Uncovering the IELTS – Writing Section

Planning to Study Abroad, however not sure if you will crack the IELTS Exam? Here is an article with Study Smart tips on writing section of IELTS.


The IELTS Writing test not only assesses your English proficiency but also a wide range of writing skills, including how well you write a response, organize ideas, use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately, and all of that in 60 MINUTES ONLY. The test checks your ability to produce two completely different pieces of writing in a fairly short period of 60 minutes. The test is divided into two parts and you will be required to complete both parts within stipulated time.


And just so you know, the time limit (60 Mins) and number of tasks (TWO of them) is same for both the ACADEMIC IELTS and GENERAL IELTS.


An advice right in the beginning: TIME MANAGEMENT!!



The Format

Irrespective of the test format you are appearing for, namely, the Academic and General IELTS, you will be required to perform two tasks.

  • IELTS: Academic Writing Test


Study Smart Tip: “Write in a formal style in the IELTS Academic Writing test.”

  • Task I: In the first part, candidates are usually given a task based on some information, presented in graphic and diagrammatic form, usually a graph, table, chart or diagram. Candidates are expected to write a descriptive report of at least 150 words describing, summarizing or explaining the information in their own words.


Study Smart Tip: “Avoid contractions, which are a clear symbol of informal writing.”


  • Task II: In the second task, which one must note is slightly longer than Task I, the assessment is on the basis of a candidate’s ability to produce a clear and logical argument on a given topic. Most of the topics are of general interest, easy to understand, and suitable for students at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. The word limit here is a minimum of 250 words.


Study Smart Tip: “Manage your own time. Make sure you move on to Task 2 after 20 minutes.”

  • IELTS General Training Writing test: As mentioned earlier, this section too follows a TWO TASK format, to be completed in 60 Minutes. The two tasks, of 150 and 250 words respectively include ONE LETTER and ONE ESSAY, based on a topic provided. The topics of the questions are of general interest, and no specific knowledge is required.
    • Task I: The candidate is asked to write a letter in response to a given problem or situation. Candidates are asked to include information relating to three bullet points in the question. You can write this letter in a personal, semi-formal or formal style. The word limit is a minimum of 150 words here.
    • Task II: This task requires you to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You can answer this question in a personal tone. The questions here usually are to discuss factual information, discuss a problem and present solutions, evaluate ideas or justify opinions. Candidate answers for Task 2 should be at least 250 words in length.



Your Writing test will be marked by a certificated IELTS examiner. Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1 in the IELTS Writing test, in both the Academic as well as General Formats. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.


Your score is based on these three fundamental aspects:

  • Content : Presentation of your arguments and ideas.
  • Quality  : Effectiveness of your communication of your idea.
  • Technicality: Grammar, vocabulary and the variety of language in your sentences.


The Study Smart Take

  • Never memorize sample answer. The examiners are experienced folk.
  • Avoid informal language, especially in the academic format.
  • Word limit. Never forget its 150 and 250! Practice writing in these lengths so that you do not have to waste time counting words on test day.
  • The writing section mantra “20 for 150, 40 for 250!!” That’s 20 minutes for task I and 40 minutes for task II.
  • Paragraphs. No bullets.
  • Read the questions and make points to write on in the very starting. Plan your answers
  • Pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are mistakes you do not want to waste all that hard work on.


Practice and time management is the key to cracking the writing section on the IELTS.


If you are still not sure about how you will fair in the exam take a free scored IELTS mock test with us now and analyze how much you need to work or if you need to take IELTS Coaching.


“Take the IELTS. Ace the IELTS. IELTS with Study Smart.”

November 14, 2013 6:17 am

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