Find all the basic information you need to know about the IELTS writing test.
On this page you’ll discover:
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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.
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.
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.