Writing a 250-word essay on a topic of general interest, that too within 40 minutes, can be an overwhelming task, especially if you haven’t got in enough exam practice.
Let’s take a closer look at the five stages that make up the POWER writing plan.
Some test takers hurriedly read the essay question and begin their response; some others spend too much time mulling over what to write. As you might imagine, neither approach is likely to yield good results in IELTS.
In this first stage, it is essential that the test taker reads the essay question carefully and identifies what the topic is. Remember, forming an understanding of the overall topic and knowing vocabularies are key to ensuring that the response you write does not digress.
Sometimes this may mean spending adequate time to read the question twice or thrice, but that should be okay. Underlining important parts as you read the question could help you stay focussed on what you need to write about.
What’s also important at this point is to not get distracted by specific words in the question. For instance, if the topic is ‘use of technology leading to social isolation’, do not zero in on the word ‘technology’ and look for related ideas.
Simply writing about technological advances will certainly earn you a penalty, subsequently affecting your writing score.
Therefore, only after you gain a full understanding of the essay task and its parts should you brainstorm possible ideas. Before you move on to the next stage, check whether the ideas you’ve generated are sufficient to fully answer the question.
Lexicon-British Council IELTS Test Center
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