Writing Practice Test 1: Task 1
Real student sample answer with comments
This sample answer was written by a student from Colombia:
I am interested in obtaining further information about the one-week walking tour that you offer to the Cotopaxi as I have always wanted to climb it to the top since I was a child.
Moreover, the time when it is mostly covered by snow and the ski centre opens is getting closer. However, I am not a person who exercises regularly which makes me doubt about taking the tour. That is why I would Like to be informed about the difficulty level of the hiking and what kind of training would you recommend me to do from now until the day of the tour.
The brochure I have do not specify the costs of the tour. Besides, it does not clarify what is included in the package and which dates can be chosen to start the tour. Therefore, I would be grateful if you could give me more details about these topics as soon as possible in order to start planning my trip.
Task achievement: the task is achieved very well. All of the bullet points are covered and developed. Tone is appropriate for a formal letter. Length is appropriate.
Coherence and cohesion: paragraphing is achieved well. The candidate has used a range of linking words and phrases accurately, although there may be some overuse and Lack of flexibility in the position of Linking phrases. Grammatical Links are used well.
Lexical resource: the candidate has used a wide range of vocabulary, including some less common items such as the verbs specify and clarify. The candidate has shown a good understanding of collocation, e.g. obtaining further information, difficulty level and exercises regularly. Only one word formation error can be seen, with doubt instead of doubtful. Spelling is flawless.
Grammatical range and accuracy: the candidate has flexibly used a variety of simple and complex sentences, including structures such as passives, relative clauses and noun phrases. The majority of sentences are error-free. Mistakes in subject-verb agreement (The brochure I have do not). and word order (what kind of training would you recommend) do not affect understanding. The word your instead of yours is used at the end of the letter but appears to be a slip. Punctuation is managed well.
The candidate would be likely to receive a high score in the exam.
Writing Practice Test 1: Task 2
Native speaker model answer
In virtually all developed countries around the world, rates of overweight and obesity have been rising alarmingly. This trend can be seen in all age groups, but is particularly worrying where children are concerned. Before looking at the consequences of childhood obesity, it is necessary to examine the various interconnecting causes.
There is no one cause of obesity in children, but instead a variety of contributing factors.
There is a growing body of evidence that certain genes predispose young people to be obese. However, environment and lifestyle still play a major role. Children today lead far more sedentary lives than those in the past; instead of playing sports and games outdoors they are more likely to spend their time sitting in front of a television or computer screen.
Even though they use little energy, they consume large numbers of calories in the form of junk food and soft drinks, and these excess calories are likely to manifest as weight gain.
Whatever the causes of juvenile obesity, the effects are extremely serious. People who have weight problems when they are children will in all likelihood have a lifelong struggle with their weight, which in turn can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. In some extreme cases they might not even make it to adulthood. There have been cases of children as young as eight suffering from heart attacks linked to obesity.
To sum up, it is clear that obesity in children is one of the major health issues facing developed nations today. Unless governments make a serious investment in examining and dealing with both the genetic and environmental causes of this problem, it is one that is likely to grow.