A Complete Guide on IELTS Writing

This page will discuss everything you need for IELTS Writing preparation. Make sure you check all the links for your best preparation. And yes, it's all free!!! 


The discussion will come under the five major headings:

  • Essential Information on IELTS Writing Section 

  • Writing Task 1 for Academic IELTS

  • Writing Task 1 for IELTS General Training (GT) 

  • Writing Task 2 for IELTS Academic and GT

  • Examiners' Expectation

Essential Information on IELTS Writing 

  • IELTS Writing section is divided into two parts: Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.

  • You will need to write at least 150 words for Writing Task 1, and 250 for Task 2.

  • Writing Task 2 is same for both Academic and General Training exam. However, there is a difference in case of Task 1


  • In General Training (GT) Writing Task 1, you will write a letter. Whereas in Academic IELTS, you will need to write a report based on given diagrams. 


  • Both in Academic and General Training exam, you will be given total 60 minutes for the Writing section. You must complete answering both Task 1 and Task 2 in this time.


  • Task 1 will carry one third of your marks, whereas Task 2 will bear the remaining two thirds.


  • You shouldn't spend more than 20 minutes for Task 1. Use the other 40 minutes for Task 2.

In Academic IELTS Writing Task 1, you will be given a data set that can be in the form of line graphs, maps, pie charts, bar charts, process maps, and data tables etc. You don't need to write everything that you see in the question diagram. Identify the major points that are very obvious in the diagram, and then write them using at least 150 words. Check our complete guide on Academic IELTS Writing Task 1.

Scoring system and word limit are same for both Academic and General Training Writing Task 1. The only difference is, you need to answer data charts/graphs in Academic Task 1, whereas you will be asked to write a letter in GT. However, this letter can be either formal or informal.

Formal Letter: If you are writing a letter to someone who is neither your friend nor a close family member, it will be a formal letter.

Informal Letter: If you are asked to write to a friend or a close family member, you need to write an informal letter.

Writing Task 2 marking criteria and question types are same for both GT and Academic IELTS. That means, regardless you are a GT student or an Academic IELTS student, our Writing Task-2 discussion applies to both. Check our complete guide on IELTS Task 2 essay writing.

What Examiners Expect in Your Writing

Remember, examiners will assess your writing based on the following four areas:

  1. Task Achievement

  2. Coherence and Cohesion

  3. Lexical Resource

  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Each of these criteria will carry 25% of your total Writing marks. ​Let's discuss what these criteria mean:

1. Task Achievement

"Analyse the chart properly, state the key features in the overview paragraph, and explain them in the body paragraphs. Write at least 150 words and avoid any unnecessary detail. Don't write anything based on your opinion."


If you have written the essay following these simple rules above, you have fulfilled the Task Achievement criterion.

2. Coherence and Cohesion

Just writing information or data in the paragraphs is not enough. You need to organize them using linking devices. However, you need to be aware how appropriately you are using those devices. Otherwise, your essay will lose coherence and cohesion. We have an extensive discussion on this topic. Check the title to go through the details.

3. Lexical Resource

Your spelling and vocabulary will impact your score. Use a good range of contextual words rather than repeating frequently. Don't use informal words or expressions. There are so many students who give more emphasis on using fancy or informal  vocabulary rather than focusing on spellings and contextual words. They eventually end up with losing marks.


If you can apply these simple rules in IELTS Writing, you are good at lexical resource. Click on the title and jump to the page where we have a complete discussion on lexical resources. 

4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

You cannot expect a good band score in IELTS Writing without a good control over grammar. A wide range of sentence structures is important to demonstrate your writing skill to the examiner. A few complex sentences, appropriate use of prepositions, accurate placement of articles and punctuation are expected in your writing. Jump to our detailed discussion on the most important grammar guide for IELTS.

Don't forget to check the following resources: