Below we have a band 6.5 essay graded by an ex-IELTS examiner.
First you can read the IELTS essay, and after we break down why this essay scored a band 6.5.
Each criteria has been considered and the sentence in the essay has been colour coded to correspond to the fours marking criteria used by the British Council / IELTS IDP.
LR - Lexical Resource CC - Cohesion and Coherence TR - Task Response GR - Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Watching or listening to this tutorial will help you understand:
- How an essay gets a band 6.5
- What sentence structures and language is needed to avoid band 6.5
- How a band 6.5 essay sounds
At the end you will find the audio and video.
Today, most people get married and give birth in their thirties rather than when they are younger. Is it a positive or negative development in your opinion? To what extent do you support this development?
The issue of early weddings followed by a pregnancy before thirties (LR1) has grown in importance over the past few years (GR1) / (TR1). This is a common dream between many women (LR2), but nowadays this dream is facing drastic changes due to many factors. Globalization, economic crises and increasing population numbers (TR2) are contributing for that (LR3). I strongly believe that couples need to be aware and convicts of their situation (LR4) before decide (GR2) to have children before thirties.
LR1 - You have the right idea with paraphrasing - but it’s vital to ensure that your language use remains natural. This sounds a bit odd.
GR1 - Accurate use of the present perfect with a time expression.
TR1 - On the right track with your opening sentence.
LR2 - ? This doesn’t make sense.
TR2 - Be sure to focus on the question. It isn’t asking you why this situation came about.
LR3 - contribute to something
LR4 - Perhaps ‘convinced that it’s the right thing to do’?
GR2 - before deciding
Although an early marriage and pregnancy is a desire for many couples, there are some factors that need to be considered (CC1). Firstly (CC2), due to the world economic crises which made the number of available jobs decrease considerably and also the real state industry increasing prices exponentially, directly affecting millions of people (CC3) and their dreams of constitute (LR5) a family and buy the first residence. Secondly, the cost of living is reaching numbers that average salaries cannot afford (TR3). For example, a study from Boston university (TR4) showed that nearly one third of the newlyweds in which the couples were (GR3) below thirties, do not intend to have children. The central reason behind this is (CC4) the uncertainty of being able to (GR4) provide a decent life for their children (LR6).
CC1 - Accurate use of ‘although’.
CC2 - Good to organise your essay with ‘Firstly…’, ‘Secondly…’.
LR5 - Take care with natural collocation - ‘dreams of having…’
CC3 - Problems with sentence structure / coherence here.
TR3 - Again, you need to focus more on whether it is a positive development rather than why it has happened.
TR4 - Good to use an example to support the point you are making.
GR3 - Accurate use of a relative clause.
CC4 - Good to link your ideas together smoothly.
GR4 - Good accuracy here.
LR6 - Natural use of vocabulary.
However (CC5), this scenario is a tendency for our reality (LR7) these days, I firmly believe that this situation is a negative development (TR5) in the society. Many families are being constituted late or even not starting. For example, women (TR6) having their babies after 35 years old is a risk not only for the mother’s health (GR5), as well for the baby (GR6). The child can be born with malformation (TR7) and very weak with a risk to develop diseases due to their fragile immune system (LR8). On the same way the mother, that can face serious health problems and also a big risk of losing the child.
CC5 - Check the use of ‘however’ - it is not used accurately here. ‘Although’ would work.
LR7 - This sounds unnatural - problems with collocation.
TR5 - Good to respond more directly to the question.
TR6 - Good to use an example to support the point you are making.
GR5 - Very accurate sentence construction here.
GR6 - Perhaps ‘but also for that of the baby’.
TR7 - Now you are starting to answer the question better.
LR8 - Not usually hyphenated but lovely use of collocation.
To conclude (CC6 & 7), a mature decision must be made for (GR7) the couple. Not only the desire of an early marriage with many sons but, more important than that if they would be able to provide the basics for the children like a health environment, education and support (TR8). In my opinion a balance between the desire versus reality must be taken in consideration before take a decision (TR9). After that within the couple limits (GR8) / (LR9), decide a proper age to get married and have their children.
CC6 - Clear use of paragraphing.
CC7 - You have introduced your final paragraph appropriately.
GR7 - by TR8 - This needs to be more directly related to the question.
TR9 - Again, task achievement could be stronger here.
GR8 - To be grammatically correct, this would need to be possessive - ‘the couple’s limits’.
LR9 - It still sounds a bit odd, though. Perhaps ‘the couple’s financial constraints’?
You can also watch the full tutorial here on Youtube.
Take a look at some IELTS writing task 2 questions to help with your exam preparation.
You can download or listen to the audio version here: