The Writing section of the IELTS also differs between the Academic and the General Training tests, especially in terms of the writing style that the test taker is expected to use in his/her responses. The responses to the Academic tasks should be fairly formal/academic in style, whereas on the General Training test, the test taker may employ a semi-formal or even personal style.
Strictly 60 minutes to complete both tasks. The test taker is free to decide how to distribute this time between the two tasks, knowing that Task 2 counts for twice as much as Task 1 in the final Writing score.
There are two tasks in this section.
Task 1 requires you to write at least 150 words describing information presented in a chart/graph. Alternatively, you may be given a diagram of a device or a process and asked to describe how it works. You will need to write in a neutral or academic style, including the most relevant points in the stimuli, leaving out insignificant or minor points. Although in this task you can go over 150 words, we recommend that you spend no more than 20 minutes on this task.
Task 2 requires you to write at least 250 words, responding to an opinion, argument, or problem. You are permitted to go over the word count, although you should bear in mind that only 40 minutes should be spent on this task (including time for checking and correcting your answer). You should also be careful of not making your answer too long, as you will be penalized for irrelevance if the response is off-topic or if it is not written in full (bullet points and note form are not be permitted).
Note that this question is worth twice as much in your final Writing band score as Task 1, so it is important to ensure your answer is relevant and answers the question in full.
Each of the tasks is assessed using four main criteria:
- Task achievement/response: Task 1 is marked on how accurately and appropriately you complete the task set out in the question. Task 2 assesses your ability to articulate a position from the question/statement given and to support your answer through evidence and examples.
- Coherence and cohesion: Assesses the clarity and fluency of your answers.
- Lexical resource: Assesses appropriate use and range of vocabulary.
- Grammatical range and accuracy: Evaluates your use and range of grammar.
Your score will be translated into whole and half bands 0-9, which will contribute to your overall banded score.
- Allow approximately 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2.
- Make sure you write at least the minimum word count for each essay: 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2.
- Use your question paper to make a plan before you start to write. This will help you make sure your reponses are clear and accurately answer the question.
- Make sure to leave time at the end to go back and check your spelling and grammar. Mistakes in this area will make you lose valuable marks.
- Avoid repetition of the same words or phrases, to help demonstrate a good range of vocabulary.
- Make sure you are clearly answering the question or task with each new point.
- Do not use bullet points or any note form.
- Do not copy words/phrases from the question paper, as this will not gain you marks.