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IELTS Writing Test Tips and Advice

The General and Academic Training Writing tests are usually graded to the same level. While IELTS Academic Writing test comprises topics suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students, IELTS General Training module consists of excerpts on general topics from books, magazines, notices, company handbooks and guidelines that you are likely to face on a regular basis in an English speaking environment.

Test duration: 60 minutes (for both Academic and General tests)

IELTS Writing test format – Academic

There are two parts. Responses to Task 1 and Task 2 should be written in an academic, semi-formal or neutral style.

Task 1: You are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to summarise and report the information in your own words. You may be asked to select and compare data, describe the stages of a process, describe an object or how something works.

Task 2: You are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.

The issues raised are of general interest to, suitable for and easily understood by test takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

IELTS Writing test format – General Training

There are two parts. Topics are of general interest.

Task 1: You are given a situation where you have to write a letter to request information from someone or explain the situation at hand. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

Task 2: You are given to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be less formal in style with a more personal response than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay. Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.

Helpful Tips for IELTS Writing Test

  • When you write your answers, remember the examiners are grading you on your expression. There are no wrong or right answers.
  • Examine the questions properly and see that you cater to all parts of the question.
  • Remember to stick to the word limit. If you happen to write lesser than 150 words in Task 1 or lesser than 250 in Task 2, you will lose marks.
  • Always write the answers in your own language. If you use the words from the question exactly, you will not be given marks for the same.
  • Do not use bullets in your answers, always write them in full. Arrange your basic ideas into different paragraphs. This shows the examiner how well you can organise your points.
  • Do not concentrate on writing long and complicated answers. Write well, coherent and organise your thoughts well. Ensure, your grammar is immaculate.
  • When attempting Academic Writing Task 1, youwill have to select and compare relevant information from data presented in a graph, table or diagram. When writing the introduction, never copy the text from the question. Always use your own words.
  • Task 2 of the Academic Writing test is an essay. Always plan the structure of your essay beforehand. Place a nice introduction, supporting ideas and real-life examples, followed by a conclusion.
  • You are given 40 minutes to complete your essay for Task 2. Always take five minutes to first plan your answer before you start writing, and five minutes in the end to review for any mistakes.
  • In your essay, keep the last paragraph for a valid conclusion of all the points you’ve made in the answer.
  • Do not confuse between singular and plural nouns. Always double check your answers for this common mistake.
  • Remember, spellings are everything. Standard American, British andAustralian spellings are all acceptable in IELTS.

To be better prepared, you can also download the range of other important official IDP Education IELTS preparation tools that we have available for you.

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