IELTS writing test - sample questions

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iPass professional feedback

Here you can see examples of the professional feedback - oral and written - that we give to our students at iPass IELTS

General Training IELTS - Task 1 sample question

Write a letter to your university expressing your interest to study in a different country. You should include:

  • why you want to study in a different country
  • what type of course you would like to do
  • why you should be chosen to study abroad

iPass student's sample answer

Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Timo Lohek and I am third year student of an Civil Engineering CEG03 group. I am writing regarding to find out the opportunities to study abroad.
As I have always wondered how would be to study in different country and people, I thought that would be great opportunity to find out how the others study the same subject among with the people from all around the world. I have heard that they have slightly different teaching methods.
Course that I am looking to take a part would be Civil Engineering Drafting. Would be great to find out about the new programs and technologies they using to draft the buildings. Studying as a exchange studient would also improve my english performance.
I wonder if it would be feasible to send me to study abroad as my performance have been A in different categories. Taking part of all the school community events have also gained my communication skills. I would appreciate if you could give me some information about different exchange student study programs and opportunities.
Thank you for your consideration and I would be extremely grateful for your assistance.
Respectfully yours,
Timo Lohek


iPass tutor's comments

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iPass tutor's written feedback

Minimum word count: 150 words      Your word count: 191 words

Marking Key 4-5 = satisfactory 5.5-6 = good 6.5-7 = very good 7.5-8 = excellent

Writing Criteria Descriptor S G VG E Areas to Improve
Further practice
Task
Achievement
how appropriately, accurately and relevantly the response fulfils the requirements of the task       You have covered all of the main points but remember that your letter needs to be consistently formal and by including a few more specific details it would also sound more natural and realistic.
Coherence
and Cohesion
how well the information and ideas are organised       The information is logically presented with good use of paragraphing but try and use a few more linking expressions to join your sentences together, especially when adding more information about the same topic.
how well the information is linked      
Lexical
Resource
the range of vocabulary used and how accurately it is used       Mostly accurate and appropriate but needed to be a little bit more formal in places. Try to use more collocations to explain your reasons for wanting to study abroad (to widen your horizons; to broaden your outlook; to further your knowledge; to gain more experience)
how appropriate the vocabulary is for the task      
Grammatical
Range and
Accuracy
the range of structures used and how accurately it is used       Good use of grammar despite a few minor mistakes.
how appropriate the structures are for the task      
Overall marker's comment
A good letter which had a clear purpose and covered all the main points sufficiently, but to gain a higher band score you would need to demonstrate a wider range of vocabulary and more cohesion between sentences.

Academic IELTS - Task 1 sample question

The graph below shows levels of consumer satisfaction among consumers using different shopping methods, based on a survey of 500 consumers.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

iPass student's sample answer

The bar graph illustrates the satisfaction levels among 4 shopping methods according to 500 people survey.
The first point to notice is that, generally speaking, people with positive opinion has the greatest proportion in each category. It is also immediately evident that going shopping with family and friends is the most satisfactory method, accounting for approximately 78%. Of equal note buying in local shops is the second most satisfactory method, roughly 68% In stark contrast on line shopping is the least satisfactory form, just over 40%. We should also note that on Internet shopping, in comparation with people with positive opinion, the number of people with negative opinion is smaller by a narrow margin, less than 5% Another point worth mentioning is that a small number of people do not give any opinion in all four categories, being less than 12 people.
Overall, shopping privately is the best method followed by local shopping being conversely Internet the worst.


iPass tutor's comments

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iPass tutor's written feedback

Minimum word count: 150 words      Your word count: 158 words

Marking Key 4-5 = satisfactory 5.5-6 = good 6.5-7 = very good 7.5-8 = excellent

Writing Criteria Descriptor S G VG E Areas to Improve
Further practice
Task
Achievement
how effectively the key features have been identified       You have identified most of the key features (with exception of supermarket info) and you have given a clear overview. However, your introduction was not fully clear and the conclusion was repetitive so try and work on these areas for a higher band score.
how effectively the key features have been illustrated and reported      
Coherence
and Cohesion
how well the information and ideas are organised       Your main points were logically ordered (most popular > least popular) although perhaps the neutral responses would have been better in the overview.
You have included some linkers but not always correctly. Try to avoid personal pronouns (we can see / note that ….)
how well the information is linked      
Lexical
Resource
the range of vocabulary used and how accurately it is used       Try to include a wider range of vocabulary by using more comparative phrases to describe the similarities and differences (as high as; much higher than; far greater than)
Avoid always using percentages and try to use more numerical expressions to describe the data (two thirds; a quarter; the majority of; less than half; just over a third)
how appropriate the vocabulary is for the task      
Grammatical
Range and
Accuracy
the range of structures used and how accurately it is used       Try to use more complex sentence structures. For example, relative clauses (consumers who shopped locally; the majority of whom expressed ...)
how appropriate the structures are for the task      
Overall marker's comment
This was a fair answer which did give a general overview and successfully highlight some of the main features, but there was also some important information omitted and for a higher band score there would need to be a wider range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Academic / General Training IELTS - Task 2 sample question

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.

Cheaper and more frequent international transport has meant that people from some countries regularly travel abroad and it is claimed that this is improving understanding among the world's population.
However, others feel that this is just another form of consumerism, and that nothing meaningful is learnt. They say it would be better to use mass media to find out about more about the world.

Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

iPass student's sample answer

International tourism is the key to globalisation in this modern world. Although many of us believe that it leads to refined understanding of varieties of cultures, customs and traditions across the continents, some are of the opinion that media along with web can serve this benefit without the trouble of travel.
Affordable and regular flights will no doubt encourage majority of enthusiasts to travel worldwide either for recreational or for employment purposes and ensures their acquaintance with people of various cultures. This creates a platform for exchange of views and ideas making our world a global village bridging the gap between the developed and the developing countries, providing opportunities for the youth of less privileged nations.
However the disadvantages lie in the fact that most of the travel modalities are still expensive for a certain section of the community. Two thirds of population of some countries depend on farming and live in villages not having access to education and electricity let alone tourism and global understanding.
Media and web communications come to rescue in the moment of need for people like that.they bring forward the brilliance of ever blooming science and technology onto the fingertips of people in far away worlds. The government should take an active role in promoting both global travel to students by providing scholarships and mass media by ensuring power and net facility to villages.
In an ever competitive and changing world as ours globalization is extremely crucial to understand people of different cultures and exchange ideas let it be through either travel or media as both stay as strong pillars supporting this cause. Similarly, the government should motivate their citizens to learn more about other cultures by providing them the basic essentials and financial support.


iPass tutor's comments

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iPass tutor's written feedback

Minimum word count: 250 words      Your word count: 290 words

Marking Key 4-5 = satisfactory 5.5-6 = good 6.5-7 = very good 7.5-8 = excellent

Writing Criteria Descriptor S G VG E Areas to Improve
Further practice
Task
Response
the extent to which your ideas are relevant, developed and supported       This was a very good answer – well balanced and well argued – written in an interesting and confident style. Your position was clear and effective and well rounded off with your conclusion.
the extent to which your position is clear and effective      
Coherence
and
Cohesion
how well the information and ideas are organised       Very good organisation into paragraphs which followed your answer logically. You used each paragraph to help build up your arguments successfully with relevant explanations. Good use of suitable linkers.
how well the information is linked      
Lexical
Resource
the range of vocabulary used and how accurately it is used       You used a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features and accurately and appropriately.
how appropriate the vocabulary is for the task      
Grammatical
Range and
Accuracy
the range of structures used and how accurately it is used       Your grammar was very appropriate and you've used a wide range of structures with full flexibility, and only rare minor errors occur.
how appropriate the structures are for the task      
Overall marker's comment
This was a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas that sufficiently addresses all parts of the task.

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