Writing Section of IELTS

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While taking the IELTS academic exam, you need a different approach for each of the four sections. For the writing section in IELTS, you need to know the rules of writing and the structure of writing. How and what you write reflects your thoughts and ability of your understanding. To develop your writing style for this section you need to follow the rules and practice writing a lot. Here we have explained in detail about the Writing section of IELTS.


60 minutes

Number of Questions


Number of tasks



Tasks in the IELTS writing section

The Writing section of the IELTS Academic exam consists of two tasks. Topics in this section include general interest and can range among various topics. The contents in this section are suitable for candidates entering into the undergraduate and postgraduate level of studies or looking for any professional registration.

IELTS writing task 1

Test takers are given a table, graph, chart, or diagram in the question and are asked to describe, summarize or explain it in their own words. Here you may have to describe and explain the given data, describe how something works or the steps of a process, or describe an event or object. It should be written in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style and should include all the most important and relevant points from the presented content. The explanation must at least include 150 words, if not then they will be penalized for too short an answer.

Time allotted

 20 minutes

Minimum word count 

150 words

Test takers should not spend more than 20 minutes on this first task, they should remember that the longer time taken in Task 1 would mean that they have less time to spend on Task 2, which can affect the Writing band score negatively. The main purpose of this task is to see how well the candidate assimilates information and is able to put that understanding in his own words in an academic style.

IELTS writing task 2

Test takers are asked to write an essay on a point of view, problem, or any kind of argument which is given. Responses that are put forward should be in a formal style. The point of view of the candidate should ideally be neutral, as this is a question where there are no correct or wrong answers, instead, the focus is on the correct style of writing. Test takers should read the given task carefully and then should provide relevant responses. This task evaluates the ability to present a response that is clear, relevant, well-organized, along with giving evidence or examples to support their ideas and use the English language accurately.

Time allotted

40 minutes

Minimum word count

250 words

Candidates cannot spend more than 40 minutes on this task. the response must contain at least 250 words and will be penalized if their words are not up to the mark. Though the test takers can write more than 250 words, if they write a very long answer then they may not have time for checking and correcting at the end. Task 2 makes up twice as much to the final Writing band score as Task 1. Hence, test takers who fail to attempt this task properly will surely reduce their chance of achieving a high band.

Preparation tips for the Writing section of IELTS

  • As soon as you decide to appear for the IELTS start preparing essay writing. Write one sample writing question each day.
  • Writing good content requires good vocabulary. Take the help of a good dictionary to look up the meaning and usage of new words to enhance your vocabulary. Take note of all the new words and phrases you read in the sample essays. By this, you will enrich your vocabulary through the practice course.
  • A man becomes perfect by practicing. So practice with the help of sample questions as much as you can. Complete both the tasks of IELTS writing in one hour. Till the official exam day, you must be prepared and should get familiar with time limits.
  • There are tonnes of resources available online for both tasks that applicants should take benefit of. Although model answers are plenty, your practice should not include memorizing them as examiners can recognize such answers and you will risk having your entire test rendered invalid.
  • Getting your spelling, punctuation, and grammar right cannot be stressed enough. These aren’t things you can learn overnight so it will be best to sharpen your skills for each as much as possible before taking the test. The more mistakes you make, the lower your score will be so it is better to make sure that you make as few mistakes as possible.
  • Improve your writing skills by learning how to structure an essay paragraph by paragraph. It is easy to slip off from the topic or not directly answer the question. Furthermore, read different kinds of sample IELTS essay questions and write sample responses.
  • It is also significant to practice writing the number of words as asked within the time limit. For task one, you should be prepared to write more than 150 words in 20 minutes, and in task 2, you will need more than 250 words in 40 minutes. 
  • If you are not comfortable with writing, then you have to spend more time practicing more and more writing until you feel comfortable doing that.
  • Find a tutor who will guide you through the preparation of the writing section of IELTS, help you to practice, and make you aware of the mistakes you make in writing.
  • Use online tools like Grammarly, Hemingway App, After the Deadline, etc which will help you check your grammar and spelling. You will get more confident in your skills with practice.

Useful tips during the IELTS Writing Exam

Do not enter the exam hall without having practiced time management beforehand. And also remember that practice is the key to good management of time.

  • Before starting to write your answer, read the given task very carefully. Ensure that you have understood the question. Every sentence you write should be related to the given question.
  • Even if you get a similar topic in the official exam as you practiced in the exam, the focus of the question will be different and so the answer should exactly address the question.
  • Take 2-3 minutes, in the beginning, to write a brief outline about the given topic, which will define your main point of view, and write one idea in each new paragraph. The outline will help you to write focused content in the response.
  • Learn to count the words by lines instead of word by word, so you will save time during the official IELTS writing test.
  • The words or sentences in the question may be impressive which will make you copy it as you reply to it when writing your essay. But it is better to write in your own words and avoid copying.
  • Write in a clear and focused manner. Try to keep the sentences short and simple which you write in the response. However, you should not use informal expressions and also take care that the language must not be too plain and common. Use a few advanced vocabulary to make your response look good.
  • Don’t write the same words again and again. It is better to use synonyms, especially if you feel the need to stress the same idea in a single paragraph.
  • Try not to write lengthy answers, keep a few minutes to check and update the response if anything is left to be added. You should check and fix grammatical and spelling errors. It is better to leave at least 5 minutes for rechecking and finalizing.

The writing section for the IELTS is challenging, but you will go through it easily if you start preparing as soon as possible.

All the Best..!!