IELTS Writing Module Information & Tips

The writing test is the last test to be conducted on the day of test. There will be no break between the reading and the writing test. The writing test is 1 hour long and consists of two tasks. Both the tasks are compulsory. The topics given are general which are suitable for students seeking admissions in undergraduate and graduate programs.

In the general training test, task 1 is replaced with letter writing. Letter is usually on a general topic e.g. writing about problems in college accommodation etc. The word limit is 150 words. Task 2 for general training is same as the academic writing. 60 minutes are provided to  complete both tasks.

Writing Task 1

Candidates are required to describe, summarise or explain information about a graph, table, diagram, map, building or chart etc. The test taker should be able to explain data, describe stages of progress, how something functions or events etc.

Students are expected to write full sentences with no grammatical mistakes or spellings mistakes. The sentences should make sense and the entire essay must be in a flow. Bullet points are not acceptable instead the essay should be written in academic style and must have all the important and relevant information.

The minimum word requirement for task 1 is 150 words. A candidate will be penalised if the essay is shorter than 150 words however more than 150 words are acceptable. It is usually advised to write more than 150 words for task 1.

Read the question statement  carefully and then write in the essay whatever is asked for. Providing irrelevant information, going off topic or writing incorrect English will cause in  loosing marks.

When writing the essay give a very brief introduction first which covers all the key points e.g. the date, name of country, percentage etc of a given chart or table. You can add information given by the IELTS statement in the  introduction as well.After the introduction,  divide your essay  in 2 to 3 paragraphs which cover all the  required information. A conclusion in not necessary but it is good if a conclusion of few lines is added.

Identify the key components, relevant information and the trends in the charts. It is not always required to draw a comparison instead read the question statement carefully and then decide if only information has to be provided or a comparison is required.

Spellings, vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure are very important while writing an essay.

Task 1 is worth 1/3 of marks of entire writing test so it is usually advised to spend not more than 20 minutes on this task. Spending too much time on this task will leave less time for task 2 which has more marks and require more time. Time management is important so you will need to manage your time.

The writing task 1 is assessed on task achievement, coherence and cohesion (flow in the essay and whether the information connects with one another or not), Lexical resources (vocabulary), grammatical range and accuracy. The examiner will mark the essay keeping these points in view. Each component carries 25% weightage.

Writing Task 2

In writing task 2 of academic IELTS test takers are required  to write on a given topic. In this task candidate has to take a position e.g agree or disagree, give opinion etc. The student should be able to present a clear, relevant and organised response. Only full sentences are acceptable and bullet points are not marked.

250 words is the minimum requirement for writing task 2. Candidates who have written less than 250 words will be penalised whereas more than 250 words are acceptable. It is advised to spend 40 minutes on task 2 because it has double weightage of marks as compared to task 1.  It is important to score good in task 2 for an overall good band in writing.

For general writing test takers, task 2 is similar to that of academic writing however the topic for general writing is usually easy.

The essay given in writing task 2 can be opinion based essay, discussion, argument, advantage/disadvantage, solution, direct question etc. Give a proper introduction and a conclusion with 3 or 4 paragraphs in the body of essay. Conclusion is necessary. Read the question statement carefully and then write whatever is asked in the essay. Do not give extra information and stick to whatever is asked.

The writing task 2 is assessed on task achievement, coherence and cohesion (flow in the essay and whether the information connects with one another or not), Lexical resources (vocabulary), grammatical range and accuracy. The examiner will mark the essay keeping these points in view. Each component carries 25% weightage.

Tips:

  • Answer sheet will be provided by the examination center and you can always ask for an extra sheet if needed.
  • Both pencil or pen can be used to write the essay.
  • Depending on your choice you can do either task 1 or task 2. Sequence is not important. However, usually task 1 is done first followed by task 2.
  • Time management is important. Spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 so that you have sufficient time to complete and throughly check.
  • Spellings and grammar are very important. Wrong spellings and grammar will cause deduction in marks.
  • Keep punctuation simple. Use full stops or commas mainly. Avoid hard punctuation because wrong use of it will cause deduction of marks.
  • Be precise and to the point. Do not give extra information.
  • Read the statement carefully and then start writing whatever is asked. Do not provide irrelevant information.

For sample Writing test, click below:

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