Writing in IELTS

Details of IELTS Writing Tests

The International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) is an international standardized test taken by applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language. There are two versions to this test, the Academic Version and the General Training Version. If you are a student who wants to pursue higher education or a professional, wanting to work or study then, you have to take the Academic Version. However, if you are planning for immigration or want to gain some non-academic work experience or training then you have to take the General Training Version. There are four sections in the test, they are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. This article will brief you on both the versions of writing sections.

The Academic Version as well as the General Training Version are of sixty minutes' duration and have two compulsory tasks namely task 1 and task 2. Task 2 of writing section carries more weight in marking than task 1.





Academic Version of IELTS Writing:

  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1-
  • In task 1 you may be given a diagram of a machine or a process and you will be asked to explain how it works, or you may be given a graph, chart or tables and you may have to describe the facts or figures presented in the question. You should complete this task in 20 minutes, in not less than 150 words and in academic or semi-formal/neutral style.

  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 2-
  • Here you will have to write a short essay or a general report wherein you have to give your point of view or argument in not less than 250 words in 40 minutes. The examiner assessing task 2 will assess how clearly and systematically you have organized your argument, the accuracy of your language etc.

General Training Version of IELTS Writing:

  • IELTS General Training Writing Task 1-
  • In the task 1 of writing section you will be presented with a situation which is common or everyday type, such as writing to a hostel warden about the problems of accommodation etc. You will be required to write a letter of 150 words in 20 minutes, to request or give information about a particular situation wherein you will express your needs, likes, dislikes, suggestions etc. In this writing task, you will be assessed on your ability to write conventional English letters.

  • IELTS General Training Writing Task 2-
  • The writing task 2 requires you to write an essay of 250 words in 40 minutes wherein, you will provide general factual information or evaluate ideas or present your point of view etc. Your ideas should be clear and well organized. You should try to support your arguments with relevant examples, including those from your own personal experiences. You will be assessed on how well you communicate abstract and complex ideas, range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Points to be remembered:

When you are attempting the Writing tasks for Academic Version as well as the General Training Version there are certain important points to be noted.

1) Avoid using bullets points or notes etc as these can result in lowering your scores.

2) It is alright if you exceed the word limit, but if your word count for any of the task is less than the prescribed word limit then you will be penalised for it.

3) You can also lose marks, if you have copied partly or wholly or if you have gone off- topic

The test has developed detailed performance descriptors to assess your writing test on a 9 band scale. Hence, it should be clear that when you begin to prepare for the writing test, certain points like vocabulary, organization of the essay, clarity and identification of relevant points should be given importance.




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