. Off topic – this is yet another factor which can reduce your score drastically. The examiner will see whether the candidate has written the essay or the report or the letter on the same topic which is given in the question paper, or whether the ideas which are presented are deviating from the main topic. If it is deviated, the comment will be off topic, and definitely, the score will be reduced.

d. Handwriting – if the handwriting is illeligible, it would be a factor to lower your score. So, make sure that you write in such a way that it is readable.


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