IELTS Computer Delivered Tests + Band Score

Problems with the IELTS Essay Topics

by Chris

Will my grade get lowered in IELTS writing for going off topic?


I took the IELTS Academic today and I have some questions regarding the Writing test.

I think I have made a mistake because at part II, I think I went a little off topic.

I mean I wrote something related to the given subject, but I panicked because I was running out of time and I just wrote down what popped into my mind (somehow related to the subject).

Do you think this will lower my grade too much?

Comments for Problems with the IELTS Essay Topics

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Sep 25, 2014
IELTS writing going off topic
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Chris,

It's really difficult for anyone to tell you if your specific essay was off topic without seeing it.

But yes, a persons score will be lower if they do go off topic. If you take a look at the IELTS Task 2 band descriptors (available online or from your local IELTS centre) you can see that you are graded on this for 'Task Response'.

There are things like 'the answer is tangential' or 'addresses the task only partially'.

If you go badly off topic your vocabulary could also be wrong i.e. not related to the task.

So you could get penalised with these if you do go off topic, but it really depends how off topic you go so it is not possible to generalise. Someone would need to look at the essay you did to be able to tell you.

If what you wrote was related then you may not have gone off topic.


Feb 20, 2016
Off topic
by: Anonymous

Hi there

I did my test today, I was writing very fluently, and when I re-read the assignment in the last few minutes, I noticed that I didn't fully answer the question.

The topic was something like this:

Wild animals should be protected. But some people believe that some wild animals should be protected more than others.

Write about these two views.

I wrote an introduction to this by talking about how I think it is true that some animals should be kept safe.

Then I wrote two paragraphs on why some animals are in danger and in need of protection (human interference - climate change)

I wrote one paragraph on how to keep them safe.

I was able to fix my conclusion to match the task more and wrote that some people might consider it unfair to only focus the protection on the endangered animals but due to what I have written in the paragraphs above, that is not my opinion.

Do you think I will be marked poorly because of this mistake?

Feb 21, 2016
Protecting animals question
by: IELTS buddy


It's difficult to tell you if you answered correctly as the essay question you posted did not really make sense. You must have remembered it incorrectly. I'd really need to see the proper question to assess your answer.

May 21, 2016
Need an answer
by: Anonymous


I made a big mistake in my ielts writing task2. The question was about if it's better or not for you countries to spent their money on children sport. I understood the question, but the problem is that instead of writing about countries I wrote about companies.. how much will the examiner going to deduct marks from it??

May 23, 2016
Need an answer
by: IELTS buddy


If you look at what I wrote below, you will see that if you write about the wrong topic it can bring the score down quite a bit for 'task response', maybe to a 4 or 5, but it is difficult to say for sure without seeing what you actually wrote.

Aug 13, 2016
Social Skills and Good Education
by: Navi


Today I was asked to write on social skills and good education:

Why do employers hire people with good social skills along with education.

I have written a decent essay, but I got confused in the middle, I was going good with communication and interaction skills, but suddenly i went of the topic and I also included about computer skills too........... I mentioned along with good communication skills an employee should also possess good computer skills too.

Please let me know your opinion.

Aug 14, 2016
Social Skills and Good Education
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Navi,

It really is too difficult to comment on a point like you make without actually seeing your essay.

You can get knocked down to a band 5 for task response for providing 'irrelevant detail' but I don't know if what you did would cause it to come down to a 5.

It could also affect coherency.

But it depends on the context and how it fits in with the overall essay.

So you really just have to wait for your result and hope it is ok.

Oct 10, 2016
Writing task 2
by: Anonymous


I did my IELTS exam last day. I got writing task 2 about successful life can be achieved by university education only and some thing that it has changed nowadays.

But what I wrote as response was going to community college can also make an individual successful if he has true desire. And then the teaching quality has also increased to a good level in community college now than earlier times.

I compared university education with community college education.

But I have a doubt whether I misinterpreted the question. Whether the question was about higher education.

Will my score get affected by this?? Please reply.

Oct 10, 2016
Writing task 2
by: IELTS buddy

Unfortunately it's really too difficult to answer your question without seeing what the actual question you had to answer was.

You explained the question, but knowing EXACTLY how it was worded is important to know if you answered it or not.

Really you will just have to wait for your result.

Nov 19, 2016
Ielts general writing 2
by: Anonymous

Writing task 2 was:

Some people say that during vacation in other countries visitors should not stay in hotels as they will not meet the local people.

Discuss your opinion.

Unfortunately my response was about advantages of hotel stay versus in the tent. I added some discription about cultural effect and economical effect.

What would you say regarding my essay?


Nov 20, 2016
Problems with the IELTS Essay Topics
by: IELTS buddy

To be honest you must have remembered the essay question wrong because what you wrote does not really make sense.

You said 'hotels will not meet the local people', but hotels can't meet people. Only people can meet people.

I'm not quite sure what you mean.

So with not being able to understand the essay question it's a bit difficult to be sure if you went off topic.

However, if staying in a tent was a main part of your essay and it was nothing to do with the question, then your score could be reduced for Task Response i.e. answering the question properly.

For example, someone would get a band 5 for TR if they only answered the question 'partially', band 4 if it was answered in a 'minimal' way, and 3 if the whole essay was absolutely nothing to do with the question (you can see all that in the IELTS public band descriptors).

Without seeing your answer and the proper question it is really too difficult to know, so you will just have to wait for your score.

Good luck

Dec 10, 2016
Was I off topic?
by: Anonymous


Thank you for the great help I got from this website and the IELTS made easy writing books, they are the best and have improved my writing significantly.

I had this question in my test:

Many people believe that the world’s most urgent problems can only be solved by international collaboration.

Do you agree or disagree?

I had a health problem which compelled me to leave the test room for 10 minutes, so I was extremely nervous because I was running out of time thus I couldn't think of any relevant ideas.

- My thesis sentence was:

I strongly agree with this idea and I therefore suggest solutions.

- 1st paragraph:

I mentioned that people are responsible for most of the world's problems such as global warming, and I expanded on its causes and I suggested solutions.

- 2nd paragraph:

Was horrible!

I started it with:

Another example is the widespread of health problems like obesity and how it becomes an alarming issue worldwide.

I expanded on its consequences and how to prevent it. For instance, I said all the world should be avoiding fast food and ban its adverts because they are manipulating our thinking and forcing us to buy it.

In addition, I said we should encourage exercise.

- Conclusion:

I paraphrased the introduction.

Was I off topic, and approximately what band should I get?

Thank you

Dec 11, 2016
Was I off topic?
by: IELTS buddy

Firstly it's completely impossible to tell you what band you could get without seeing your essay.

As regards to being on topic, again, it's always difficult to tell when someone explains briefly what they wrote instead of actually seeing the essay.

They key thing to write about is why countries should work together (international collaboration) if you agree, or why they should not (if you disagree), or both as of course you can discuss both sides of the argument.

As an example, you could in your first paragraph explain why some problems are international. Like you say, obesity as a world wide problem for instance, but other things that come to my mind more readily as clearly international problems are things like global warming (you mention this) and terrorism - they clearly affect everyone.

Then in the next paragraph you could explain how international collaboration helps to solve these problems (as opposed to countries working alone.

For example in the case of terrorism there is the need to share information between intelligence agencies or in the case of global warming for scientists to share their research or for countries to agree levels of CO2 reduction.

From what you said about your essay, you may have answered the question as you discussed those kinds of things, but my concern is that it's not clear in what you said whether you focused on the aspect of international collaboration and why it's necessary.

For example you said you suggested solutions to global warming but you didn't explain whether you related this to international collaboration.

As I said I'd really need to see your answer to be sure.

Good luck anyway.

Jan 12, 2017
off-topic answer
by: Anonymous

Hi my essay task 2 was:

Some people think that governments should act to change the individuals way of living to make a more healthy lifestyle whereas others think that individuals can decide their own way of life.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

But I understood the question in the wrong way and answered it, will I be receiving scores.

Jan 13, 2017
off-topic answer
by: IELTS buddy

Without seeing your essay answers it's impossible to predict how your score may (or may not) have been affected.

But generally speaking, yes your score will be reduced for Task Response Criteria if you go off topic.

But it could be reduced to 3, 4 or 5, depending on to what extent it was off topic so it's difficult to say.

May 25, 2017
go wrong
by: baljinder

My topic was:

In some societies the father stays at home to look after the children while the mother goes out to work.

Why and is this is a positive development?

But I wrote about parents. Like if one is going out another one stays in the house for care. How many marks can I get?

May 28, 2017
go wrong
by: IELTS buddy

It's really impossible to give you any indication about your score without seeing your essay and you gave very little information to explain what you actually wrote about.

You said you wrote about one parent staying at home while the other goes out. That's the topic so I'm not sure what your concern is.

Jun 08, 2017
Attempted on wrong sheet.
by: Anonymous

I have attempted Task 2 on task 1 sheet and task 1 on task 2 sheet. Will my paper get disqualified?

Jun 09, 2017
Attempted on wrong sheet.
by: IELTS buddy

They should still mark it.

Jun 19, 2017
Off topic
by: Anonymous

Hi good day.

I took the ielts exam last saturday and the question in writing part 2 was "the emergence of space exploration can lead to the possibility that space tourism is possible in tje future. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?"

My anwer was it is a positive development for some reasons:

1. It will allow us to see a fascinating beauty of other heavenly bodies
2. It can strengthen relationship ties with other nations. Since only developed countries have the capacity to send people to space, third world countries can invest and establish relationship with them to allow their citizens to visit space as well.
3. It will allow us to check if other planets are habitable and ideal for survival.

My concern is with my 3rd reason. Do you think it is a little bit off topic? Since we're talking about space tourism? Thank you for any response.

Jun 28, 2017
Off topic - Space Tourism
by: IELTS buddy


It does seem a bit off topic. They must all be directly related to space tourism.

But it's difficult to say for sure without seeing your actual essay because it depends how you worded it and whether you somehow linked that point into space tourism.

Jul 31, 2017
Off topic - Family History
by: De


I am extremely sad since I made a big mistake on writing part 2.

The questions is:

In some parts of the world it is becoming popular to research the history of one's own family. Why might people want to do this? Is it a positive or negative development?

I did not know the meaning of "one's own family". After searching internet, I realised that it means about "their own family history."

However, I responded about why people want to know about "another people's family"

What score will I obtain on task response criteria if I answered like that? 1,2,3,4 or 5?

It is my 4th attempts *cry*

Please help me

Aug 01, 2017
Off topic - Family History
by: IELTS buddy

It is possible a mistake like that could limit you to a 5, or at worst a 4, but it's really not possible to have a real idea without seeing what you actually wrote.

The way you worded it will affect the way your ideas are interpreted and whether they seem to answer the question or not.

So really you'll just have to wait till you get the result and hope it was ok.

Mar 10, 2018
Attemped on the wrong sheet
by: Anonymous

I wrote my task 1 on the task 2 paper and vice versa i told the examiners and they said just write this is for task 1 and this is for task 2 . I'm worried they might give me a zero on them.
Does this happen often? Will i score a zero or a 1? Or it will be graded normally ?

Thank you

Mar 17, 2018
Attemped on the wrong sheet
by: IELTS buddy

It does sometimes happen. No you will be fine, they will still mark them as normal.

Apr 21, 2018
Task 2 Opinion V Discussion
by: Anonymous

In task 2, I gave my opinion after stating disadvantages and advantages, but I now realise that the question was a discussion question and did not ask for my opinion. I had been achieving quite high marks in practice writings, both tasks 1 and 2. Do you think I will lose a lot of marks for this? I need a 7.

Apr 27, 2018
Task 2 Opinion V Discussion
by: IELTS buddy

It's really impossible to give score predictions without seeing a person's essay. But if you still wrote a very good essay and that was your only error it shouldn't necessarily prevent you from getting a 7.

The important thing is that you clearly answered the question. If you are asked for your opinion and you don't give it, that is more of a problem as that error is specifically addressed in the marking and could bring your score down.

Jun 04, 2018
Slightly off topic or not
by: Anonymous

My Essay question is:

Do Governments need to provide for salary for parents for taking care of their household activties?

Do you agree or disagree?

I have written taken consideration into women much rather than more on parents. Of course i mentioned parents at couple of places in the essay. Do u think this will affect my score

Jun 07, 2018
Slightly off topic or not
by: IELTS buddy

The question seems slightly odd so I'm not sure you have remembered it exactly as it was.

But anyway, it's really too difficult to say if you were on-topic or not without seeing your essay.

The woman is of course one of the parents so you may well have been on-topic, but it depends on what you said and how, and we can't know that.

Sep 29, 2018
Writing task 2
by: Anonymous

Today in my ielts exam writing part 2 the question was:

In these modern days it is not necessary to kill animals for different products like foods and clothes.

I think I went off topic. I wrote about animals emotion and harm on ecosystem. Will it affect my score?

Oct 01, 2018
Writing task 2
by: IELTS buddy

It's not possible to really comment on your essay without seeing it, but going off topic affects your score for Task Response.

It can limit your score for that criteria from anything to band 3 to band 5 depending on the extent to which you went off topic.

For example, if you still partially answered the question you could still get a band 5, but if you were writing on a subject connected to the topic but it wasn't answering the question, it could be a band 4. If your answer bore no relation to the topic at all then band 3.

Of course your final score would depend on how you did in the other three criteria.

Oct 13, 2018
Wrong interpretation of question
by: Anonymous


I appeared in IELTS today. In writing task 2 question was:

Advantage and advantages to get married snd have child at thirties rather than younger age.

But i misinterpreted question as:

Advantages and disadvantages of getting married and have child in thirties and after after thirties

Pls advise any chances to get band 5.5

Oct 14, 2018
Wrong interpretation of question
by: IELTS buddy

It's impossible to give you any kind of prediction without seeing what you wrote to know to what extent you answered the question.

But yes it's still possible to get a 5.5 as your overall score depends on other factors, not just the interpretation of the question.

Dec 02, 2018
Off topic in one paragraph only
by: Rishil patel

In exam they ask educated people eat less junk food.
My replies. I wrote because they have enough information about junk food which cause some health insurance problem so they avoid food
Is it ok or I loose marks

Dec 04, 2018
Off topic in one paragraph only
by: IELTS buddy

It's too difficult to know that on the small bit of information you have given. Also I don't really understand the health insurance point you are making.

Dec 15, 2018
Opinion led essay
by: Anonymous

Hello there ,I appeared in December 13 ielts exam by British council. I was asked opinion led essay in writting task 2. I had to discuss both views and give my opinion but unfortunately I discusedd only one.i suppored that view gave examples and used good vocabulary. But I'm afraid if I will be marked with low band for not discussing both will I be marked forthe discussion one one view ?

Mar 14, 2019

Scientists have been warning for many years about protecting the environment & we must limit the use of energy in our daily lives.
Despite warnings, many people do not do this.

What are the reasons for that and how people can be encouraged to take an interest in protecting the environment ?

In this essay in first body paragraph i write about energy is easily available to people, such as electricity and that's why they didn't much care about it's usage and due to this environment problem occurs.

In body paragraph 2 i write government should lower the amount of electricity every human can use and also wilrite government should start compains related to environment awareness to every part of the country.

And also write government should encourage public transportation instead of public transportation so that air pollution lowers and giver example if Dehli. I think i have to use another energy instead of electricity.

Should i get 6 bands?

Mar 18, 2019
Should i get 6 bands?
by: IELTS buddy

It looks like you properly addressed the question but it's impossible to speculate on whether you got band 6.

There are many criteria you are marked on, not just whether you answered the question - how you extended and explained your ideas, coherence and cohesion, grammar, vocabulary.

It's impossible to know how you did in any of those without seeing your essay.

Mar 24, 2019
IELTS writing task 2 question
by: Sagar


I just has my IELTS test yesterday and here is the task 2 topic I had:

Pollution and waste is increasing day by day. What are some of the problems associated with it and what can individuals do to solve it?

My question is what does waste mean here? Does it mean garbage produced? I perceived it as industrial waste and as part of solution added points like they must be treated before they are let go in our oceans and so on.

With regards to pollution, I gave examples on how pollution can cause several health issues and provided solutions like use of cleaner fuels like natural gas and use of electric cars. Now it is implied that this needs to be done by individuals though I have not specifically used the word individuals.

Do you think I am missing something here and if I will loose any points for task response?

Mar 31, 2019
Waste Essay
by: IELTS buddy

It means general garbage rather than industrial waste.

It can't be industrial waste because the second part asks you what individuals can do about it. Individuals can't really do anything about industrial waste - companies need to deal with that properly.

It sounds like from the solutions you mention they are more things to do with government policy and companies than individuals.

So it is possible your task response score was affected, though you may not have been completely off topic.

Without seeing your actual essay it's very difficult to say apart from the give you general advice on how the scoring works.

Apr 13, 2019
Off topic
by: Anonymous


Here is the topic of the writing test I took today:

In many countries, people like to eat a wide variety of food rather than what can be grown in their local area. As a result, much of the food people eat today has to come from other regions.

Do you think the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

I know this seems crazy but I misread the topic so my writing was about people tend to eat food from other countries. And my whole writing was talking about the disadvantages because that’s what I state from the introduction:

Paragraph 1: I wrote about how national and local culture can be expressed by its cuisine as well as people’s chance to learn history behind the dishes (I used the words nations and countries in this paragraph)

Paragraph 2: I wrote that food from other nations can be expensive to import and this problem also affects a country’s manufacturing industry.

Conclusion: (this is when I realize that my topic can be off so I avoided writing the word nation or national as less as possible) I restated that the disadvantages of this problem outweighed the advantages and if people can be aware of their eating habit maybe this problem can be solved in the future.

I must admit that I didn’t tend to develop the ideas in this way from the beginning but then I think that local area can be used to describe the country people are living in and regions can be used to talk about some part of the world, which can be other countries.

Do you think there is any chances for me to get at least 5 or up in this test? I am expected to get a 6.5 or up in overall score 😢

Apr 13, 2019
Off topic
by: IELTS buddy

It's impossible to predict your overall band score.

You are talking about whether you answered the question or not (Task Response) which is only 25% of the mark. The other 75% is about other criteria such as grammar and cohesion.

Also, regarding TR it's also about how you extend your ideas etc, not just what they are, and we don't know about that .

But even if you knew your score for TR (which we don't) we don't know how you did on the others.

However, from what you said, it does look like your first paragraph may have been off-topic but it's difficult to know without seeing it. Discussing the pros of knowing about the culture of the local cuisine could be relevant to the question. The second paragraph looks relevant.

So you could still get over 5 anyway but it's impossible to know what you did get or if you could still have got to 6.5.

If you did answer the question and get 6 for TR and get 7 for the other three criteria then that is 6.5.

May 22, 2019
off topic
by: Anonymous

Hi IELTS buddy,

Here is the topic in task 2:

Is that the best way to spend the money of government to teach aged 65 or above to use the computer?

To what extent do you agree?

I think my intro is ok, but my P1 and P2 is about the advantage of elderly learning the computer, can improve their quality of life and reduce their feelings of loneliness. I use these two facts as my reason why I agree with this statement.

In conclusion, I wrote that to improve the quality of life and care about the emotion of citizens is the obligation of the goverment, and therefore it would be the best way to spend the money of government to teach aged 65 or above to use the computer.

How off topic did my essay was? did I still have a chance to get band 6? thank you

May 26, 2019
off topic
by: IELTS buddy

It's very difficult to know if it was on topic and will get a 6 for TR without actually seeing it but your ideas seem as if they would have answers the question. Also I don't think you have remembered the question properly as it was a bit confusing the way you have presented it.

But anyway 6 is not just based on the ideas you presented - there are other factors in TR such as how you extended and explained your ideas and whether your opinion was clear.

Also coherence and cohesion, lexis, and grammar are important. From reading your submission to this site you do seem to have some issues with grammar which could affect you getting a 6.

Really you just have to wait for your result as it's impossible to predict it without seeing your essay.

Jun 22, 2019
Did I go off topic?
by: Anonymous

I just sat my ielts writing test today. Here's the topic:
More tourists visit museums and historical sites than local people do. Why is that? What can be done about this?

Give reasons and include relevant examples.

I forgot to include any example. Will I get a low score? Can I still get a 7.0?

Aug 08, 2019
Ielts mistake ...plz clarify
by: Anonymous

I had ielts today...the topic was should school education be mandatory till 18 intro part i wrote i agree with the above view but didn't write completely...but made sure i was clear in my conclusion that i agreed with the topic completely...will i get a less score ???

Aug 12, 2019
Ielts mistake ...plz clarify
by: IELTS buddy

I don't know what you mean by 'didn't write completely'.

But anyway, it's virtually impossibe to tell anyone how they may have done without seeing the essay they wrote.

Sep 29, 2019
Mixed up a type
by: Anonymous

Hey! Please help me with clarifying one thing! My task was:

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are used in many countries. Recently some countries have started using alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Is this trend a positive or negative development?

I wrote about advantages and disadvantages, but I also gave opinion in conclusion.

The vocabulary was diverse and sticked to the topic. I used examples and explained ideas. The grammar was also very strong

What score can I reckon on?
Thank you in advance !)

Oct 03, 2019
Mixed up a type
by: IELTS buddy

It's impossible to predict or guess an essay score without seeing the essay.

Giving an opinion in the conclusion for that type of essay isn't really an issue. If you have to discuss the pros and cons of an issue you could give some sort of opinion in the conclusion.

As I say though, to be sure about anything we would have to see your essay.

Oct 04, 2019
Biggest mistake
by: Anonymous


Today I made the biggest mistake ever. I was asked to write about: Radio will be replaced by other media such as internet or television.

I got it so wrong !! Started writing about radio as a device!! I realized too late to change it so I kept going!!

I feel I did a really good essay but completely OFF the topic !! My whole performance was doing great !!

What will happen to my score ?? 😔😔

Oct 05, 2019
Biggest mistake
by: IELTS buddy

If you go off topic or don't answer the question properly then that gets penalised under Task Response.

As a very rough guide, partially answering the questions can limit you to a band 5 for TA, writing about the broad topic but where you have clearly misunderstood the question and no part of your essay directly relates to it would be band 4, and nothing at all related would be 2 or 3.

It's really impossible to say to what extent you may fall under any of those without seeing your essay but it sounds like a band 4 is possible as you wrote around the topic but appeared to completely misinterpret the question. If by chance you did partially answer it then it could be 5.

As for the other three marking criteria (CC, Lexis, and Grammar) the second two can also be affected as obviously the progression of the essay may not fit the question and your lexis (vocab) may not completely relate to it.

Jan 23, 2020
Ielts going off topic
by: Anonymous

Hello sir,

In exam, i wrote about the effects of television and computer on children such as detached from studies, obese and eye sight problems instead of violence inside games and television programme. I realised this mistake when it was too late. How much band i will get and penalized?


Many parents are unhappy because of the increasing amount of violence in their children by computer games, TV programs, and other leisure activities.

What are the harmful effects of such violent programs on children?

What are the solutions for this problem?

I followed the structure and wrote solutions also.
At the exam time i was not able to relate the word violence with rest of topic so this mistake happened.

Jan 23, 2020
Ielts going off topic
by: IELTS buddy

Unfortunately it is quite possible you will get restricted to a band 4 for task response.

That happens when you write about the broad topic area but you misunderstand the question so you don't actually answer the question, not even partially.

If you did happen to partially answer the question then it would be 5.

I can't say for sure though what happened of course without seeing your essay.

Jul 11, 2020
what will my band be?
by: Anonymous

so basically i really didnt understand the statement in task 2 which was about (Some people think the main benefit of international cooperation is in the protection of the environment, while others think that the main benefit is in the world business. Discuss both views and give your opinion.) and I thought that they meant how international cooperation helped in preventing wars between countries and that's how they kept the environment safe. what band will I be restricted to?

Oct 24, 2020
Different view of the essay
by: Anonymous

Hi, my writing essay part 2 is as follows:

Some people say that supermarkets and manufacturers should reduce the amount of products which include lot of packaging. Others say that we should be responsible and avoid the products which have a lot of packaging.
Discuss both the views and give your opinion.

I have writen the Essay in terms of packaging, quality of the package, importance of quality packaging, branded products packaging,advantages and disadvantages rather than plastics, wastage, environmental issues caused by packaging. I'm really worried about the result. Can you provide me your view.

Nov 16, 2020
english continuous writing
by: Tumel

My topic gave me a picture and told me to talk about it in any way I can with any format. So I went off topic by writing my own topic and talking about it. What grade am I getting?

Jan 23, 2021
Minor crimes to be sent to prison or not
by: Anonymous

I have written over traffic rules and child labour,
How i will be graded?

Aug 12, 2021
Mistake in task 2
by: Anonymous

The question was it is expected that higher proportion of older people than younger people in many countries in future is it a positive or negative development?

But, unfortunately I have stated reasons for General topic and answered postive or negative in conclusion with some elaboration.i am good at other three criterias how much it effects my tr score?

Aug 13, 2021
Off topic
by: Anonymous

I actually understand topic totally different way and i wrote a totally different things from question in task 2 but task 1 was ok .. how may bands can i score ??

Aug 15, 2021
Off topic
by: IELTS buddy

You get penalised on Task Response if you do not answer the question properly. The penalty really depends on how off topic you are - it can get reduced from anything between band 5 and band 3.

So really it's impossible to say how your overall score will be affected because of course it also depends how well you did in the other criteria.

Aug 23, 2022
Writing wrong in task 2
by: Anonymous

On 20 august i got a esaay that many students face difficulty to concentrate what are its cause and give solution
But i write effects and solution of this situation how i going to effect my task 2 overall band

Sep 25, 2022
Off topic essay
by: Anonymousphuntsho

Today in my essay writing advertisement aiming to childern should banned. Agree or disagree with example.
But I had written childern aiming for advertisement should banned. Written agree and dis agree with examples.
How it will effect my score here.

Jan 19, 2023
Space travel
by: Anonymous

The first man to walk on the moon claimed it was a step forward for mankind. However, it has made little difference in most people’s lives. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

This is my IELTS exam question and I think I go out off topic a little.

Please confirm and tell me that it's really happen.

My intro is correct.i fully agree with this.

In BP1 I give first reason that was
.... misconception of people regarding space travel. Greatly influenced by astrologers that we should not disturb natural things.

BP2..... unnecessary money invest on space infrastructure.....

Please tell me is it correct or out Off topic

Jan 22, 2023
Space travel
by: IELTS buddy

I don't really understand what you are saying you wrote in the first body paragraph.

The key thing is whether you related your points to making a difference to people's lives.

If you just wrote about how it's a waste of money in body 2 but you did not connect relate this then you haven't answered the question.

For instance, you could say it wasted money that could have be spent on improving health care, which would improve people's lives. Because this was not done, people did not see any improvement.

Something like that is connecting your point to the question.

Feb 13, 2023
off topic
by: Kozim

My essay was that in many cities, planners have located shops, offices, schools and homes in specific areas separated from each other. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
I misunderstood the idea and wrote that buildings were constructed separated from each other. For example, we now can see that shops, offices and homes are in one building if there is an earthquake every building could collapse together. It was something like that, will my essay get less than 6?

Feb 27, 2023
Off topic Ielts
by: Anonymous

I took IELTS examination and on the writing task the theme:
Television new and newspapers dont provide information that are not important to people thats way they can be considered a waste of time.

it was an advantages and disadvantages with opinion

Intro : I presented both sides and then my opinion which was somewhere in the midle

1st: paragraph: Celebrity lifestyle which is one of the main subjects on the news and people canot relate and it doesnt provide any significant information for most citizens life so it is a waste of time.

2st: A minority of the news share vital information ( for example with covid outbreak without watching the news no info about proper sanitizing, protection and avoid areas with many infected individuals)

Conclusion: while the majority of the news useless
there are a few subjects that eveyone needs to keep up for their own good

Do you consider this out of topic?
Obviously the paragraphs were much bigger with better structure and vocabulary

Apr 04, 2023
writing off the topic
by: candidate

what would happen if i wrote off the topic in writing task 2?. ex: the main topic is about young people commit crimes but i wrote about adults commit crimes on young people. Does it effect my score alot? could be possible for me to fail writing?

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How can I have knowledge on all the possible IELTS Writing Task 2 topics?

by stuti goyal

Essay may come on any of the various topics such as crime, education, food.

how can i have knowledge about each so as to write precisely about any kind of topic that may come

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Nov 07, 2015
Knowledge on IELTS essays
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Stuti,

To have knowledge on anything you need to read and learn.

So you need to firstly make sure you know about the kind of topics that come up in IELTS (for example you won't get questions on things like politics or religion).

You have already shown you have an idea of the types of topics that can come up - crime, education, food etc.

So you then need to find some sources, such as on the internet, and then read about those topics.

However, they are very broad topics so you want to narrow them down to make sure you don't have too much to read.

So the next thing is to make sure you know what kind of questions will come up that refer to the topics, look at IELTS writing questions.

Also look at model essays.

These again will give you an idea of what you will need to write about and study.

Ideally you should also make notes as you read on the key points otherwise you will forget what you have read.

You are often asked to discuss opinions on the topics, problems, solutions, causes etc. (you will see this if you look at essay questions).

So make notes to answer these types of questions.

This will also help with your speaking as the speaking is around similar topics.

Good luck

Jun 27, 2018
discuss both ideas
by: ress

Last weekend ı took IELTS and yesterday when my friend and ı were speaking about exam, ı realized that the question asked discuss both views and give your opinion about zoos ,which is some people think that zoos are cruel for animals and they should be closed; however;others claims that zoos are useful for protecting rare animals.

Yet ı wrote just good sight of zoos and ı had never written bad things about zoos.Also my vocabulary was perfect which is all suitable for the zoos and animals.So ı would like to ask my task achievement how effect my overall writing score.

Jun 29, 2018
discuss both ideas
by: IELTS buddy

You would need to have written about two things:

1) Zoos being cruel (you could disagree but you would still need to discuss the opinion)

2) Zoos protecting animals (again you may agree or disagree with this but you'd need to discuss it).

If you did not do both those things you'll be penalised on Task Response. You could get a 5 for it if you completely missed one half the question.

Apr 08, 2019
Off topic
by: Anonymous

Hi I wrote completely disagree essay but one mistake I did that is in introduction I wrote pro the statement after that I wrote related disagree therefore It will affect my band score and also I had vocab as well as grammer variety give me reply

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What do we do if we don't know anything about the IELTS essay topic?

by jugojyoti kar

Hello Everybody,

Wish You all a very warm Afternoon.

I do not have prior experience in appearing IELTS exam. So I am not fully aware of the way to write essays.

How to proceed specially in that cases where a topic is given in the exam for which we have to write at least 250 words including all valid points inside that and more over if we have minimal or no idea about that topic then what should be our approach?

I am asking this question as in IELTS We can expect any types of subjects to be a part of our assignment. Please do me a favor on that.


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Feb 06, 2015
IELTS Task 2 Topics
by: IELTS buddy


The essays are based around current topics that you are expected to have some knowledge of given that you are intending to study at a university.

For example, this is what it states on the official IELTS site:

"Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for candidates entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration".

So you do need to be reading as much as you can about the kinds of topics that appear in IELTS, and you can find out about these topics on sites such as this or other IELTS sites.

Look at past IELTS writing questions for example, then do some reading around those kinds of topics.

Of course a topic may come up that you do not know much about. If that happens then you really do just have to do your best to brainstorm some ideas that are relevant to the question.

Remember it is not necessarily the quality of your ideas that will let you down. Even if the idea is not great, if it is relevant to the question and you support it with evidence and/or examples and present it coherently then it will still likely be a good answer.

In order to learn more about writing IELTS essays, check out Task 2 section in the IELTS Lessons and also take a look at IELTS Essay model answers.

The model answers will also give you an idea of which type of topics arise in the test.

Oct 29, 2016
hi guidance needed
by: Anonymous


Today my topic was that people should get a job in multinational companies in order to learn the culture, and I answered unfortunately different type of cultures employees have to interact and have to manage, and if they manage well companies appreciate that and even employees get an appraisal, and spoke about few cultural aspects with examples.

Oct 30, 2016
hi guidance needed
by: IELTS buddy

To be honest it's too difficult to really understand from what you have said how you answered the question. You'll really just have to wait for your result.

Feb 11, 2017
Gone off topic task 2 - writing
by: Anonymous

In task 2 - writing, the question asked to write cause and effect essay (which I misunderstood and ended up writing a problem solution essay). To what extent will it affect my scoring??

Feb 14, 2017
Gone off topic task 2 - writing
by: IELTS buddy

I'd really need to see they essay to be sure, but if you look at the IELTS public band descriptors for Task Response in Task 2 you'll see for a band 5 it says:

"addresses the task only partially".

If you only addressed half the question it may be a partial answer which could limit your score for this criteria to 5 (there are three other criteria of course and you get an average across them) so it doesn't mean you would get a 5, you could get higher if you did well in the other criteria.

But as I say it's impossible to know for sure without seeing your answer so really you just have to wait for your result.

Good luck

Jun 17, 2017
Off-topic writing task 2
by: Anonymous

What to do if the topic was about space tourism but I wrote about overseas tourism? What band scores can I get?

Jun 18, 2017
Off-topic writing task 2
by: IELTS buddy

It's not possible to know your score as your final writing score is a an average of four criteria that you are marked on.

But writing about the wrong topic comes under the 'Task Response' criteria. If you answered the question in a minimal way your Task Response could come down to as low as 4. But it's not really possible to know for sure without seeing your essay.

Jul 08, 2017
How many scores will I be punished
by: Anonymous

My task 2 topic is Everybody should stay at school until the age of eighteen. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Everybody writes about the schooling and dropouts, but I thought it was about staying at dormitories or home. I know I will get penalty for being off-topic but how many scores?

Jul 11, 2017
same question
by: Anonymous

Even I misinterpreted the question, but in another way. Being from India, I was under the assumption that school literally meant school, just up to grade 10.

As we have a 10+2+3 year education system in India, I went on to justify the benefits of leaving school at the age of 16 and moving to junior college (typically 16-18 years) in India.

So my whole essay was like a comparison between a sheltered life in school and a more rigorous and holistic learning atmosphere in college.

I concluded that students should move from school to college at the age of 16, as opposed to 18.

Not sure what to expect but this ambiguity is frustrating!!

Jul 14, 2017
Misunderstanding the ielts essay topic
by: IELTS buddy

It's never possible to say for sure how off-topic an essay is without seeing it, but according to the scoring, for Task Achievement you could get around a band 3 if it is completely off-topic and nothing to with the question.

You may get a 4 if it's connected to the topic, say education, but you wrote about the wrong thing, but a 5 if you partially answered the question.

Jul 17, 2017
Off topic or not
by: Anonymous


So first this is the ielts writing task 2 question:

The animal species are getting extinct due to human activities in land and in sea. What are the reasons and solutions?

So my writing had 2 main ideas:

First, i wrote that it was because of the lack in people's awareness about natural preservation and the solution for this is to add more schooling programs to raise the awareness.

Secondly, it was because the animal species has some precious value when it comes to medication as some parts of its body can help to cure some severe diseases. And the solution is to create more strict laws and build national parks.

So i was wondered whether my essay was off topic or addresses the task only partially. Because I didn't mention anything about the sea. And how much my score will be lowered. Thanks

Jul 20, 2017
Off topic or not
by: IELTS buddy

I'm not really sure if you answered the question.

I don't know what you mean by "the lack in people's awareness about natural preservation". It depends how you explained it.

And it's not really clear how "animal species has some precious value when it comes to medication as some parts of its body can help to cure some severe diseases" is a reason. It could be related if you went on to explain how people are killing animals for experimentation which is leading to extinction, though animals are specifically bred for experimentation so I can't see how this relates to extinction.

So it may be that your ideas did not clearly answer the question but really it is very difficult to say without seeing your full essay.

There are several things you could discuss to answer that essay question.

For example on land the destruction animal's habitats through deforestation or hunting (such as has been the case with elephants for their tusks).

For sea you could talk about over-fishing, the hunting of wales, or maybe climate change as the heating of the oceans kills off marine animals.

Jul 20, 2017
Off topic or not
by: Anonymous

Well to classify my writing, i'd like to add some more details:

- the first reason is because of the lack in people's awareness about natural preservation. Then I support this idea by showing that nowadays a lot of people have nefarious needs as they want to make a fortune by hunting for animals. This is the consequence of poor education because many schools don't teach their students about protecting endangered animals species.

- Secondly, some animals body part has precious values when it comes to medication. For instance, deer's horns can cure a lot of severe diseases when it's grounded and mixed with some herbs ingredients. So people try to hunt animals as it can help humans to cope with diseases.

I'm really afraid that my writing is so off topic :( please help me to answer the question whether my score get lowered if I wrote like this?


Jul 20, 2017
Don't know anything about the IELTS essay topic
by: IELTS buddy

Now you have explained further it does look like you were on topic, though like you say you did not mention anything about the sea.

It is possible it could be viewed as partially answering the question by an examiner, in which case Task Response could get limited to a band 5 (but you are marked on 3 other criteria as well).

But I really can't prejudge what another examiner might do or know for sure as I've not seen your essay. I mean your first point about hunting could refer to wales as well which are hunted for their meat. So this would cover sea.

So you really just have to wait for your result unfortunately. It's too difficult to predict any kind of score or penalty.

Jul 29, 2017
What score will I receive
by: Anonymous

Today my writing task 2 topic was something like this:

It is increasingly popular for people to try to find out history of one's own family.

What are the causes of this trend? Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

However, because I didn't read the question carefully, I wrote about the topic like "people try to find out other's family history" So what band score do you think I will receive?

Jul 29, 2017
What score will I receive
by: IELTS buddy

It's really impossible to predict scores without seeing what you wrote.

I can only refer you to what I said to the previous person who asked a similar question.

If it is viewed as partially answering the question by an examiner, the Task Response could get limited to a band 5 (but you are marked on 3 other criteria as well - that's why scores can't be predicted based on whether you answered the question or not).

That score for TR could go lower if you were very off topic.

But as I say it's really difficult to judge without seeing your essay.

Jan 11, 2018
Was I on topic?
by: Anonymous

The tendency of people to copy one another is shown in the popularity of fashion in clothes and consumer goods.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

I wrote about creativity and diversity of humans in general without bonding this to fashion as an example.

I wrote about people having different cultures and religions and so on which contradicts copying and immitation as an innate human character.

Is this response off topic and how it can lower my score?

Jan 14, 2018
Was I on topic?
by: IELTS buddy

It's really impossible to know if you were on topic without seeing your actual essay. Your ideas though would need to relate to fashion in clothes and consumer goods.

If they were not connected to that then your score would be affected for 'Task Response'. But the penalisation varies a lot according to what extent you answered it. For instance if your response only partially answered the question then you could be limited to a band 5 for TA.

Mar 24, 2018
Off Topic
by: Anonymous

Hi! I just wrote my IELTS today. Task 2 writing question was about the increasing use of mobile phones and emails for communication. Then it says letter-writing will soon disappear. To what extent do u agree or disagree and what are the importance of letter-writing. I wrote about traditional letter-writing that is writting by hand and said that it might eventually disappear due to preferential use of technology. You thoughts pls...

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Discussing Two Opinions Essay

Hi everyone,

I am seriously worried about my writing Task 2. The essay topic was:

Some people think that making a detailed plan of activities should be made during free time. Others do not think the this is important.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

I couldn't get the exact idea and got confused with "during free time". I thought that people should plan when they are free. But my essay was looking much related to planning of activities and event.

In introduction I wrote general about the importance of planning the activities and events in life, then two views and my perspective.

In the first paragraph I wrote about the people who following planning the events and activities but it was not specific to the free time activities.

Similarly in the second paragraph I wrote about ideology of the people who don't plan their activities and how they face some problems, but still not exactly for the free time activities.

In conclusion I supported the idea of planning of activities and events and benefits of following this concept.

Is my essay off topic?

How much my score can be effected?

Thanks for your valuable comments.

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Mar 25, 2018
Discussing Two Opinions Essay
by: IELTS buddy

Firstly it's impossible to predict your score or say how it could be impacted without seeing your actual essay.

But I'm confused where you say this:

I thought that people should plan when they are free. But my essay was looking much related to planning of activities and event.

You make it seem like you should have done only one of these things but the essay is about both of these things.

You were asked to write about how people organise themselves when they are free or have free time i.e. nothing else to do, and whether they should plan what to do when the free time is coming up or just decide when it arises.

So you would have one body paragraph discussing the advantages of making plans for free time and another giving the disadvantages of this (or in other words the advantages of not making a plan - the same thing).

But yes it does have to be in relation to 'free time' but without seeing your essay it's impossible to see whether it looked like what your wrote did refer to this or not.

If it did not and your essay appears off topic you would lose grades for 'Task Response', but how much you would lose would depend how off-topic it was. You were clearly on topic to an extent.

Apr 07, 2018
Off topic
by: Anonymous


I had my LRW today. In writing part the statement was:

These days people from different society are living on their own. Is it a positive development or negative.

I got confused and introduced the statement as nuclear and joint family. Rest of the essay I wrote the positives negatives on the basis of living independent or with family.

Will I lose marks?

Apr 07, 2018
Off topic
by: Anonymous


Today I took my exam. The topic was

"In some societies more and more people choose to live on their own.
Is it a positive or negative trend?"

I understood the phrase "living on their own" as living alone, not getting married and built my essay on it.

But I know that it can be interpreted also as "separate from parents".
Is it off topic? Will I have a low score for that?

Apr 09, 2018
Off topic
by: IELTS buddy

It's really difficult to tell you if or to what extent you were off topic without seeing your actual answer.

Living along means as a single person and with no other people in the home. If you wrote about that you were on topic. If you wrote about anything else, such a nuclear families, you were not.

That means the Task Response score could get reduced to a 5 or even 4 at worst.

Sep 08, 2018
by: Anonymous

Hi, I just did my ielts and I thougnt I did well on all until I reliazed I made big mistake

So the topic is about Primary and secondary education. However I misunderstood them as Formal and Informal education since in my country primary education mean something like formal education.

Will it affect my score so bad? I did well on other aspect except for the task response score


Sep 08, 2018
by: IELTS buddy

It may well do. If you have written about the wrong topic, although related, it can limit your score to a band 4 or 5 for Task Response. It's not possible to know for sure though without seeing your answer.

Jun 20, 2019
How badly this can hurt my score?
by: Anonymous

Hi, My topic is about Traveling alone to other countries allow people to experience the culture and explore the country more than travelling with people you know. Discuss both views and give an opinion.

Ideas I wrote about travelling alone is flexible and free. But on the other side, I think I discussed group travelling is safer, but I couldn't give examples related to how that affect explore country and culture. How badly this can hurt my score?

Jun 22, 2019
Writing test
by: Anonymous

Hi my in writing task 2. My topic was about whether to choose student on academic abilities or different abilities students should study together.

But i wrote about all students with different abilities in academic should study much marks should be deducted

Jul 20, 2019
Discuss both views essay. Sports has an important role to the society and as leisure activity only.
by: Anonymous

The task says to discuss both views that sports is important to the society as others say its only a leisure activity.

I discuss the first view properly i focused on health and social skills (interaction and the values sports can give esp to children)

On the second view, I only realized now that I did not really focused on leisure activity. I wrote on my essay that there are more pressing issues to focus on to aside from sports. And for children that this will become distraction to them on their studies.

How will this affect my score. I am aiming for at least 6.5. I am hopeless now. Been taking the exam for couple of times and writing is always my loophole. :(

Aug 17, 2019
Misunderstood the topic
by: Anonymous

My writing task 2 question was, research suggests that many criminals have a lower education. Many people believe that we should educate criminals in prison, so that they can find jobs.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement?

I wrote about how educating criminals can help them and how it will help them find jobs.
I'm so sad because I misunderstood the question.😭

How badly will this effect my score?

Aug 19, 2019
by: Anonymous




Sep 28, 2019
Went off-topic
by: Jay

Today, I had my IELTS exam. I went off topic in task 2. The topic was like...

More and more people, today, want to own brands of cars, clothes and other items.

Give reason for such trends.
Is it a positive or negative development.

So I had to write about why people buy branded products. But I misinterpreted it and ended up writing about why people buy the company. As the question said people want to own brands of....

I know I went off topic... So how much I'm likely to score in ielts?

Oct 03, 2019
Went off-topic
by: IELTS buddy

It's impossible to predict your total writing score because you are marked on lots of things, not just the factor you mentioned. Also the score is added to your Task 1 score.

But going off topic can limit your Task Response from anything from Band 3 to Band 5, depending on how off-topic you were.

What you said sounds like it could possibly limit you to a band 4 for TA as it sounds tangential, meaning your answer was related to the topic but you misunderstood it and did not answer the question.

Really it is impossible to say for sure without seeing your essay so you'll just have to wait for your score.

Dec 09, 2019
I did not understand the topic
by: Anonymous

Hi, I got my general exam on saturday, the task was:
In some societies more and more people tend to love bye their own.

I understand that i had to tal about people who lives away from the society instead of just living alien in a house. Of curse i didn't achieve the task. However, when i noticed this i tried to the best in the other 75% (grammar, coherence and cohision).
I know that nobody can predict my band without seen the writing, but there is any posibilitie to have a 4.5 band ?

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Did I answer the question?

by suja_Ravi

Hey there!

Yesterday I have done with my IELTS EXAM, but sadly i’m Really worried about my writing task 2. The topic was:

Some people believe that arts and music DO NOT DIRECTLY improve the quality of humans lives, therefore government should invest money on other things than arts and music.

So here, I did not considered about DO NOT DIRECTLY. Instead I wrote benefits of investing in other things in body para 1 and the benefits of investing money in arts and music in para 2 and finally I concluded “even though investing in other things helps to improve the humans living standards, it will be good to invest in arts and music” like that.

So will this mistake reduce my score?? I’m really worried about it.
Can you please give me an opinion?

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Nov 08, 2019
Did I answer the question?
by: IELTS buddy

I don't the think the 'directly' is necessarily that important. It just means that it's not so obvious as it would be if you invested in, for example, health.

So the way you answered it sounds ok if as you say in the first body paragraph you discussed how investing elsewhere could help people (you didn't say what you talked about), but then you noted in the second body paragraph how arts etc can also be of benefit. So you discussed two varied ways of spending.

Of course without seeing your essay it's impossible to know what kind of score you may get as there are lots of other criteria that can bring your score up or down.

Mar 18, 2021
Is this a off topic essay ?
by: malik

my T2 was " more and more people are going towards cities from countryside, this type of development is more advantage or disadvantage on environment ?"
My intro was all about merits and demerits of migration stating job opportunities and availability of resources in cities and inaddition my view saying decreasing the health care facility in countryside.
Bp1 was advantage ( job opportunities and resources towards environment )
Bp2 was disadvantage ( non availability of health cares in country sides )
And conclusion was mixture of bp1 and bp2 where i was neutral. and yea a simple example in Bp2

Whats your view on this ?
Thank You.

Jul 24, 2021
Going off topic
by: Aamin vohra

Hello sir,
I asked question about
Some people think that in the modern world, getting old is entirely bad. Others, however, think that life of elderly in the modern world is much better than it was in the past.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.

I've written whole essay, with good grammar with complx sentences and used vocabulary.
But, i wrote second view about younger generation instead of older, I'm so worried, can i get 6 ?

Aug 23, 2021
Off topic
by: Anonymous

Hi my topic was
Some people believe that climate affects people way of life while others believe that climate has more impact on economy. Discuss both views and give your opinion
I misunderstood the task and went off topic
I thought the que was climate has more impact on people s way of life or economy has more impact on people s way of life
And I wrote whole task 2 on this .
How many bands can I get ?

Jan 05, 2022
Ielts academic writing task 2 off topic
by: Anubhooti

Hello sir ,

My topic was in some countries familiy members and friends who take care of the elderly people find less time for them . What are the problem and solutions .

But i undestood it wrong and wrote for topic in sime countries family members and friends who take care of the elderly people find less time for oneself and the problems and solutions regarding it .

Was i too much off topic can i get a score of 6.5 in writing ?

Aug 20, 2022
Can I get 6 bands in writing i wrote off topic
by: Anonymous

In statement it was asked what are the causes of this and give solutions but i wrote effects and solution. How can this impact my score can i get 6 bands plzzzz tell me.

Aug 21, 2022
Can I get 6 bands in writing i wrote off topic
by: IELTS buddy

If you only answered part of the prompt then your score for Task Response will get limited to a band 5. But it's not possible to say if you could still get a 6 - in theory you still could if you did very well on the other three criteria (CC, Lexis and Grammar) as this would push your overall score up.

Jul 23, 2023
Off topic
by: Anonymous

The topic was
Some people believe that in order for a hobby to be enjoyable, it needs to be difficult in some way. Do you agree or disagree?

And I wrote about why people can not enjoy hobbies. Could you please advice if I need to book another test I need band score 6

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