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IELTS Reviewees Need to Take Note of the Original Prompt Requirement Instructions


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Nov 03, 2017 | #1
I received an interesting query from one of my very confused new IELTS reviewees. He wanted to know, "What is an original prompt requirement?" and, in relation to the prompt requirement, "What exactly is a Discussion Style?" That when it became clear to me that his IELTS tutor was not doing a very good job of informing the reviewees about the most essential points of the test, English Comprehension Skills. I felt so sorry for the reviewee that I actually let him have a free review session so I could take the time to properly explain the meaning and importance of those two aspects of the prompt to him. I had no choice. If he did not understand why these were important, he was sure to not make the passing cut on test day. I now feel compelled to share the information about the importance of recognizing these two terms among the IELTS reviewees.

THE ORIGINAL PROMPT REQUIREMENT



IELTS Essay ReviewsThe Original Prompt Requirement encompasses the full prompt presentation at the start of the test. This is composed of the topic introduction, the basis for the discussion and the discussion style. Let me break this down for you for a better understanding.

Here is the original prompt requirement / presentation:

Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

THE BREAKDOWN



Topic Introduction: Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need.

Basis for Discussion: Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives.

Discussion Style: Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Using the above breakdown, one thing becomes clear to the student, that the original prompt already gives instructions regarding how to discuss the essay. The outline is spoon-fed to them. All they must do is do their best to understand the original prompt instructions so that they can offer a proper personal explanation of how they understand the prompt requirement.

If they understand the prompt requirements properly, they will most certainly pass the test because the Task Accuracy score, which is based on the opening paraphrase, will get a high score. As a 50 % representative of the overall score, knowing what the original prompt requirements are and how it is to be discussed will mean that the student will have passed half the test and overcome the most difficult hurdle for them.

Therefore, I always focus on the student's English comprehension skills during the review process. Whenever possible, I spend one week simply on English comprehension exercises so that they can at least be assured of getting a passing score in the Task Accuracy section which can help them get at least a passing score when overall considerations to the score are combined.

Based on my experience, once the reviewee understands what the original prompt topic and discussion style requirements are, they find it easier to write their body of paragraphs. They also have a stronger sense of accomplishment and confidence when they know that they are capable of understanding what the practice essay requirements are. These elements add up to a higher than average passing score on the exam day itself.



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