Find all the basic information you need to know about the IELTS writing test.
On this page you’ll discover:
Want to watch & listen to this lesson?
Click on this video.
Timing – 60 minutes
There are two versions of the IELTS writing test – Academic and General Training.
Task 2 is the same for both tests, but Task 1 is different.
The main difference is in the style of question and the type of language required to answer it. Here are detailed outlines of the two versions of the test.
Task 1 – You will be presented with one of the following:
You are required to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. For example, you may be asked to:
Task 2 – You must write an essay on a topic of general interest. The essay will be a response to a specific point of view, problem or argument that will be stated in the question.
Your response to both tasks should be written in a formal style.
Task 1 – You are required to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation in relation to a specific circumstance.
The letter must be in one of the following styles as appropriate to the situation:
Task 2 – You will be required to write an essay on a topic of general interest. Your essay will be a response to a specific point of view, problem or argument that will be stated in the question.
You may use a more personal style than would be required in the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.
IELTS Academic is required by universities and professional registration bodies.
You should take the Academic test if you want to apply for a place at a university or other higher education institution in an English speaking country or in a non-native English-speaking country where courses are taught in the English language.
IELTS Academic is also generally preferred by professional bodies in English-speaking countries and required for registration. This is particularly the case in fields such as:
IELTS General is for people wanting to work in or emigrate to the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada or New Zealand. It is widely accepted for:
The IELTS writing test is designed to assess your ability in a wide range of skills including:
The assessment criteria for any specific essay will depend on the type of task you are asked to complete, but here is a general overview.
Don’t worry if you feel slightly overwhelmed after
reading it. This writing section of the website contains all the help and step-by-step
guidance you need to write high scoring essays.
Task 1 – Your essay will be assessed in relation to your ability to achieve one or more of the following:
Task 2 – Your essay will be assessed in relation to your ability to achieve one or more of the following:
Task 1 – Your letter will assess your ability to engage in personal correspondence and be assessed in relation to one or more of these skills:
Task 2 – Your essay will be assessed in relation to one or more of the following:
As with the other three sections of the IELTS exam – Speaking, Reading and Listening – the IELTS Writing test is marked according to four criteria.
Each carries 25% of the marks.
We’ll be looking at these marking criteria in detail on other pages in this writing section of the website.
IELTS Academic Writing – A summary of the test including important facts, test format & assessment.
Academic Writing Task 1 – The format, the 7 question types & sample questions, assessment & marking criteria. All the key information you need to know.
Understanding Task 1 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 1 Essay – Discover 3 reasons why you must plan, the 4 simple steps of essay planning and learn a simple 4 part essay structure.
Vocabulary for Task 1 Essays – Learn key vocabulary for a high-scoring essay. Word lists & a downloadable PDF.
Grammar for Task 1 Essays – Essential grammar for Task 1 Academic essays including, verb tenses, key sentence structures, articles & prepositions.
Click the links below for a step-by-step lesson on each type of Task 1 question.
IELTS General Writing – A summary of the test including important facts, test format & assessment.
Format – The format, the 7 topics, letter
structure, formal & informal, assessment & marking criteria, sample
questions. Essential information you need to know.
Letter Writing Tips – Learn top tips on how to meet the assessment and marking criteria and achieve a high score.
Letter Writing Structure – Find out how to use this easy to learn letter structure to write a high-scoring letter. Includes a model answer.
How To Plan a Letter – Learn a simple 5 step process & 6 part letter structure. Also, help to understand the question & generate ideas.
Formal or Informal – How to decide what type of
letter to write. Sample questions & 2 model letters.
Letter Writing Vocabulary – Learn useful phrases to help you achieve a high score. Also, know how to start & end your letter.
How To Write an Informal Letter – Step-by-step instructions, simple 4 step plan & 6 part letter structure, model letter.
How To Write a Formal Letter – Step-by-step instructions, simple 4 step plan & 6 part letter structure, model letter.
Letter Topics – Learn the 7 most common letter topics & other popular subjects. Includes 20 sample questions.
IELTS Writing Task 2 – The format,
the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions.
All the key information you need to know.
The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.
Understanding Task 2 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 2 Essay – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.
How To Write a Task 2 Introduction – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Conclusions – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
Task 2 Marking Criteria – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.
The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:
Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.
Advantages & Disadvantages Essays