Task Achievement is the act of doing a certain task by an individual or a group of individuals in order to finish it in a way that ensures success. It determines a situation when objectives of the task are accomplished according to preset priorities, time limits, process requirements, responsibilities, and authorities.
When a team (or an individual) works on achieving a task, the following 10 constraints should be considered by the team to ensure successful task achievement:
- Purpose . Is the team clear about the task assigned?
- Responsibilities : Is every team member clear about duties to be performed?
- Supervision . Has the task been agreed with the supervisor of the team?
- Objectives . Has each team member clearly defined and agreed on the task objectives?
- Process . Is there a well-defined process to do the task by the team?
- Priorities . Is the current task prioritized against other tasks of the team?
- Resources . Are there adequate resources available for the team to achieve the task?
- Working Conditions . Can the team make joint efforts and work collaboratively?
- Authority . Is the line of authority and subordination clear for team members?
- Progress . Is there a task management system to control and track achievement progress?
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Writing: Task achievement
This video explains what is meant by Task response and Task achievement in the IELTS Writing test. Increasing your understanding of this can help improve your IELTS score.
What is the definition of task achievement in writing skills?
Task achievement in writing skills refers to the ability of students to successfully complete writing tasks by formulating and organizing their ideas in the appropriate language, delivering their intended purpose, and presenting them effectively on paper. It involves demonstrating control over various aspects of writing, such as content, format, sentence structure, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling, and the formation of ideas. Successful writing is seen as an end product of intelligent reasoning, good planning, and the ability to express views, imagination, experiences, and observations freely. The effectiveness of different teaching methods, such as Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT) and High Order Thinking Skills, in improving writing achievement has been explored in various studies.
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IELTS Writing Band Descriptors
Task achievement, 1. overview.
- What is Task Achievement
- Task Achievement General IELTS Writing Task 1
- Why students have issues with Task Achievement?
- Task Achievement Academic IELTS Writing Task 1
- Task Achievement IELTS Writing Task 2
2. What is Task Achievement?
Imagine your boss asks you to write a report of at least 4 pages on all 4 projects you have been working on and you need to deliver it by the end of the next week. That doesn’t seem so difficult does it, 4 page report, on 4 projects and you have almost 2 weeks to do this. Now the 2 weeks are over and you hand in your report to your boss. Only he isn’t all too happy about it because you didn’t write a report, but just send him an email, you only used 3 pages and talked about 2 projects.
Or let’s imagine you are a waiter at restaurant and your customer orders a Caesar salad, some mushroom pasta and glass of white wine. You come back with a Greek salad, a mushroom lasagna and a glass of red wine.
So, now did you achieve (complete/finish) the task (report) your boss asked you to do? No, you didn’t fully achieve your task. Did you get the order that your customer ordered? No, you didn’t. If you had done the things they asked, you would have scored well on Task Achievement.
Looking at IELTS this means you have to do a task , writing task 1 Academic or General, or writing task 2 which have a description of what you need to do. If you do everything they ask you, you will score well, if you don’t, like with your boss or the restaurant, your score goes down.
Next, let’s have a look at 3 examples, 1 example for General writing task 1, 1 example for Academic writing task 1 and IELTS writing task 2.
IELTS Task Achievement
Watch the Video to have a better understanding of Task Achievement.
3.Task Achievement General IELTS writing task 1
Let’s let have a look at one of the writing tasks 1 for General IELTS
You are going to another country to study. You would like to do a part-time job while you are studying, so you want to ask a friend who lives there for some help.
Write a letter to your friend. In your letter,
- give details of your study plans
- explain why you want to get a part-time job
- suggest how your friend could help you find a job
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any addresses.
Let’s break it down:
This is the context or the purpose to help you understand the situation you are in and why you are writing the letter:
- You are going to another country to study.
- You would like to do a part-time job while you are studying
- Ask a friend who lives there for some help
This tells you what kind of information you need to write in the letter:
- Some details about your study plans
- Give some information as to why you want or need to get a part-time job
- Give some suggestions to your friend on how he can help you
You need to write at least 150, so a 150 or more
As said, you should not write any address of any kind.
As you can see, this is not a so hard thing to do. Still many students fail to score well on Task achievement.
Now let’s have a look at some of the band descriptors for Writing task 1, which will determine you band or grade, as they tell you how well you have done your task.
generally addresses the task; the format may be inappropriate in places
may present a purpose for the letter that is unclear at times; the tone may be variable and sometimes inappropriate
presents, but inadequately covers, bullet points; there may be a tendency to focus on detail
addresses the requirements of the task
presents a purpose that is generally clear ; there may be inconsistencies in tone
presents and adequately highlights bullet points but details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurat
covers the requirements of the task
presents a clear purpose, with the tone consistent and appropriate
clearly presents and highlights bullet points but could be more fully extended
covers all requirements of the task sufficiently
presents, highlights and illustrates bullet points clearly and appropriately
Let’s break this language down to the actual meaning, so we can better understand what needs to be done to achieve these scores.
generally addresses the task: you do some of the things that are asked but you don’t do everything
format may be inappropriate in places : you might not using the style for a letter, you are not really writing a letter, or not using the correct styling for a letter.
The purpose is unclear at times: you might not have read the question clearly and don’t us the proper context that was given to you or the context might be a bit too unclear for the examiner.
tone may be variable and sometimes inappropriate : here you have issues with the formality of the letter. You might use informal language for a formal letter, or the other way around.
presents, but inadequately covers, bullet points: you mention the 3 bullet points in the task, but you do not expand them enough or write enough about them.
there may be a tendency to focus on detail: you might focus too much on certain details which are irrelevant and forget to talk about other important things
addresses the requirements of the task: again you do most of the task, but not yet everything.
presents a purpose that is generally clear: most of the time the examiner can understand the purpose (reason why you are writing the letter)
inconsistencies in tone : you might be mixing formal and informal language in your letter, while you only need to use one or the other. Like in this letter, which is to your friend, you should use informal language.
presents and adequately highlights bullet points: you mention the 3 bullet point, but you still can expand and talk about them more.
details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate: you might be going off task here by mentioning things that are not needed in the letter.
covers the requirements of : getting closer to answering every thing, but there still seem to be some things missing
presents a clear purpose: the reason for writing the letter is clear
tone consistent and appropriate: you do not switch between formal and informal and the language you use is good for the letter you are writing
clearly presents and highlights bullet points: again you mention the bullet points but..
could be more fully extended : but they can be more extended and you can write more about them.
covers all requirements of the task sufficiently: you do all what is asked
presents, highlights and illustrates bullet points clearly and appropriately : you write about the 3 bullet points clearly, while using the correct tone (formality)
4. Why students have issues with Task Achievement?
Writing a letter isn’t all that difficult, even if we don’t write them anymore, we still write emails. The biggest issues we see with our students are:
- Not reading the instructions carefully which causes 2 issues. Not understanding the context of the letter and writing something different.
- Not covering all the bullet point or expanding enough.
- Too much focus on one of the bullets points and not enough covering the rest.
- Forgetting the formality of the letter . If you write a letter to your boss or to your friend you use different language, vocabulary, grammar structure. This difference needs to be used in the letter.
5. Task Achievement Academic IELTS Writing task 1
Let’s have a look at an example for writing task 1 academic:
The graph below shows the amount of UK investments in clean energy from 2008 to 2015. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. You should write at least 150 words.
So this is the task that you need to do.
The graph below shows the amount of UK investments in clean energy from 2008 to 2015.
This is just general information on the graph you will write about.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. This is the actual task that you need to do. You need to summarize the information. Summarize means not write about everything , but as it says the main features . This means you will also need to select the things you think are important and report ( write) about them . You also need to compare this information . If you do not compare this information your score will go down.
You should write at least 150 words.
Lastly, you need to write at least 150 words, so not 149 words. At least means 150 or more than 150
So, if you do all these things well you will score well on your task achievement if you don’t, your band for task achievement will go down. Doesn’t seem so hard does it? But most students fail to read the question carefully and do not do what needs to be done. If you need more help on analysing the task and how to write Academic IELTS writing 1, just follow the links.
All this would be easier if that was it, but it doesn’t end there, there are some other things you need to do to score better on your task achievement, things that aren’t really mentioned in the task, but that you should know when you write the task. These are the things you normally would learn in a proper IELTS preparation course, or here with us.
Let’s have a look at the band descriptors the examiner uses to give you a score. We won’t look at all of them, but the most common ones from band 5 to band 8. For the whole overview have a look at the band descriptors for Writing task 1.
Recounts detail mechanically with no clear overview ; there may be no data to support the description
presents, but inadequately covers, key features; there may be a tendency to focus on detail
presents an overview with information appropriately selected
presents and adequately highlights key features but details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate
Covers the requirements of the task
presents a clear overview of main trends , differences or stages
clearly presents and highlights key features but could be more fully extended
presents, highlights and illustrates key features clearly and appropriately
Let’s compare the different band descriptors and see why you score which band and try to make some sense out of it.
Generally addresses you do a some of what is needed, so you do not cover the whole task
The format may be inappropriate : this means you didn’t write a report following the structure that is needed for the task. Introduction , general overview , in-depth analysis . Or, maybe you wrote an essay like in task 2 rather than a report. Maybe you aren’t using the correct formality for academic writing. If you have no clue how to write Academic writing task 1 you will not score more that 5. Therefore, if you need more information on how to write Academic IELTS writing task 1 just follow the link.
Recounts details mechanically: you are just writing the information, not comparing it like you should. If you don’t compare your information, again you will not score beyond 5
No clear overview : you didn’t write a general overview after your introduction
There may be no data : you didn’t write any numbers, you do need to mention some numbers, figures from the graph in your in-depth analysis . No data, no score beyond 5
Inadequately covers key features : you lack most of the important information , so you do not write enough about the important information
Tendency to focus on detail: you focus on too much detailed information , here you write too much information and focus too much on detail, while you need to focus more on the bigger picture
Address the requirements you did some of what is needed , but again not everything.
An overview with appropriate selected information: you have an overview with some information, but it might not be all to clear
Adequately highlights : you mention most of the information
Details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate: Here the details you mention, might be wrong , you might be focusing on details which are not important , or you might be writing about something that does not need to be mentioned in Academic writing Task 1.
Covers the requirements: you do most of what is needed
A clear overview of the main trends: you have a clear overview with the main trends , differences or stages not just some general information.
Clearly presents but could be extended , you have a clear picture but some information is missing
Covers all the requirements: here you do all what is needed .
presents, highlights and illustrates key features clearly and appropriately: you have a nice clear picture of everything.
6. Why do students have issues with Task Achievement?
As you can see there is more information in the band descriptors that is not mentioned in the task. That’s why it is crucial to have a look at the band descriptors, as they are the guidelines the examiner uses to assess your task. Therefore, students fail to get a high mark on task achievement for the following reasons:
- Students do not have a general overview . They have no idea what it is , how to write it and even do not know that it needs to be written in Academic Writing Task 1. Or the might have some idea, but already include some of the data (numbers). Data is only needed in the in-depth part .
- Students do not use data , they talk about the information seen in the graph, but do not mention any numbers in the in-depth part . How can you compare information, data if you do not use the numbers?
- Students do not compare the data , they just list some of the information they see . Again, a crucial part of the task is to identify key information and see how it behaves compared to other key information . How is it different, how is it the same,…
- Students fail to identify key information , they do not understand how to really analyse a graph and which information they need to talk about . They sometimes just cannot highlight what is important and get lost in all this information.
- Students do not understand the style of the task , they think it is like an essay in Task 2 and write an essay. You need to write a report , mentioning the data and comparing it. Not an essay writing about your options.
- Students go off task , some students think they need to find reasons for the trends in the data . For example they see there is a decrease in spending and mention that this is probably because of the current financial crisis. You cannot mention things that are not in the graph, the previous example is purely speculation, which is not scientific . You do not have the data to draw this conclusion . All you need to do is write a dry, boring report mentioning the trends you see . You cannot speculate as to why these trends are happening.
As you can see, there can be many issues why students fail to go beyond a 5 in Task achievement . For this reason, students need proper information and training to familiarize themselves with Academic Writing Task 1 . Even for native English speakers this is needed. As there are many boxes you need to tick and if you fail to tick any of the 6 above mentioned boxes, you will not achieve the score you really want and need.
7. Task achievement Academic/ General IELTS Writing task 2
Here is an example of a Task 2 essay question:
Each year, the crime rate increases.
What are the causes of crime and what could be done to prevent this rise in criminal activity?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Now let’s have a look at the band descriptors and see what they mean.
Addresses the task only partially; the format may be inappropriate in places
Expresses a position but the development is not always clear and there may be no conclusions drawn
Presents some main ideas but these are limited and not sufficiently developed; there may be irrelevant details
Addresses all parts of the task although some parts may be more fully covered than others
Presents a relevant position although the conclusions may become unclear or repetitive
Presents relevant main ideas but some may be inadequately developed/unclear
Addresses all parts of the task
Presents a clear position throughout the response
presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to overgeneralise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus
Sufficiently addresses all parts of the task
Presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas
Addresses the task partially : you only do about half of what is asked. For example in this task you only write about the causes of crime but not about how to prevent them.
The format is inappropriate: you are not writing an academic essay or you are not using the style for an academic essay.
Expresses a position but is not always clear: you pick a side in your essay but not always clearly express your opinion. For this example you either do not clearly discuss the causes of crime or the way to prevent it. So, what you write can’t be clearly understood by the examiner.
No conclusion: you do not have a conclusion in your essay. As is said You do not conclude the essay
Main ideas are presented but not really developed: you mention some of your ideas, but you do not expand them or do not support them with evidence or examples. For this example it means you might mention some ideas about the cause of crime or the ways to prevent them but you do not expand on them, clearly develop them or provide an example for them.
Irrelevant details. You go off-task, and focus on things that are not important. So here you might me talking about how crime is an issue in your country or city. This is not relevant as you need to discuss the causes of crime not just talk about how crime is an issue. Or you might mention a time when you got robbed, again not relevant, as this has nothing to do with causes or solutions.
This means that if some (not everything on the list needs) of these things are present in your writing you will score a 5 on task achievement.
Addresses all parts although some may be more covered: you focus too much on one part of the task and not fully develop the second part of the task. For example you focus too much on the causes of crime and just provide 1 solution, or the other way around many solutions but only 1 cause of crime.
Express a relevant position but no clear conclusion or repetition: you do express your position and it is relevant to the task, but your conclusion might not be so clear. This means that you mention some relevant causes of crime and some relevant solutions but your conclusion at the end is not clearly understood or you repeat again the same as you said before.
Some may be unclear or inadequately developed: your ideas are not really clear to the examiner or you do not develop, support, provide evidence or examples to backup your position. Again, like in the example you do not fully express why you think these are causes of crime or why these are solutions. You just list the reasons with no support.
This means that if some (not everything on the list needs) of these things are present in your writing you will score a 6 on task achievement.
Addresses all parts of the task: you do focus on all the parts of the task. So, you talk about the causes of crime and what the solutions are.
Presents a clear position: you clearly provide a position and it can be followed through your writing. So you clearly mention the causes of crime, and their solutions and your train of thought (answer) can easily be followed and understood by the examiner.
Tendency to overgeneralise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus: As it says you overgeneralize your ideas and some of the ideas you do not clearly focus on. Again for the example you might lose some focus when writing about the causes of crime or their solutions.
This means that if some (not everything on the list needs) of these things are present in your writing you will score a 7 on task achievement.
Sufficiently addresses all parts: you really focus well on all parts of the task. So, you mentions enough information on the causes of crime as well as their solutions.
Presents a well-developed response: what you write is well developed and easily understood by the examiner. So you nicely develop your ideas about the causes of crime and their solutions.
With relevant, extended and supported ideas: your claims are relevant (don’t go off task), you extend them and provide more information on them. Finally, you support your ideas with examples or different reasons. For the example, you mention some relevant ideas to support your causes and solutions of crime. You extend these ideas, as well as support them with reasons and or examples to back up your claims.
8. Why do students have issues with Task Achievement?
As you can see from the band descriptors it is not so difficult to achieve an 8 on task achievement but most students fail to reach this for some of the following reasons :
- They do not read the task carefully in the beginning and just start writing . This means they might not write about everything or they might write about things that are not relevant to the task.
- They just list some of their ideas , or many ideas, but do not support them . They do not back up their claims with evidence and/or examples .
- The examiner can not clearly understand their train of thought , how their ideas are expressed, relate to each other, or how they are connected. This is mostly caused by lack of planning , resulting in just writing some random ideas which are not clearly structured or not well connected with linkers .
So, as you can see it is extremely important to fully read the task , and to spend some time planning and structuring your ideas , before you start writing . Otherwise it will just become a list of randomly selected ideas which might be irrelevant, badly connected or not expanded and supported at all. All of which will result in a task achievement not going beyond a band 5, dragging your overall writing score down.
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12 Steps to Task Achievement in Teams
3 circles image = TM John Adair (1)
Leading & Working in teams 3 areas of focus are necessary;
- Task : the need to accomplish the common task or solve a problem. This is what the group is talking about and is usually seen in terms of things rather than people.
- Team: the need to develop and maintain good working relationships among team members. This is primarily about people and how they relate to each other.
- Individual: the need to fulfill their own individual needs, such food, shelter, security, respect, and alignment with values + commitment. Individual needs should be met along with the group and task needs.
When working to achieve the task, the following 12 areas of focus will create the analysis and clarity needed to improve the way the team operates. Ensuring that the team accomplishes the task within the Quality, Quantity, Time Frame, and Resources ( Goal being a what by when ) determined.
- Purpose : Am I clear what the task is?
- Responsibilities : Am I clear what mine are?
- Objectives : Have I agreed these with my manager, the person accountable for the team?
- Process: Have I worked one out to reach the objectives?
- Working Conditions : Are these right for the job?
- Resources : Are these adequate (authority, money, materials, etc…)?
- Targets : Has each team member clearly defined and agreed to them?
- Authority : Is the line of authority clear (managerial accountability, who is accountable for what, leadership, who can tell who what to do, Who can hold who accountable for underperformance, etc…)?
- Training : Are there any gaps in the specialist skills and abilities of indivdiduals in the team required for the task?
- Priorities : Have I planned the time, What is the shortest time frame, have we set a clear list of required completion times?
- Progress : Do I check this regularly and evaluate? If so to whom and what is the method?
- Supervision : In case of absence who covers the work?
- Example : Does the team leader set standards by their behavior, values + commitments?
Once you answer the questions above, successful task completion can be achieved. Although keep in mind that the team must also create a balance between Achieving the Task, Building & Maintaining the Team, and Developing the Individual.
- Thomas, N. (Ed.). (2004). Adair on teambuilding and motivation . London: Thorogood.
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