FAQs about IELTS Writing Test

Author : paris Date : Jul 23, 2018 Category : Homepage Comment : 0

 

1. How many parts to the writing test are there?
No matter it is academic paper or general training paper, there are two parts (writing task 1 and writing task 2). Task 1 is a report for academic paper and a letter for general training paper. Writing task 2 is an essay for both tests.

 

2. How long is the IELTS writing test?
You are suggested to spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2, which make up 1 hour in total. You may adjust a little, but do not spend over 25 minutes on task 1.

 

3. How many words should I write for task 1 and task 2?
According to the instructions, you must write over 150 words for task 1 and over 250 words for task 2, otherwise, you will lose your score in task achievement and task response. Click here to learn more about this!

 

4. Can I have extra paper for planning and making notes?
You are not given a piece of extra paper. But there is enough space on the test paper for you to do planning.

 

5. Can I get extra writing paper if I run out of space on my answer sheet?
Yes, you can. Put your hand up and ask the invigilator.

 

6. Should I do writing task 1 or writing task 2 first?
There is no rule for this. Try both ways when you practice before the test and do what works best for you in your test. However, I know most students do task 1first.

 

7. Should I give a title for my report/ letter or essay?
No, there is no need to do so. It does not help your score band.

 

8. Should I leave a space at the start of a paragraph?
No, it is not necessary to do that. It is better to leave one empty line between your paragraphs to help the examiner identify the paragraphs.

 

9. UK spelling or US spelling?
You can use either UK spelling or US spelling, but you can’t mix them. You need to choose which one you will use.  Click here to learn more about this!

 

10. Is punctuation important?
Yes, it is. It affects your grammar mark. Avoid using unnecessary punctuation like a semicolon or colon.

 

11. Can I get the official writing paper to practice with?
Yes, you can. For official writing paper (task 1), click here! For official writing paper (task 2), click hereClick here to learn more about this!

 

12. How to score my writing task?
See questions for writing task 1 and questions for writing task 2.

 

13. How much is each writing task worth?
Writing task 1 worth one third and writing task 2 worth two-thirds of the total score, so you should put more emphasis and time on task 2.

 

Task 1

1. How many types of task 1 are there?
There are many types of both academic paper and general training paper. Click here to learn more about this!

 

2. How to score my writing task 1?
To learn how the writing test is scored, click here! Also, in terms of task achievement, there is a difference between academic paper task 1 and general training paper task 1.

 

3. How can I organize the information in my task 1?
     1) Introduction
     2) Overview (key features)
     3) Body Paragraph A (accurate detail in a logical order)
     4) Body Paragraph B (accurate detail in a logical order)

 

4. Do I need to write every data and make comparisons in each body paragraph?
No, you don’t. According to the instructions, you should compare and contrast where relevant. If you write everything in detail, you will cause confusion to the reader. Click here to learn more about this!

 

5. How can I write the introduction?
No matter what score band you need to achieve, the introduction is formulaic. You just need the skill of paraphrasing and add some related information. You should write no more than two sentences.
Line graph: Click here to learn more about this!
Bar chart: Click here to learn more about this!
Pie chart: Click here to learn more about this!
Table: Click here to learn more about this!
Map: Click here to learn more about this!
Flowchart: Click here to learn more about this!

 

6. Should I write a conclusion?
No, you don’t. If you want to write a conclusion, you should know what information you should provide.
How to write a conclusion: Click here to learn more about this!
The difference between an overview and the conclusion: Click here to learn more about this!

 

Task 2

1. What is the difference between the General Training writing task 2 and the academic task 2?
There is little difference. Both of them are essays and they have similar topics. You should use the same format and techniques to answer these questions. However, the academic test is slightly difficult than the GT essay question.

 

2. How many types of task 2 are there?
Generally, there are opinion essays, discussion essays, advantage /disadvantage essays, solution essays and direct question essays.
Common topics: Click here to learn more about this!
Parent questions: Click here to learn more about this!
Related questions: Click here to learn more about this!

An example of the opinion essay

writing task 2 opinion essay

You might also be given other opinion essay questions like:
Do you agree or disagree?
Do you agree with this statement?

An example of the discussion essay

writing task 2 discussion essay

An example of the discussion essay

You might also be given other opinion essay questions like:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this phenomenon?
Is it a positive or negative trend?

What are the benefits?

An example of the solution essay

writing task 2 solution essay

You might also be given other solution essay questions like:
What are the results? How can people solve this problem?
What are the consequences? Is there any solution to this problem?

An example of the solution essay

writing task 2 direct question essay

You might also be given other direct questions like:
What do you think are the causes? Is it positive or negative?
How can this be solved? What are the benefits of it?

As you see, direct question essays consist of two questions. One asks for your opinion (agree/disagree, advantages/disadvantages, positive/ negative); the other is non-opinion (causes/ results/ solutions).

3. How can I organize the information in my task 2?
     1) Introduction
     2) Body Paragraph A
     3) Body Paragraph B
     4) Body Paragraph B(optional)
     5) Conclusion

 

4. How to score my writing task 2?
Click here to learn more about this!

 

5. Do I need to give my opinion in the essay?
It depends on what the instruction is. You do not need to give your opinion when the instruction writes ‘What are the reasons/ results/ solutions?’ , ‘What are the advantages and disadvantages?’. This means in these questions you do not need to put words ‘in my opinion’, ‘from my perspective’, etc. Click here to learn more about how to express my opinion. However, if you are asked ‘What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages?’, you should express your opinions. Although the arguments might be the same, your expressions are slightly different in these two underlined essays. Click here to learn more about the differences between these two essay questions. Other question types like ‘Do you agree or disagree?’, ‘Is it positive or negative?’, ‘Discussion both views and give your own opinion’ is asking for your opinions, so you should definitely give your opinions directly and clearly.

 

6. How many paragraphs should I have?
Usually 4 or 5 paragraphs are written in an essay, including an introduction and a conclusion, which means you can write either 2 or 3 body paragraphs.

 

7. Should I write a conclusion?
Yes, you do. Unlike task 1 where a conclusion is not necessary, it is vital for you to conclude your essay. If you run out of time, just jump to conclusion.
How to write a conclusion: Click here to learn more about this!

Paris M

Author by Paris M

Hi, I’m Paris, the author of this website. I have eight years of IELTS teaching experience. I’m here to help you achieve your target score.


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