Self-Evaluation of IELTS General Writing Skills
If you are self-studying and preparing to take the IELTS exam, you will need to evaluate your own writing. Usually, this is done by a teacher. Students who can evaluate their own writing are better equipped to independently produce polished and successful pieces.
Writing is such an important skill to develop, yet there are few writers in the world who write without also engaging in extensive revision and editing processes. Evaluating (or assessing and adjusting) your own writing creates awareness about errors and inconsistencies but also highlights your strengths! Self-evaluating is challenging. It forces you to:
- Devote precious time
- Attempt to be objective in relation to your own creations
- Be honest about your weaknesses as well as your strengths
Students who can evaluate their own writing are more independent and are better able to complete communicative pieces. Furthermore, your writing reflects how you speak, so the crisper your writing the more polished your speaking will be.The General IELTS test is slightly different to the Academic test in that Task 1 is a letter and not an information transfer.
This is how you can assess your own writing:
General Product Writing Task 1
- Go to http://www.ielts-exam.net/general_writing_samples_task_1/937/
- Study the question and sample letter.
- Set 20 minutes on your phone or any other timer and answer the task.
- Now go to http://www.ielts-exam.net/general_writing_samples_task_1/891/
- Compare your answer to the model answer.
Check the following:
- Did you write a short overview at the beginning of the task? This is a sentence which says what you are going to write about. If not, then you did not answer the question.
- Task 1 is an “information transfer” question. Did you extract the important numbers and tell the examiner why they are important/significant?
- Did you do the necessary comparing and contrasting?
- Did you write 150 words? Anything under is unacceptable and over 170-180 will also be penalised. Writing over indicates that there may be repetition or your writing is too discursive.
- Did you use high level/academic vocabulary and discourse markers?
- Did you add your opinion? If yes, then you will be severely penalised. You must only write about the facts.
- Did you use complex grammatical structures or only simple structures?
Use this document: Self Evaluation of IELTS Writing and write your three weaknesses in the TASK 1 box as well as your Plan of Action.
General Product Writing Task 2NOTE: Task 2 is the same for the Academic and General test.
- Go to http://www.ielts-exam.net/ielts_writing_samples_task_2/940
- Study Task 2’s question and the model answer in detail.
- Introduction – How does the essay start? Note that the writer highlights what they think.
This forms part of the TOPIC SENTENCE.
- Make notes on the organisation of the essay.
- What vocabulary does the writer use? Highlight the discourse markers and linking devices.
- Look at the coherence and cohesiveness of the essay? Ideas must be logically organised and make sense.
- Generally, a good conclusion is a robust paraphrase of the introduction.
- Set 40 minutes on your phone or any other timer and answer the task.
- Go to http://www.ielts-exam.net/ielts_writing_samples_task_2/941/
- Compare your answer to the model.
Check the following:
- Did you write 250 – 280 words? You will be penalised for overwriting is there is evidence of repetition or discursiveness. Underwriting is an instant Band 5. Stick to 250 – 275 words.
- Did you state your idea/opinion in the introduction?
- Are your ideas logically organised?
- Did you use a range of complex grammar and high level/academic vocabulary?
- Is your spelling and punctuation on point?
- Did you remain on task?
Using the same document from above (Self Evaluation of IELTS Writing) write your weaknesses in the Writing Task 2 box and your Plan of Action.