The words Task Response appear in crimson on a yellow background. However, the final K of "task" and the "S" in response are slightly out of position to signify that the blog post will discuss 5 common mistakes with Task Response

Every week I mark dozens of IELTS essays, and each student has their own unique problems stopping them achieving a high score. Some struggle with subject/verb agreement, others have problems using joining their ideas, and many use unsuitable vocabulary . However, despite these differences, it never fails to amaze me that students make the same FIVE mistakes with Task Response, no matter which country they are from or what their level. So, in today’s blog post, I want to go through the 5 most common IELTS Task Response mistakes, and how you can avoid them 🚀

A hand holds a pair of scales to signify the importance of adding balance in an IELTS agree/disagree essay

When you open your exam paper and see the instruction Discuss both views and give your own opinion, it’s obvious that you HAVE TO give equal space to both opinions in your essay to fully address all parts of the task. But, what happens when the instruction asks you To what extent do you agree or disagree? Is it still important to discuss both “sides” of an argument, or are you free to have a “strong” position? And, if you do consider the other position, how and where can you do this in your essay so that your position remains clear? I mean, how can you show “balance” when arguing your own opinion? Well, these are the complex questions I am going to be[…]

A lone black sheep looks back at a flock of what sheep. The picture symbolises over-generalising, which is a problem for many IELTS students when they write.

In the writing exam, it can be easy to make claims that are generally true, but NOT always true. This can limit your score for Task Achievement to a 7.0 (which I know for most people won’t be a problem, but for some test-takers an 8.0 in TA can be the difference between a 6.5 and a 7.0!) So, how can you avoid over-generalising?!  HEDGING!!!