Abstract: in this research, the best strategies to prepare for IELTS writing section were considered and studied. At the end of the work, the most efficient ways to easily pass the IETLS writing section were found by extracting the best features from different articles and other sources of data. The strategies which were found by the author of this project will help students to successfully pass the IELTS exam writing section, in addition, they will help students to improve their English proficiency.
Explanation of the problem
owadays the importance of English language is growing by every day. English language completely or partly implemented in the educational systems in almost every country, especially in developed ones. From the importance of English language comes the necessity of different exams which are able to check your English proficiency degree. These days, the most popular exam which rates the degree of knowledge of English language is IELTS (International English Language Testing System) which is recognized by the vast majority of universities in the world. The second most popular English exam is TOEFL, however the only country where it’s actively used is USA.
The problem, is that a lot of students have a huge problem during the preparation for IELTS exam – they can not find the right way to prepare for IELTS examination, from the perspective of this project – writing section of the IELTS exam, because most of IELTS examinees tend to fail this section.
It’s not unusual for us to hear stories that they keep on failing in IELTS Writing section, or they’re stuck with the 6.0 band score According to IELTS test statistics published in 2016, the average IELTS writing band score worldwide is 6.0. This average is taken from a 2016 sample of 3 million test-takers in over 140 countries. Indian candidates on average scored 5.5 for writing, while candidates in Saudi Arabia achieved an average writing score of 4.5(Leo 2018, p. 1)
Methods used to collect the data
In order to provide highly accurate information to the readers of this article, a certain data was collected personally by the author.
Conducting a survey was used as a method of data collection in this project. The platform, on which survey was held, was “Google forms”. The survey was shared to the outlook office to NIS Students and Teachers.
Overall, survey made in google forms consists of total 10 questions, 8 out of them were option questions with only 1 option which is possible to choose, 1 out of them is an multiple choice question with several questions to choose available the last question left is a scale type question, with 11 possible values to choose by respondent.
Results of the conducted survey
According to the conducted survey, the majority of respondents marked their degree of proficiency in English as higher than average (38.2 %), with a pretty small backlog comes the second most popular part of respondents which states, that their English is at the medium degree (32.4 %). The minority of respondents said that they estimate their degree in English language as “lower than average” (5.9 %)and almost the same percentage of students state that their degree is “Super-advanced”(5.9 %). What stands out from this data is that the NIS students and teachers are not experiencing any significant problems while speaking and using English language, however, it doesn’t mean that their English skills doesn’t require any improvements, they still have a lot of work to do, because there are only 75% percent of people, who know English language at the average level or above, while the total percentage of good users of English should be at least 85% in order to successfully integrate English language in the educating system of NIS Aktobe and the entire Kazakhstan, only so, the average results of IELTS exam will experience a significant grow among the students.
The next questions in survey asked respondents to rate the importance of English language at the present days. The majority of respondents (over 65%) answered – “The knowledge of English – is the main priority”. The other part of respondents (approximately 35%) state that the English language is important nowadays. Overall, all people understand, that the English language is one of the most important aspect of development of educational system of our country.
The third question asked respondents to rate the level of development of English language in Kazakhstan. Half of them said the level of development is satisfying, 32.4% choose “Lower than average” option, it’s worth to note, that negligible part of students and teachers choose the “Poor” option. It means, that Kazakhstan still have a lot of work to do in order to successfully integrate English level in educational system and increase the average IELTS result
The fourth question asked respondents : “Are you going to pass IELTS exam in the next 5 years?” Almost all respondents answered “Yes” (almost 95%). What stands out from the outcome data is that the problem of IELTS examination still relevant not only among the students but even among the teachers.
Fifth question asks students and teachers how often do they use their knowledge in English language in their daily-life. There is an interesting feature that every option was chosen relatively same number of times, but there is an exception for option “Sometimes” which takes only about 12%. It also means, that the English level is important almost for every student and teacher in the Kazakhstan, it means, that this people will pass examination anyway, that’s why, the relevance of IELTS examination still proved.
Sixth question asks respondents the next question “Are you involved in the preparation for IELTS?(Either some courses or self-study)”. Two thirds of respondents said “Yes” other respondents answered “No”. What stands out from this question is that people are actively trying to successfully pass IELTS exam, that’s why they need some tips and hints in order to get a high band.
Seventh question askes the respondents “Have you ever passed the real or trial IELTS exam?”. During this question, the ideal result come from output. Exact half of respondents said “YES” (exact 50%) and the other half said “No”. It means that people have not yet experienced the real exam conditions which creates some problems in the way to get a high band score in IELTS during the IELTS examination because, people can feel stress and confuse the answers.
Penultimate question was “Which band did you get in the IELTS Exam if you passed any?”. “6.5” was the average result taking 38.2% of all given answers, the least chosen option was “4.5” and “9”, together they take only 12% of all choices. 6.5 is a good result for students, but actually, the most preferred band which allows to get to any university is 7, it means, that students need some more practice to successfully pass IELTS examination.
The last question asks respondents “According to your opinion, which aspect is the most important while passing the IELTS exam?”. What stands from the answers given by the respondents, that the most important aspect for IELTS are self-confidence(61.8%)and the high proficiency degree in English language(67.6 %), the least important was the speed of executing the tasks, however, the least popular aspect takes the entire 50% of all chosen options. What stands out from the question results that every aspect of the IELTS examinee development is important and none of them can be missed and not be considered.
Future Implication of Findings.
In the moment when all researches are completed, the outcoming results will be actively implicated in the school environment. To be exact, the strategies which were found during the research will be suggested to the students who are going to pass the IELTS exam in order to help them to get a higher score in the writing section, also, these strategies should students to dramatically improve their vocabulary and grammar skills and knowledge.
In addition, the outcome of the research will be demonstrated and illustrated in the article. This article is aimed for a wide audience and it can trigger the interest in the mind of many linguistic experts and pioneer students, because it will provide a lot useful information and the results of the self-provided survey will be shown in the article.
Also, there was an idea of implementing the found strategies to prepare for IELTS writing exam in the educational system in the official level. Thus, the students can get a lot of experience in preparing for the IELTS exam and also , they can improve their academic English and even the management skills!
Some of the strategies which were found out
There are different ways to prepare for IELTS Writing section, also, there is a variety of ways to successfully pass the writing tasks. The first critically important perspective from which the problem of IELTS Writing section should be considered is time-management. According to the “5 STEPS TO A BAND 7 IN IELTS WRITING TASK 2” by IELTS Advantage, There is only one hour allowed to complete the writing section in IELTS. At first, IELTS examinee, should prepare his plan which he will follow during the whole writing section and write both writing tasks according to it. He must take maximum 10 minutes to fill the plan. After creating a plan, examinee has to immediately start writing task 1 (Diagram Analyze). For this, he has no more than 20 minutes, only 5 extra minutes allowed. Therefore, task 2 consumes all time left for IELTS writing section (30-35 minutes).
On the other hand, “WHAT ARE SOME WRITING STRATEGIES FOR THE IELTS?” by Ashish Antil. (2018). Just like the first source, he recommend to set aside no more than 20 minutes to the task 1 and leave all the time left fully for task 2. However, the author suggests to plan only 2nd writing task, while the examinee should writing the 1st task immediately after exam has started
Aside from the perspective of time management, the way how examinee doing the writing section can be considered from the perspective of how do students organized their works in IELTS writing section, in two words – writing structure. According to the “IELTS WRITING TASK 1”by IELTS Buddy, the 1st task consist of 3 main pieces
- Introduce the graph
- Give an overview
- Describe the details
Comparing with other sources, there is no any significant difference in the structure of task 1. For an instance, “IELTS WRITING STRATEGIES” by IELTS-EXAMsuggest almost the same steps of organizing task 1.
- Introduce the information
- Include overview of information
- Summarise the key points
The structure of the task 2 can differ a bit in different sources. “WHAT ARE SOME WRITING STRATEGIES FOR THE IELTS?” by Ashish Antil. (2018) states that writing the structure of writing task 2 consist of
- Introduction (about 40 words)
- Body (over 180 words, including controlling idea, supporting and developing sentences 1 and 2)
- Conclusion (approximately 30 words).
According to “5 STEPS TO A BAND 7 IN IELTS WRITING TASK 2” by Ielts Advantage, the task 2 is made by 4 main pieces.
- Main Body Parapgraph 1
- Main Body Paragraph 2
In conclusion, there are 2 main perspectives of considering the problem – time management and the structure of the tasks. Both of them are critically important during preparation for IELTS writing, however, all strategies, which were suggested by different authors don’t differ from each other that much.
In the future, due to implementation of the article, it’s believed, that this work, will help the students all around the world in order to get a high or even a maximum score in the IELTS exam writing section. The importance of IELTS cannot be underrated and it’s a serious exam, where students must use all of their skills in order to get a perfect score.
The results of the research will help them the correctly guide their efforts and they will show the way, where the students should go.
I wish to express my very great appreciation to Mr.Azat Zhumakevoich who is a professional teacher of GPPW lesson and he has a huge experience of writing the projects and helping students to do the projects. He helped a lot with a constructive critiques and also made significant efforts while checking my project work.
IELTS Advantage. “IELTS Writing Task 2”. Available at: https://www.ieltsadvantage.com/writing-task-2/
IELTS buddy. “IELTS Writing Task 1: Lessons, strategies and tips”. Available at: https://ieltsbuddy.com/ielts-writing-task-1.html
Ielts Exam. “IELTS Writing Strategies”. Available at:https://www.ielts-exam.net/Writing.html.
Quora. “What are some writing strategies for the IELTS?”. Available at: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-writing-strategies-for-the-IELTS
ST GEORGES. ”Write the perfect IELTS writing task 2 essay”. Available at: http://www.stgeorges.co.uk/blog/academic-english/write-the-perfect-ielts-writing-task-2-essay
Figure 1. The question of rating your English proficiency.
Figure 2.Estimation of the English language among questioned people.