I repeat this advice every week before the class test,”Read the exam questions carefully. Answer what has been asked. Exactly!” However, students often commit these mistakes. Let me explain some of these mistakes.
A. I’m sorry. I didn’t read the question carefully.
I’ve heard this umpteen times and have concluded: “Human brain is wired to see things we WANT to see, not the reality”. Under extreme pressure and anxiety during exams, students often fail to read carefully and their brain fools them into reading something else. For instance, students wrongly read an essay on “Role of social media in education” as “Role of social media.” Omitting education leads to change in context and, unfortunately, a drastic fall in the score/ bands.
B. But I read the question carefully. How could I lose context?
Well, you can lose context and write what you know rather than what the question demands. All humans have a tendency to write a topic they know inside out and, surprisingly, this is often an unconscious decision. You mind again tricks you here. What should you do? Well, read the question carefully before writing each paragraph.
This mistake can be easily avoided if you do not commit the next mistake.
C. I refuse to write down an essay plan.
Why do I need a plan? I have just 40 minutes in IELTS exam and even lesser in PTE. I will not waste my time in planning.
Well, you must INVEST time in planning an essay. Trust me, it’s not a wastage. You must have noticed that all my essays contain the following structure:
- Introduction (Opinion + Mention reasons supporting opinion)
- Body Paragraph 1 (Reason 1 + Example 1)
- Body Paragraph 2 (Reason 2 + Example 2)
- Body Paragraph 3 (Reason 3 + Example 3)
- Conclusion (Future + Impact)
Just fill these points in about 5 minutes before starting your exam. Writing a structure and following it before writing an answer will help you stick to the topic and avoid mistakes A and B.
D. Running out of time.
Almost all students suffer from poor time management. You spend too much time on task 2 and could not complete task 1 in IELTS. Some commit the blunder of spending time on task 1 and are unable to complete task 2. Time is crucial in essay writing and it must be proportionately divided – 40 minutes for task 2 and 20 minutes for task 1.
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