IELTS Writing Task 2: Sample Essays (with score and comments)

 Below are two sample essays, each with scores and critiques from an actual IELTS examiner.

Question:  Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any other experiences we may have in our life.  Which do you consider to be the major influence? (Word requirement:  250 words)

Essay 1

Everyone is a unique being on the world.  Its not only because how we look but also our personality is different from the others.  As the same time, personality is also the most important element to form a person.  There was a research suggest that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality than any other experience we have in our life.  Honestly, this is a brilliant idea.

There are lots of reasons to form a character, such as family and experiences.  However, the most important element is your personality.  Your personality decided what you will do when you face a situation and the way how you look the world.  Basically, your personality makes who you are and makes everyone an individual.

Although the personality influence us a lot, there is still another things which also plays an important role in our life, our experience we had.  Honestly, our experiences will definitely influence us but the influence wont be as big as how our characteristics we born with.  This is because our characteristics will decide how we think and this will result in different reaction and form the different personality.

There were lots of experience that our characterizes influence us more than our experiences.  Thomas Edison, who invented the lightball and many other things, was considered as mentally retarded when he was a child.  Tom Cruise is a learning disorder child.  However, due to their characteristics, they didnt give up themselves and worked hard, these two people became so famous and success.

To sum up, no matter you are born in what kind of environment and what terrible things you have met, be more optimistic and do whatever you are going to do.  Let your experiences stop your step.


Comments:  The essay is well organized and does make good use of some effective complex and compound sentences.  Although some of these sentences contain errors, some are grammatically sound.  There is quite a bit of word repetition but the choices are adequate to complete the task.  The main problem is that the question is not answered. The prompt asks to state the major influence, experience or characteristics.  The writer argues for both sides and this is not what was required.  In addition, a portion of the prompt is copied into the essay, and this is not allowed on the writing exam. Therefore, a Band 5.5 would be achieved.


Essay 2

As some reports state, The features we have naturally have much more effect on our personality and development than other experiences that we have in our life.  This is a controversial issue and it makes people confusing which one is the major influence that affects ourselves.  For me, I think both of them are important; however, experiences have much higher influence on us.

Edison said, Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.  I agree with it very much.  Edison had some learning problems when he was little; however, he worked very hard, trying more than 1000 kinds of bulbs and invented the most useful thing, light in our world.  He experienced a lot of mistakes and achieved great work.  It shows that maybe he was not the smartest person, but a perseverant one.  Take another person for example, Stanley Yan, one of the hotel presidents, wasnt a good student at school.  However, he went to a delivery company to become a fundamental employee and tried his best to learn.  Through a lot of hard work, he became the president of the company.  Afterwards, his leadership ability caught other peoples eyes; thus, he was asked to become the president of the hotel.  From these examples, they prove that experience may have more influence to make people successful.  After a lot of stress, mistakes, and hard work, the harvest of them all are much more meaningful.

To sum up, in my opinion, the experiences you have may change your life.  You can turn your weak personality or development into your strength by training yourself.  Getting through a lot of experiences will make you stronger.


Comments:  This essay states the opinion in the introduction and gives examples for support.  There is good use of complex sentences, although there is some overuse of the word, however.  The vocabulary is adequate for the task and there is a logical flow throughout.  This might score a Band 6 on IELTS writing.