TIP 1: TASK 1 OR TASK 2 FIRST?
Some teachers recommend
that candidates answer the IELTS Writing Task 2 first and Task
1 last. There is certainly nothing to prevent you from doing
this if you wish. However, we do not recommend this approach.
The main argument given
for answering Task 2 first is usually that writing an essay
is something familiar that you will have done many times before
and thus you will get off to a better start – and will have
completed the more important task (Task 2) after about 40 minutes,
with 20 minutes left to complete the less important Task 1.
The problem with this approach
is that it omits the importance of time in the test.
Firstly, you should have
had a lot of practice with both types of writing tasks before
the test – to claim the essay is easier because it is a more
familiar task is... well, to be frank, an amazing statement.
(Letter-writing for General Training students a less familiar
task? Surely not.) Don't even take the IELTS test unless you
are well-practised at answering Task 1 writing task types.
But the real risk is that
you will more easily run out of time. Why? Because it is actually
easier to write an essay in less than 40 minutes than it is
to write a report on a graph or chart etc. – or an adequate
letter – in less than 20 minutes. But the likelihood that
you will write this essay in less than 40 minutes if you write
it first is not great. If you get stuck on Writing Task 2, you
will run out of time and not finish the task. You are less likely
to get stuck on the Writing Task 2 essay (assuming you have
written many essays). You can time your completion of the essay
to the remaining time left much easier than you can time the
completion of Writing Task 1 to whatever time remains.
Of course, you can try
either method and draw your own conclusions. Some teachers will
never agree and that is their right.