Understanding the Question is VERY IMPORTANT for your overall band score in the IELTS. In fact, a misunderstanding of the question can lead to a band score of 4 in Task Achievement if most of your writing is OFF TOPIC.
As an examiner, I have been surprised at how many students misunderstand IELTS exam questions. I feel bad for these students because often the other aspects of their writing are quite good: grammar, vocabulary and coherence.
However, IELTS examiners must follow strict guidelines when giving band scores and must apply these to each student.
Last month the following question appeared on the IELTS exam:<