Unit 25: Absolute error in IELTS Writing Task 2 – Online Writing test

Do you know any mistakes in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Mistakes in rambling, incorrect spelling, incorrect grammar…? Those are certainly the basic mistakes that keep you from getting graded in IELTS Writing Task 2. But there are other mistakes that should not be used and cost you marks such as absolute writing errors.

What is the absolute write error? Let’s learn the lesson below and find out how to avoid this mistake, get a higher Writing score.


I. WHAT IS absolutism error in WRITING TASK 2?

Consider the sentence below:

Boys in single-sex schools will to take cooking classes and to study languages ​​which are always thought of as traditional subjects for girls.

Do you think this sentence is true or false? Certainly not wrong, is the sentence completely correct in terms of both grammar and semantics.

But if we include it in Writing Task 2, we will definitely lose points because of the words “will” and “always”. These two words have absolute extremes and this is a very dangerous thing in Writing Task 2.

So what is absolutism and why should we limit its use when doing Writing Task 2? Let’s find out more.


Absolutism is when the writer gives a definite opinion on a certain issue. However, for academic writing, you need to show objectivity. Because for you that view may be true, but for others it may not be true. We should therefore use appropriate language, avoiding over-generalization.

So how do we write? Let’s find out more.


Watching too much TV will make children nearsighted

Watching too much TV will lead to short-sightedness among children.

Analysis: In this sentence we come across the word “will”, which is a word expressing absolute extremes. So we can replace it with the following sentence:

Watching too much TV would lead to short-sightedness among children.

To avoid the absolute expression, we can completely use the following modal verbs:

  • Can/ could
  • Would
  • Should
  • May/might
  • To be likely

So to avoid getting into the absolute expression in IELTS Writing Task 2, remember to use modal verbs as in the following example.

High-quality nursery schools could be established that would support families more in terms of raising the next generation. The government should fund this kind of parental support, because this is no longer a problem for individual families, but for society as a whole.

We can see that this sentence expresses ideas at a different level than the old one, there is no absolute affirmation but only relative, in accordance with the requirements of stating opinions and analyzing the ideas of the passage.


Let’s practice this writing with the following exercise:

1. Parents ___________ ensure that their children learn to enjoy other kinds of activities and not simply sit at home.

2. Governments ___________ help young couples about how to be good parents.

3. Sitting in front of a screen for too long _____ be damaging to both the eyes and the physical posture of a young child, regardless of what they are using the computer for.

4. Being in a cooperative environment, students ___________ learn from each other.

5. When the rate of youth unemployment rises, it _____ increases the chance of social instability.


1. should

2. should

3. can/may/would

4. are likely to

5. may

  • Use determiners

Attending school from a young age is good for children.

This sentence is being written in an absolutized, over-generalized form. So, is it appropriate for us to add modal verbs as above?

Attending school from a young age can be good for children.

Sounds a bit wrong, doesn’t it? So next I will introduce another person to another way to reduce the absolute level of a sentence, which is to use determiners. And IELTS Fighter recommends using three words dùng

These are three very useful words that, when combined with any noun, avoid over-generalization.

Attending school from a young age is good for most children.


Correct errors in the following sentences:

1. Today education has become a priority for all parents seeking to secure a good future for their children.

2. All around the world today, children start primary school at around the age of six or seven.


1. All – Most

2. All around the world – In most countries

Above is a lesson about absolute error in Writing Task 2, please pay attention to this error to get a higher score. Hope you learn well!

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