IELTS writing task guide [August 2022 Update]
There are two types of IELTS tests:
- General Training
To study at a university, you need to take the IELTS Academic test.
In this guide, you will learn about how to get your desired score in the IELTS writing task.
- IELTS writing task 1
- IELTS writing task 2
- Analysis of samples of IELTS writing
- How to get a 9 band score
online but physically present at the authorized center
IELTS is only a small part of the admission process. There are also more stressful stages like the Statement of Purpose, CV and more.
To handle standardized tests like IELTS and other things together, sign up on SelectRight. Get access to a carefully curated directory of unbiased industry experts who can help you with various aspects of your application like SOP review, application review, LOR review or any other queries that might require expert opinion.
|Section 1||30 minutes||Listening|
|Section 2||60 minutes||Reading|
|Section 3||60 minutes||Writing|
|Section 4||Under 14 minutes||Speaking|
- Organize your ideas
- Write a response to a prompt
- Use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately
IELTS writing task 1 formatYou will be given a graph, table, chart or diagram. Based on the representation, you’ll be asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. For example, for a graph you might have to explain and describe the data or you might have to describe an object or event in a diagram. You are expected to spend 20 minutes of the 60 minutes on task 1. The expected word limit is at least 150 words. IELTS writing task 2 format Task 2 is an essay question. You will have to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. 10 most common topics:
- Public Transport
- Criminal Justice
- Youth Crime
- Government Spending
- Task achievement – ability to present relevant ideas, explain them and support them.
- Coherence and cohesion – ability to clearly express your ideas and link different ideas together.
- Lexical resource – the quality of language, mainly focused on vocabulary.
- Grammatical range and accuracy – ability to write a combination of complex and simple sentences and use a variety of appropriate structures.
- Good attempt to describe the graphs looking at global trends and more detailed figures
- Smooth flow
- Grammatical accuracy
- Good use of language
- Missing information and inaccurate information
- Overused connectives
- Ideas not linked well
- Problems with expressions in some places
- Lack of complexity and variation in the sentences
- All key features of each stage of the process are appropriately and accurately presented.
- Excellent overview in the beginning
- Changing grammatical function
- Easy to read and cohesive
- Paragraphing, linking and referencing are all skilfully managed.
- Language is fluent
- A wide range of vocabulary and structures
- Question type
- Word limit
1. Plan well
You might be asked to argue for a motion or give your opinion on something. To do this, you have to plan beforehand.
You have 20 more minutes on your hand in this section. Use the extra time to make bullet points. This will help you cover all the essential points, link your ideas and find a coherent flow.
2. Form a thesis statement
To argue or present your point of view, having a thesis statement is mandatory. This helps you argue for one thing, giving your essay structure rather than being all over the place.
For example, the question is ‘The privatization of the medical sector mainly affects the marginalized communities. What is your opinion?’
Your thesis statement could be: Privatization of the healthcare sector leads to the selective exclusion of those from the marginalized communities as they lack economic and social capital.
3. Line edit
After you are done with your essay, don’t skim over it and identify mistakes. Read each line carefully to see if there are any grammatical errors.
This can also help you polish your sentences.
4. Develop a vocabulary list
Based on the common topics, develop a vocabulary list.
How to develop vocabulary.
- Try guessing the meaning of words from the context.
- Link new words to existing words you already know. You can also look at synonyms instead of definitions.
- Review the new words regularly and try to use them in writing.
- Topic is well-expressed and a position is taken.
- Ideas are clearly organized and there is an overall progression within the response
- Use of cohesive devices
- Range of vocabulary
- Note – in the third paragraph there is an unclear development.
- Some ideas are not well-developed
- Over-use of linkers
- Short paragraphs
- Spelling errors
- Flaws in task response
|Band 9||Band 6|
|Task achievement||You have to fully satisfy all the requirements of the task. This means doing everything the question asks you to. Clearly present a fully developed response to the question. Present a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages for task 1. Clearly state your argument for task 2.||Address the requirements of the task Present an overview with appropriately selected information Highlight key features/bullet points but missed out on revelace or accuracy|
|Coherence and cohesion||Use cohesion effortlessly. This means that it should come organically and not look forced. Examples of cohesive devices – also, equally, and, but, and more. You also have to paraphrase the question well and add value to it.||Arranged information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression Used cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical Did not reference clearly or appropriately|
|Lexical resource||Use a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features. Rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’ and do not affect your overall score.||Used adequate range of vocabulary Used less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy Made some errors in spelling and/or word formation without impeding communication|
|Grammatical range and accuracy||Use a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy||Used a mix of simple and complex sentence forms Made some errors in grammar and punctuation but they rarely reduce communication|