The IELTS writing module varies depending on whether you are doing the Academic Test (for university applications) or the General Test (usually for work / general migration).
In IELTS Academic you have to describe a graph or diagram (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2).
In IELTS General Training you have to write a letter (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2).
So you have to write an essay for whichever one you choose, but the other part is different depending on which module you are taking.
The Task 2 (essay) is actually worth more marks than the Task 1 (graph or letter) so you should spend 40 minutes of the time on the essay and 20 minutes on the graph / letter.
This difference in marking is represented in the number of words you have to write, which is a minimum of 150 for the Task 1 and 250 for the Task 2.
Graph or Diagram
|Write a Letter|
|Write an Essay||Write an Essay|
Strategies for IELTS Writing
These are some of our top pages for learning more about writing, or scroll down below for more information about what you have to do in each module of the writing test.
These are useful for Academic or General Training as an essay has to be written for both:
Graphs and Diagrams (Academic)
Letters (General Training)
Questions from the Forums
You can also learn about the test, see questions people have asked or ask your own questions in the IELTS Forum:
And if you need help with your writing you may be able to find a teacher here:
You must be able to use complex sentences in your writing. Check out all the IELTS Grammar Lessons:
Improve your writing score quickly
Task 1 and Task 2 eBooks
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Linda - Italy
Academic Task 1
In the first section you will need to describe, summarize or explain a graph, diagram or process. Here is an example question:
You will have to describe the chart in no less than 150 words. In this section of the test, you could also get a line graph, a pie chart, a process, a table, or a map to describe.
Check out this video giving you an overview and tips on the language you'll need to know:
Academic Task 2
Task 2 is an essay question. You will have to write a response to the question giving reasons and examples to support your answer. The topics are general interest.
Here is an example of a question:
Check out this video giving you an overview of the kind of questions you could get for the IELTS Essay:
General Training Task 1
The task of the general training module is to write a letter. You will be presented with a situation and you will need to write your letter explaining the situation or asking for information. The letter may be one of three styles:
Your response will have to reflect the appropriate style.
Here is an example question:
You want to sell your television. You think a friend of yours might like to buy it from you. Write a letter to your friend.
In your letter:
- Explain why you are selling the television
- Describe the television
- Suggest a date when your friend can come and see it
Write at least 150 words
You do NOT need to write any addresses
Begin your letter as follows:
General Training Task 2
This is the same as the IELTS writing Academic module. You will need to write an essay responding to a point of view, argument or problem.
However, on the test day, the essay will be different to the one given to those taking the Academic module.
The essays is sometimes in a slightly more personal style than for the academic essay, but you need to follow the same methods for writing the essay.
Check it out here
Worried about your grammar for IELTS Writing?
This grammar eBook is packed full of grammar explanations and practice exercises.
It focuses on advanced grammar as you need to use complex grammar to get a higher score.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The chart shows components of GDP in the UK from 1992 to 2000.
Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
The dangers and complexities of the modern world have made the mobile phone an absolute necessity for children.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.
Success in IELTS writing task 2 is based on using the right techniques. These free tips, model essays, lessons, videos and information will help develop the skills for writing task 2. This page will teach you how to maximise your IELTS writing task 2 score.
Essential Information for IELTS Writing Task 2
All IELTS students should read the pages below:
Information: Task 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How your IELTS Writing is Marked: Band Scores 5 to 8 Tips
IELTS General Training Writing Differences
How your Total IELTS Writing Score is Calculated
IELTS Practice Essay Questions
Practice essay questions to help you prepare ideas for topics in IELTS writing task 2. These questions have been written based on questions reported by IELTS students. They are not IELTS tests.
Over 100 IELTS Essay Questions
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Essential IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips
The most important writing tips for a strong IELTS essay in writing task 2. Learn about the recommended essay length, how to plan your essay, when to give your opinion and how to write an introduction etc.
How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay?: Essay structure
Key Linking Words List: Academic Vocabulary
Video: How to write an introduction paragraph: Complete lesson
Essay Planning Tips: How to plan your IELTS essay
Common Essay Topics: 20 Most Common Essay Topics
Video: Essay Length Advice: How long should your essay be?
Video: Official Writing Answer Sheet Tips: Using the answer sheet
When to give your opinion: Opinion Essay Tips
Video Using the last 5 minutes: Exam technique tips
Video: Paraphrasing Tips
More Video & Tips for Writing Task 2
All Free IELTS Writing Task 2 Videos Lessons
IELTS Advanced Training
Buy Advanced Lessons for Writing Task 2. Is your target band 7? Is it difficult to hit band 7? Think about my advanced lessons: Advanced IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons
Sample essays for IELTS writing task 2. These high score model essays will help you understand how to answer the essay questions and how to structure your writing.
Practice Lessons for Writing Task 2
Develop your IELTS writing skills and get useful ideas for many essay questions. Lessons are in order of date and new lessons will be added over time.
- Essay Questions Jan & Feb 2018: Reported by students
- Essay Questions for Dec 2017: Reported by students
- Paraphrasing Practice 1
- Paraphrasing Practice 2
- Paraphrasing Practice 3
- Essay Questions for 2017 – questions reported in the test this year.
- Using Passive Voice for Giving Opinions
- Essay Ideas: Employment Competition
- Writing Skills: Paraphrasing Practice
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (2)
- Essay Ideas: The Importance of History
- Essay Ideas: Housing & Trees
- Essay Ideas: International Aid
- Essay Ideas: City Transport
- Essay Ideas: Salaries
- Essay Ideas: Function of Schools
- Essay Ideas: Female Staff in Senior Positions
- Writing Skills: Punctuation Practice
- Writing Skills: Linking Word Practice
- Essay Ideas: Littering in Cities
- Listen and Write Dictation: Natural Disasters
- Discussion Essay with Feedback: Music Topic
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences: Ebooks Topic
- Essay Ideas: Banning Mobile Phones
- Two Question Essay with Feedback: Judging Business Success
- Essay Ideas: Tourism and Local Communities
- Essay Ideas: Traffic & Pollution
- Writing Skills: Improving a Thesis Statement
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (1)
- Essay Ideas: Handwriting Skills
- Writing Skills: Linking Word Practice
- Essay Ideas: Promoting to Children
- Essay Ideas: Older or Younger Leaders
- Writing Skills: Introduction Feedback
- Writing Skill: Opinion Essay Introduction Feedback
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Body Paragraphs
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Introduction
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Finding Main Points
- Writing Skills: Thesis Statement
- Essay Ideas: Public Services
Liz’s Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons
NEW!! IELTS in-depth lessons about IELTS essay writing for a high score. Learn all the techniques needed for success in IELTS writing task 2. You can purchase individual essay lessons.
Main IELTS Pages
Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.