Handling Time Constraints and Word Counts

دوره: Mastering ielts writing task 2 / فصل: Approaching the Essay / درس 4

Handling Time Constraints and Word Counts

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How to manage your time and deal with the minimum word count when writing your essay. Also features some advice on dealing with time-limit-related anxiety.

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Again welcome back. As mentioned in today’s lecture we’re going to look at time constraints and word counts. So managing the time limits and to the minimum word limit. In a eilts writing task too. So let’s get started by looking at the time factor of the exam. Now in eilts right on target 2 they say that you should spend about 40 minutes on completing the task. But what is the best way to divide your time between the paragraphs. That’s what we’re going to look at here. In my view the best way to divide your time. It’s a start by just spending five minutes on the plan. For some people that seems like a lot of time but five minutes on the plan can save you many more minutes later on. The introduction also should just take five minutes. This is because the body paragraphs are more important. This is where the majority of your points for your band score come from. They come from the body. So each body paragraph is going to take 10 minutes making 20 minutes for the body altogether. The conclusion 5 minutes again shouldn’t take any more than five minutes. Now if you add up all of those minutes what you have is thirty five minutes. So what do you think we should spend the last five minutes doing of course checking our work. This can be the difference between a band six point five and a seven a seven in a seven point five. So five plus five plus ten plus ten plus five plus five gives us our 40 minute limit. That’s an ideal world of course on the day you won’t really be thinking about all know how I spent five minutes on the introduction but you. This is what you should aim for when you are studying by yourself before the exam. Let’s talk about the word count down in eyles writing task too. You are required to write at least two hundred and fifty words. This is not optional. You must if you don’t write too much in 50 words you will lose Mark marks for task achievement. So how should we split up these words. The introduction should contain two or three sentences. 40 words the body paragraphs. Much more important to develop these. They should be about 90 words each more or less. The conclusion a little bit shorter than the introduction usually just one or two sentences can be 30 words. When you add up all of these numbers what you have is two hundred and fifty words so you need to think about improving the quality of your writing not the quantity. You can score a band 9 with just two hundred and fifty words. Once you reach the requirement for the minimum word limit it’s all about the quality of your writing not the quantity of words which you put in. That’s why it’s important to leave yourself time at the end of the essay for checking your work. Don’t just keep writing and writing. Go back and check for errors to improve the quality of your grammar and vocabulary coherence and cohesion. It’s all about quality over quantity. One last point to make about handling anxiety because I know that the time limits in particular can make people feel quite anxious set in a few nerves and this can certainly affect their performance. A few pointers here. Practice writing both with and without time constraints. So give yourself the freedom to write without time constraints at times. This can help you to just calm down a bit and can actually help you to ride a bit more quickly. But do prep practice with both time constraints and without time constraints. Practice regularly. Don’t just practice once a fortnight or maybe even just once a week. You should be practicing a number of times every week so you get used to those time limits that will help you to avoid being so anxious on the day when you feel like you’ve not done enough practice. Practice with and without a clock by your side can be helpful to see what 40 minutes really looks like as you go along. But again that clock can make people feel quite anxious. So maybe try not using it and also try using it. See what works best for you. Finally do not worry about perfection particularly when you are studying alone and thinking about time constraints. And don’t worry about perfection on exam day because it will only slow you down. Just jump into the writing try to write 250 words within 35 minutes and then you can go back and worry about perfection that last 5 minutes for checking your work. That’s where you worry about perfection. Trying to fix those grammar errors. Don’t worry about perfection as you go through. It will just give you stage fright and prevent you from writing anything at all.

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