• 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

The conclusion should be the easiest part of your IELTS Task 2 essay.

You’ve done all the hard work – you’ve come up with all the ideas, the structure, your body paragraphs – and now you just have to finish off the last paragraph.

It’s like a footballer who’s run the length of the football pitch and now they are facing an open goal. They just have to put the ball in the back of the net.

However, the conclusion is where a lot of IELTS students fail to score a goal. They make a simple mistake and get an automatic 5 for Task Achievement!

Review – What should a conclusion contain?

First let’s look at an example question:

Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like.

Others believe that they should only be allowed to study subjects that will be useful in the future, such as those related to science and technology.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

A simple conclusion should include the following:

– A clear overall opinion or ‘position’

“In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages of allowing students to choose their own subjects.”

 – A summary (paraphrase) of your main and supporting ideas

 “The main benefits are students who are more motivated, successful and creative. This outweighs the drawback of a lack of students in core subjects.”

 – A final thought (for bands 7+)

“The question reminds us that we must always make sure our Universities are flexible enough to meet the challenges that society will face in the future.”    

But actually the most important is including your position/opinion, because without it you will get a 5 for Task Achievement.

This is the big mistake that holds back too many students from getting the score they deserve: no clear opinion/position.

Clear overall opinion or ‘position’

The first thing to remember is that for nearly all IELTS Task 2 questions you need to choose a side.

If you don’t choose a side and support that ‘position’ clearly, you will end up with a 5 for your Task Achievement.

Ideally, you should state your position in your introduction and confirm it in your conclusion.

But even if you don’t include it in your intro, it should definitely be clear in your conclusion.

So our example position is as follows:

“In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages of allowing students to choose their own subjects.”

Some students fail to do this and say “Both X and Y have advantages and disadvantages.”

That is not a clear conclusion, so you will definitely lose marks for your task response.

If you don’t have a clear opinion you can only get a maximum of 5 for task achievement, no matter how good the rest of your writing is!

Also, you shouldn’t say “Overall I think X and Y are important so we should allow both.”

Technically this is OK as your opinion is clear, but some examiners might not agree so this is risky.

Therefore if your position is to sit on the fence you might lose marks for your task response.

So the safest strategy is to choose a side, even if that isn’t your real opinion.

Summary of your main and supporting ideas

For this one, just re-state all of your main ideas from your two body paragraphs and the most relevant supporting ideas.

Position:  students should be allowed to chose their own subjects

Main idea for first side (body 1): Students will be more motivated

Supporting ideas (body 1): they will work harder, achieve more and be more creative

Main idea for other side (body 2): A lack of students in core subjects

Supporting ideas (body 2): less skilled labour force, negative impact on economy.

Therefore your paraphrase of your main ideas is as follows:

“The main benefits are students who are more motivated, successful and creative. This outweighs the drawback of a lack of students in core subjects.”

Adding a final thought

Some IELTS examiners feel that to achieve a 7+ for task achievement you should have some new information in your conclusion.

This is one of the few, tricky areas where different examiners will give you different scores. Some don’t care about this. Others will not give you above a 7 for task achievement if you don’t have some new information in your conclusion!

One common way to add an extra comment is to draw out something about the general topic related to the future.

“The question reminds us that we must always make sure our Universities are flexible enough to meet the challenges that society will face in the future.”   

Model conclusion

Here are all three elements together:

Clear position                         Summary of ideas                        New information

In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages of allowing students to choose their own subjects. The main benefits are students who are more motivated, successful and creative. This outweighs the drawback of a lack of students in core subjects. The question reminds us that we must always make sure our Universities are flexible enough to meet the challenges that society will face in the future.    

Remember: the opinion/position is the most important part. Include that to make sure you get at least a 5 for task achievement.

Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments

In some countries, governments are making some criminals do voluntary community work rather than being put in prison.

To what extent do you agree with this?

Brainstorm your main ideas and position for the question above and write a conclusion. Put it in comments.

Need more help?

Check out our Facebook Group or our Instagram page for more tips and free resources about IELTS!

 

 


  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Recommended For You

Sign up for a free

IELTS Writing Task 1 PDF

Get our weekly email for the best IELTS tips.

 

Your email is safe with us, we don't spam.

Thanks for signing up. Check your inbox (including spam) and confirm the link to get your free PDF.