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hello everybody my name’s Tim from IELTS freeway calm and today I’m going to be sharing with you how to do IELTS writing task 2 general and academic I’m going to do this in a four part video series and the four videos are video one basic information that you need to know video 2 question types and structure video 3 how essays are marked and video for the stages of writing so this is video 1 and we’ll be covering all the basic information that you need to know to do I else writing task 2 so let’s make a start the IELTS writing test is 60 minutes long in total and it consists of two parts part one is different depending on if you’re taking the general paper or the academic paper if you’re taking general IELTS part one is a letter writing task if you’re taking the academic IELTS part one is a summary task where you summarize graphs charts or pictures however part two is exactly the same for both papers it’s a formal academic discussion essay there are twice as many marks for task two as there are for task 1 so if you want to improve your band score for your writing it’s particularly important to focus on improving your essay time management is very important for the writing test because you are give them one hour to do both parts so you have to decide how long you spend on each part nobody will tell you when to change from task one to task two it is recommended though that you spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 in task 1 you need to write 150 words in task 2 you have to write at least 250 words you must write at least 250 if you write less you will lose marks however you won’t get extra marks for writing say 300 words or 350 words but you do need to reach the minimum word count of 250 in a later video I will give you the exact step-by-step process to manage your time effectively to do this essay in the 40 minutes so what topics might you be asked to write about well here are 10 common topics that often come up in the aisles essay tasks have a look at the list we’ve got health environmental issues education government spending globalization public transport criminal justice youth crime technology and development all of these are very common important issues for most people and countries in fact if you make the effort to read your national newspapers you will find that these issues are discussed in depth in them so really reading around these topics is ideal preparation for your task to essays they will give you lots of ideas and vocabularies that you can then write about and apply in your essay so how can you prepare for your IELTS writing task – well first you need to start preparing early plan ahead it sometimes takes people a couple of attempts before they get the band score that they need so you really need to allow yourself enough time especially if you’ve got other important exams to do in the near future like a levels or if you have deadlines for application to universities or for visas for other countries so plan ahead and prepare early this also gives you chance to improve your English to the desired level in my experience it takes a couple of months of dedicated practice to improve your English to get up one band level however you can also improve your score through learning good technique and that is what my website IELTS freeway comm is about so what else can you do to prepare for the exam for the essay part you need to have a plan you need to know how are you going to tackle the questions in a later video like I mentioned you’ll also get a full step-by-step writing process that you can learn and use thirdly you need to practice under pressure in the exam you might be nervous and you have to write at quite a fast pace so you need to practice under timed conditions so time yourself fourthly you need to practice a variety of question types as you’ll discover in my next videos there are three different question types don’t just practice the same type over and over again practice a variety so that whatever type of question you get you feel comfortable that you can answer it fifthly try and get a native speaker to mark your essays maybe a teacher at school or a friend and get some feedback so that you know what is not quite right and then you can work on improving that and finally as I’ve already mentioned you need to read read around these topics so that you have ideas you have already thought about the types of issues that might come up in the exam this will make the planning stage of your writing much easier if you can think of ideas quickly and easily okay so that’s all for this first video about basic information apart from a quick quiz so can you name three common IELTS topics ah well if you quickly flick back to the list you can have health environmental issues education criminal justice youth crime and I let you read through those again at your leisure next question how long in total do you have for the IELTS writing test pause the video and have a think okay so the answer is one hour in total but remember you have 20 minutes for part one and 20 minutes for part 2 question 3 how are academic and general writing tests different well pause the video and have a think hopefully you came up with something like the general writing test part one is a letter but the academic test part one is a summary describing pictures diagrams and charts however task two is identical question 4 how many words do you need to write for a task 2 hopefully you are aware that it’s a minimum of 250 you must write at least 250 words and finally what type of language should you not use in the essay I will think hopefully you came up with things like contractions using words like can’t instead of cannot don’t instead of do not using I too much using phrasal verbs too much and being too emotional in your responses okay that’s all for this video the next video is about question types and structures so if you enjoyed this video please like share and subscribe to this channel and proceed on to video two I’ll see you then