ielts writing introduction

The purpose of the IELTS Writing Module is to:

• Establish your ability to answer perform a task correctly using facts and figures.

• Establish your ability to answer questions where facts and figures are not given and where your opinions, thoughts, and views need to be expressed.

The Writing Module always has the same format:

The test is 60 minutes long, there are always two sections (or 'Tasks'):

Task One

In Task One you are asked to write approximately 150 words in 20 minutes. It is important to remember that you are not stopped after 20 minutes and told to go on to Task Two.It is your job to manage timing the test yourself.    

In Task One you are given a 'Visual Representation' of some information. This could be given in a number of formats:

• Table
• Graph
• Pie chart
• Diagram
• Illustration

You are usually asked to write some form of report to a teacher or a university lecturer using the information given. Less frequently you are asked to describe a process based on a diagram or an illustration.

Task Two

In Task Two you are asked to write approximately 250 words in 40 minutes.

You will be asked to write a short essay that expresses your opinion on a issue, or shows how to solve a problem, or requires you to speculate about future trends.Again, like the Reading Module, the topics you are given are 'General Interest' meaning that even if the question is related to a specific area of knowledge (e.g. science) you do not need specialist scientific knowledge to write about it.      


Task Two is more important than Task One in that there is more 'weighting' towards Task Two. If your performance in Task One is not as good as it is in Task Two, you can still receive a good writing score.


Your writing is marked by a native English speaker who trained in assessment of IELTS writing tasks. Traditionally, scores were full bands only (i.e. Writing Band 6, etc.), but some time ago, half bands were introduced. It is now therefore possible to get a score of 5.5, 6.5, etc. for your writing score.

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