IELTS Writing

The IELTS writing section lasts one hour. Test takers must write two tasks- writing task 1 and writing task 2. The questions in the academic writing test are different from the General training. The details are as follows:

Task Time Details
Academic Writing 1 20 minutes A graph, table, chart or diagram is given – summarise, describe or explain the information depicted.
2 40 minutes Write an essay on topics like the environment to immigration, culture, and even technology. Task:

·  agree or disagree or argument

·  discuss two opposing views

·  advantages or disadvantages of a topic

·  explain a given problem

·  the cause of a problem and offer a solution

General Training Writing 1 20 minutes Write a letter to request information or explain the situation. Various tasks like expressing needs, complaints, opinions and so on are given.
2 40 minutes Write an essay on a topic describing a point of view, argument or problem which you need to discuss

Different Sections on the IELTS Writing

General Training

IELTS General Writing Task 1

A situation is given, and candidates must write a 150-word response in the form of a letter. The task will indicate the style (formal, semi-formal or personal) in which the letter must be written. The question also provides three bullet points on what information should be included. The candidates are assessed based on how the information is organised in the letter and style of writing. The candidate must remember to complete the task in 20 minutes, write more than150 words and write a response specific to the given task. They will be penalised if the number of words is less or the response is not according to the given task. Also, they must not spend more than 20 minutes as task 2 carries 2/3rd of the total writing score.

IELTS General Writing Task 2

An essay of minimum 250 words must be written in a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay. The essay topics are based on social topics like how environmental problems can be solved, whether smoking should be banned, or children should be given freedom of choice and so on. The task would be to give information about an opinion, argue a point of view or discuss the problem and state possible solutions and so on. The candidate must remember to complete the task in 40 minutes, write more than 250 words and write a response specific to the given task.

Academic Training

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, a diagram or a visual is given to represent information. The types of visuals include Table, Chart, Diagram, Process, Graph, and Map. A set of instructions are given to summarise the information. The report must contain an introduction, an overview, present key features with relevant figures (data), and comparisons or contrast where relevant. A minimum of 150 words must be written and no bullet points or notes.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

In Task 2 an essay in response to a point of view, an argument, or a problem must be written. A topic and a specific task are given. Socially relevant topics like increase in traffic, pollution, excess use of technology, and increase in obesity due to food habits and so on may be given.

The task instructions on what to discuss in the topic like justify an opinion or evaluate evidence or provide a solution to a problem. It is important to complete the task using relevant ideas and examples to support your position. The ideas should be organised clearly, using paragraphs for each idea. A minimum of 250 words is a must and it is recommended not to exceed 280-290 words. A candidate’s ability to follow English essay-writing conventions to organise and link information in a coherent way using language accurately and appropriately to express ideas and opinions is evaluated.

IELTS Writing Scoring Pattern

The assessment criteria for academic and general tests are the same. A standard rubric is used by IELTS assessors to score task 1 and task 2. This rubric has four different aspects: coherence and cohesion, lexical resources, grammatical range and accuracy and task achievement (or Task response for task 2).

Task Criteria What Do These
Writing task 1 Task achievement This criterion examines the overall information and accuracy of the information. The word count must be above 150 words.
Writing task 2 Task response In this criterion main idea and ideas provided to support are evaluated. The word count must be more than 250 words.

In case word count is less, it will impact scores in this criterion.

Both tasks Coherence and cohesion In this criterion, how the ideas are organized, connectors used, the number of paragraphs is taken into consideration.
Lexical resource The use of a wide range of vocabulary is considered in this criterion.
Grammatical range and accuracy Sentence structures, punctuation, spellings, handwriting, and grammar- subject-verb agreement and tenses- are considered in this criterion.

For each task a score of 0-9 is marked in each category and the average indicates the final score for task 1 and task 2. Since task 2 carries 2/3rd the weightage, a standard reference table is used to provide the final writing score.

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Writing Comparison

Writing Question IELTS MCQ-1

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How can I improve my writing in IELTS?

Understand the question, make an outline, organise ideas, use recommended structure to write, focus on language aspect (grammar) and proofread.

How can I get IELTS Writing ideas?

For ideas read different questions and brainstorm ideas or read writing sample answers. Another method is to find relevant information on a few question types.

What is the format of the IELTS Writing test?

The IELTS Writing test takes 60 minutes. Spend 20 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes on Task 2. Writing task 1 is a report for academic and letter writing for the general test. Task 2 is an essay for both types of papers.

How many words do I have to write for task 1 and task 2?

You must write more than 150 words for task 1 and 250 words for task 2.

What if my report/letter is below 150 words and my essay is below 250 words?

You will lose scores in the task response and task achievement sections.

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