How to Avoid Writing off-topic Essays in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Staying on topic is essential to getting a high band score, the main reason for this is that the examiner is determining the two most important skills including focus and consistency during this portion of the test. 

Going off topic shows that the candidate needs to fully understand the prompt and this makes the essay go in a completely different direction which in turn makes the candidate seem more confused and disorganized in terms of planning their essay. This can in turn lead to a low band score. 

How to stay on the given essay topic?

  1. Comprehending the task: This is a very crucial step, the candidate should always take their time to comprehend the given topic well and brainstorm their ideas on what they can potentially write on the topic. 
  1. Sticking to the subject: Once you have understood the topic, we’ll make sure that you are writing relevant to the topic, you can elaborate on all points of the task and provide relevant examples to strengthen your essay. If the topic requires you to discuss an argument then you can always talk about both sides to create a balanced view. 
  1. Connection between ideas and words: Your essay should have an overall connection when it comes to your ideas and sentence structures. The essay should be written in a flow and the ideas should be portrayed clearly in the essay. Moreover, you can always use linking words and phrases to ensure the connectivity of the words. 
  1. Word Limit: Make sure that your essay is within the word limit as writing more or less words than required can impact your band score. 

How can writing off-topic lead to a low band score in IELTS? 

As we discussed earlier, there are a lot of signs that can be shown when a candidate goes off-topic. Some of them include: 

  1. Having a lack of understanding: If you have not written according to the given IELTS essay topic then it shows that you have not understood the question well and what is being asked of you. 
  1. Enhanced confusion: if you are writing off-topic then it is most likely that your essay is unorganized and unstructured and there is a lot of confusion of ideas. This can make it difficult for the examiner to understand what you are talking about. 
  1. Lack of examples: if you are writing off topic then it is likely that you will not have enough examples to support your statements. In turn, this will make your essay seem weak resulting in a lower band score. 

What are some of the most common examples of topic mistakes for IELTS essay topics? 

Let’s discuss the most common mistakes that candidates make when going off-topic in IELTS writing. 

  1. Not understanding the task carefully: If the candidates start rushing to write their essay then they are making a mistake because there is a high chance that they can go off topic. The best technique to stay on topic is to look for keywords. 
  1. Not providing relevant examples: There is a huge focus on examples when it comes to IELTS writing as this makes your arguments stronger and more interesting so you should always provide relevant examples where necessary. 
  1. Giving clear views: you should remember to emphasize your views clearly throughout the essay, this will help the examiner understand where you are coming from. 
  1. Not having a proper structure: your essay must have an organized structure where the ideas and examples are known. This will help to avoid confusion. 

You should always try to understand the topic and stay focused on it. This will bring in a lot more ease and clarity and result in a high band score. The best way to practice this is to write on multiple topics so that you can get an idea and learn from your mistakes. 

IELTS by Next has helped countless students over the years guiding them about effective strategies that they can use to get a high band score. If you want to be one of them then feel free to contact IELTS by Next. 

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