IETLS Writing Task 2 - need your helps


Please give me comments and mark for my IELTS writing exercise. Many thanks
Topic: Some people think that it is more effective for students to study in group while others believe that it is better for them to study alone. Discuss both view and give your opinion.

My essay:
People have different views about whether students should study with their friends, or just do it by themselves. In my view, both styles of studying can greatly help students improve their academic level.

On the one hand, studying in group can be beneficial to students in many ways. Firstly, friends can help each other improve his/her academic achievements by making up for some deficient knowledge. In fact, during a course, many students are usually absent from a few classes which leads to the missing of an amount of the necessary learning. Thanks to their friend’s assistance, these students can stay on track with all the vital academic information. Secondly, learning with their peers give students a sense of competition which can motivate their studying. It seems logical that almost people like the idea of doing better than others, especially when they are in a group of people who share the similar backgrounds.

On the other hand, there are a variety of reasons why student should study on their own. Doing something alone means that one can accomplish the tasks independently which can help his/her academic path in long term. In order to be successful in self-studying, it requires one a lot of qualities such as a strict discipline, clear objectives and a suitable schedule,… which are always considered as the vital factors to lead to flying colours in exams. Moreover, study alone help students focus more on their lessons. For example, with some subjects like Math, or Physic which contain a lot of sophisticated formulas, concentration is the key to help you get high scores on them. If you study with your friends, it is likely that you will easily get disrupted by the chitchat, or some other distractions that students usually do when they are together.

In conclusion, studying with your peers can be advantageous in many ways, and I believe that students should also study independently for its great benefits.


Hi Dan, welcome to the forum. Your command of English seems pretty good and you have an effective essay structure. You have addressed the prompt correctly, but I would spend a little more time on giving your opinion. In this prompt, that is one third of what they are asking, so it deserves more than a sentence or two. It will also help your score if you make sure to have fully formed paragraphs of at least three sentences. You have some good vocabulary, but you have misused a couple words and have various small grammar mistakes. Overall, I think this would rate at a band 6. Here are some specific comments:


Thank you very much for your feedback. Still, I have some questions:

  1. Is it necessary that a paragraph needs to have at least 3 sentences? Actually, there are some band 9 - writing samples (on the Internet) having 1-2-sentence paragraphs.
  2. There is a sentence that you described as awkward. I don’t get your point. Do you feel confused about it? Also, could you give me some advices about how to write the content to avoid the awkwardness as you mentioned?
    Thank you very much for your time. And please answers these questions. I really appreciate that.


Hi Dan,

I was instructed to try to write three sentence paragraphs by an IELTS coach I have met online. She has graded thousands of essays and really seems to be extremely confident in her knowledge of the test. After reading your response, I must admit that I searched for a definitive answer online and was not successful. As you say, some IELTS tutors say that two sentences are fine for an intro and conclusion. I was also amused though that some of the so-called “band 9” essays I found online were rife with grammatical errors and it is obvious they would not score that high. The official rubric says a band 9 essay “skillfully manages paragraphing”. Maybe if you are extremely skillful you can get away with a one-sentence paragraph :smile: But seriously, my personal view is that each paragraph should show good development and that three sentences seem adequate to display that proper development. Still, hopefully the graders are flexible enough not to demand a completely formulaic essay and will grant the proper leeway to let the test takers’ creativity show through a little. Unfortunately, the IELTS grading process seems to be pretty opaque, so that everyone seems to have a slightly different theory about how to best structure the essays.

By saying your sentence sounded awkward I meant that it seemed too convoluted and therefore not natural. Also, “necessary learning” is a little odd. I would suggest something like:

“In fact, while taking a course, many students find that they must be absent from a few classes, and therefore miss out on instruction concerning critical concepts.”


Thank you, It is really nice of you to give such detailed and informative answers. I do appreciate that.