Writing Task 2 is writing an essay. There are basically 6 types of essay questions: Advantages-Disadvantages, Agree-Disagree, Discuss Both Views, Cause-Effect-Solution, Two-part Question, and Opinion Question. The essay is to be written in 40 minutes with at least 250 words.
As for the how it is scored, there are 4 criteria that are being used for all the IELTS essays written all over the world. These criteria that have equal weights, 25% each, will be discussed in detail.
There will be two qualified IELTS examiners who hold relevant and high level of teaching qualifications with years of extensive experience will do the marking based on the given band descriptors or criteria. Below is the brief overview of each criterion:
Task Achievement (TA)
In every writing task, there are specific tasks that needed to be addressed by the candidate. For example, the test might ask the test taker to write about advantages or disadvantages; or to what extent do you agree or disagree; and give examples. All of the aforementioned tasks must be present in the essay otherwise the Task Achievement criterion will not receive a good mark. Lastly, aside from the tasks, examiners will be looking for the complete parts of an essay for Writing Task 2.
Coherence and Cohesion (CC)
This refers to the ability of the candidate to logically organize and essay the ideas in a clear progression from the beginning and all throughout the writing. Another crucial factor is the use of appropriate cohesive devices that will connect or link ideas with a clear topic within each paragraph.
Lexical Resource (LR)
A quarter of the total IELTS Writing is based on Lexical Resource or otherwise known as Vocabulary. Common words will not give the candidate a good score therefore IELTS test takers should try their best to use less-common words in order to garner a higher score. Another criterion that the examiners will be looking for in writing are good collocations must also be employed.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA)
As in any English language assessment, grammar is expected to be marked as well. This includes spellings, tenses, punctuation marks, capitalizations, subject-verb agreements, and so on. Aside from having good grammar, range is also being measured which means an IELTS test taker should try to construct longer sentences creating compound sentences and complex sentences.