Writing module in IELTS is designed to gauge the test takers’ writing skills like grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, expressing opinions with relevance to the given topic and organized ideas that are coherent and cohesive.
This is a complete Guide to IELTS Writing test for both IELTS Academic Writing and IELTS General Training categories.
- Overview of IELTS Writing Test
- IELTS Writing Academic Task 1
- IELTS Writing General Training Task 1
- IELTS Writing Task 2
- IELTS Academic Writing Task 2
- IELTS General Training Writing Task 2
- IELTS Writing Marking Criteria
- IELTS Writing Tips & Tricks
Overview of IELTS Writing Test
IELTS Writing test stretches for a complete duration of 60 minutes. You have to answer 2 tasks (whichever the respective category you have chosen).
IELTS Writing module is different for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The basic pattern is similar for both categories in which task 1 is entirely different and task 2 is same again (variation exists in topic).
Unlike IELTS Writing Task 2, Task 1 differs for both the categories and we will provide a step by step guide to crack the Writing Task with an 8 band score.
IELTS Writing Academic Task 1
Here, you are provided with visual data or some statistics such as charts, tables, pie diagrams, graphs or tables about a topic. In some cases you may find the diagram of a machine or of a process and the task is to explain its process of its function (or maybe its construction).
Now, the task is to interpret the information from the graphical representation in the form of an academic/ semi-formal or neutral styled explanation including major and most relevant points. Any little miscellaneous information can be left.
Alright, know about the time; the total time of 60 minutes is not equally divided between the 2 tasks. So, you should not spend more than 20 minutes on IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. In addition, the word count must be 150 or more. You will be penalized for a short answer.
The length of the essay in task 1 can be more than 150 words, but keep an eye on the time. Because if you spend more time than needed on Task 1, you will fall short in time for task 2 (it contributes twice the score task 1 does).
Also note, if you write irrelevant response and your argument is off-topic, it will be penalized. Besides, if your response is not as a whole and it is disconnected such as bullet points, you will lose points. Remember, you will be seriously penalized for plagiarism.
IELTS Writing General Training Task 1
As said above, General Training Task 1 differs and the test takers would have a situation to respond. The task is to write a personal letter which may be informal, formal or semi-formal in nature which should span at least 150 words or more. You have to write your response on the given answer booklet.
Now, situations given are of very common which we go through in our day to day life. For example, writing a letter to a college accommodation authority explaining the prevailing problems there, a letter to a newspaper proposing a plan for an airport or a letter to a renting agency requesting to sort out the problem with the heating system.
You are provided with the details of information in 3 bulleted points. The point is that your response should include those points.
This writing task may ask you to request information or give information or explain the situation.
Therefore, there are many ways to crack IELTS Writing General Training Task 1 and some of them are to ask for the information, or provide some facts, express your likes or dislikes, explain needs and make requests, suggestions or recommendations.
Your writing style depends on the other side who you are writing for and how well they are expected to know the situation. Your style should suit the audience you are writing to. If you are writing to a friend, the letter will be informal and if it is to a manager, it will be formal/semi-formal.
Important, you should not take more than 20 minutes to complete with a minimum word count of 150 words or more. If it is short, you will lose marks. That’s not all, don’t make too long (you may not get sufficient time for task 2). Note that you will severely for plagiarism, irrelevance and if the information is not connected (bullet points).
IELTS Writing Task 2
The main difference between IELTS Academic and General Training Task 2 section is the topic chosen. The time available to complete the task is 40 minutes (20 minutes for task 1). The total word length is not less than 250 words or more. You are not allowed to write more than 40 minutes and not less than 250 words.
You will be penalized if the word length is less than 250, if your argument or examples are irrelevant. In addition, you will lose score if your POV is out of topic and most important, you will be severely penalized for plagiarism.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 2
Here, the test takers face a topic that is related to the academic future. The task is to write a discursive argument with relevant examples and suggestions. The nature of the essay might be in formal, semi-formal or academic style.
First of all, you should read the question completely (including any instructions) and then write your response appropriate to the question. Suppose, you are asked to write about machines, then don’t simply write generic information. But instead, think about focusing on the aspect a little deep.
IELTS Writing Task 2 for General Training
Task 2 contributes twice as much of task 1 in marking.
The task is to write a response about a point of view, a problem or an argument. You will have instructions to discuss the concept. You may be asked to provide some facts, evaluating the evidence, justifying or giving a solution.
Often, the chosen topics for IELTS General Training writing tasks are topics of general interest like importance of playtime for children, why families are not like before and what is the solution, caring old people or an idea to ban smoking in public places.
Most important thing is to be sure that you should provide a handful and relevant response. Your response should be coherent and organized with certain examples and evidence. If you have an own experience that is relevant to the task, you can share it too (in a crispy way).
IELTS Writing Marking Criteria
It is important to know that your written tasks are assessed by the certified IELTS examiners. All of them are approved by the British Council or IDP (IELTS Australia), relevantly qualified and are recruited by the test centres.
Your tasks are independently assessed. As already mentioned, Task 2 contributes more score than task 1. Assessment and marking is done based on some parameters. They are:
Task 1 of both IELTS Academic and General Training Writing:
- Task Achievement
- Coherence & Cohesion
- Lexical Score
- Grammar Accuracy and Range
Task 2 of both IELTS Academic and General Training Writing:
- Task Response
- Coherence & Cohesion
- Lexical Score
- Grammar Accuracy and Range
What does IELTS Writing Part assess?
IELTS Writing test is not practically easy as it is said; For example
Consider IELTS Academic Writing section Task 1, the task tests how good you can identify the crucial and relevant information from a graphical representation and your ability to deliver that in an organized output.
Simultaneously, Academic Writing task 2 focuses on your ability to respond to a POV or an argument in an evaluated and clear, relevant and organized manner.
On the other hand, General Training Writing task 1 would assess your letter writing skills to put a situation in a coherent and cohesive way to express yourself clearly by using the language in an accurate way. And, task 2 focuses on testing your discursive writing skills.
Tips for IELTS Writing
To meet these requirements, you ought to have a set of IELTS tips and strategies crack Writing tasks with the best score.
You need to strategize your answer which determines its quality and its sufficiency in meeting the requirements for a good score.
Focus on the Question (the concept):
Anybody might commit a mistake of overspeeding and think beyond the answer to somewhere irrelevant. It is considered as a very good habit to highlight (underline) the important concepts and strictly stick to them.
The word test itself describes itself that it assesses your ability to complete the given task in a certain period of time (time limit). Time management primarily includes planning. It means how good you can plan ahead to fulfil the task in the given time limit.
Coherence and Cohesion:
This is a marking criteria as we know, but the real secret of success is in meeting the expectations of the graders (to satisfy the grading parameters) instead of projecting yourself. You should project your ability towards the marking criteria and it is one of the best things you can do.
Many people have a problem of giving disconnected information which is not properly stringed. This will lead to irrelevant information and consequently loss of score. Coherence and cohesion parameter assesses how well your paragraphs are stringed. Therefore, focus on the transitions in the paragraphs and stick to the topic given.
Check more IELTS Writing Tips
Frequently Asked Questions about IELTS Writing Test
This is simple! You should organize the information into paragraphs (step by step information) for a better understanding. Try to follow this
-Concept explanation (logical explanation)
-Concept explanation and conclusion
In general, the introduction might not be more than 2 or 3 lines. Most followed way is to paraphrase the data given in the question. But one more good way to write the introduction is to start with a unique perspective to draw attention. Describe this along with the given details by paraphrasing.
Oh yes! It is a part of the vocabulary criteria. If you have a lot of spelling mistakes, your score might go down.
In IELTS Academic Writing, you will be provided with a pictorial, graphical or a tabular data and the task is to interpret it in a relevant and coherent way.
In the General Training, you will be assessed through a conventional letter writing task.