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Task 2 sample answer and examiner's comments

Read this student’s response to the Task 2 in the previous step. Then read the examiner’s comments on what this student has done well and how they could improve. Think about how the examiner’s comments relate to the assessment criteria we saw in Step 1.6.

Writing task

Examiner’s comments

Task 2

On the whole, this response answers the question well. The main ideas are relevant, but some ideas could be further expanded and/or supported with examples. Sometimes the writer’s view is not clear.

In the introduction the topic is presented in the writer’s own words. Three advantages of studying abroad are presented and the writer goes on to develop each one with a supporting sentence. The first idea is rather general as it could equally apply to studying in the student’s home country, but the second is directly related to the topic. This idea could be developed by highlighting the advantage of having communication skills in more than one language. The third advantage could also be developed as the writer does not explain why the experience could be ‘a good point’ in someone’s curriculum vitae. The writer then looks at the disadvantages. The lack of family support is relevant and is well developed, but the reference to the language barrier is less clear. In the previous paragraph studying in a foreign language is presented as an advantage, but here it is presented as a possible disadvantage. However, the idea about talking to lecturers and tutors is a good supporting point. The writer’s position is clearly presented in the final paragraph. An appropriate essay format is used and the response is well over the word count at 316 words.

The writing is easy to follow as it is well organised. Each paragraph has a clear purpose: introduction, advantages, disadvantages and conclusion. The ideas are well linked within each paragraph, with effective use of linking words to present contrasting ideas [on the one hand; on the other hand], to sequence [firstly; secondly; thirdly; in conclusion] and to rephrase [In other words]. Occasionally linking between ideas is less clear. In the sentence [In the job market, where the competition is very high, it could be a good point for the first employment.] the reader is not sure what [it] refers to. Similarly, in the sentence [For these reasons it is important that the student abroad must receive much support from their lecturers and tutors, as this will allow them to speak in a friendly way on a regular basis, and to give the opportunity to ask about something if they do not understand it.] it is not clear who [them] refers to.

The writer’s range of vocabulary is good and ideas are expressed clearly. S/he shows an understanding of how words fit together [self-sufficient; family support; a sense of isolation; a demanding process], although there are some errors [job’s opportunities; drawbacks occour; determine a sense of isolation]. The range is also demonstrated in the writer’s ability to use words and phrases with similar meanings [some disadvantages; one critical problem; Another obstacles]. Some spelling errors occur [occour/occur; indipendent/independent; frustation/frustration], but these are not frequent and are minor mistakes.

The writer uses a variety of complex sentences and produces these accurately, for the most part. There are a few errors: missing articles [to learn second language / to learn a second language; protected environment of the family / the protected environment of the family], faulty prepositions [out of (the) protected environment / away from the protected environment], but in general the writer has good control over grammar and punctuation.

Overall band score: 7

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Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

Cambridge Assessment English

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