The IELTS writing test module varies depending on whether you are doing the Academic Test (for university applications) or the General Test (usually for work / general migration).

  • In IELTS Academic you have to describe a graph or diagram (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2). 
  • In IELTS General Training you have to write a letter (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2). 

Task 2 (essay) is actually worth more marks than Task 1 (graph or letter) so you should spend 40 minutes of the time on the essay and 20 minutes on the graph/letter. 

Marking difference is represented in the number of words you have to write, which is a minimum of 150 for Task 1 and 250 for Task 2.

Academic Task 1

In the first section, you will need to describe, summarize, or explain a graph, diagram or process.

 Here is an example question: 

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Pictures Credits:

You will have to describe the chart in no less than 150 words. In this section of the test, you could also get a line graph, a pie chart, a process, a table, or a map to describe.

Academic Task 2

Task 2 is an essay question. You will have to write a response to the question giving reasons and examples to support your answer. The topics are general interest. 

Here is an example of a question:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The dangers and complexities of the modern world have made the mobile phone an absolute necessity for children.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

General Training Task 1

The task of the general training module is to write a letter. You will be presented with a situation and you will need to write your letter explaining the situation or asking for information. The letter may be one of three styles: 

  1. Personal
  2. Semi-Formal
  3. Formal

Your response will have to reflect the appropriate style. 

Here is an example question:

You want to sell your television. You think a friend of yours might like to buy it from you. Write a letter to your friend.

In your letter:

Explain why you are selling the television
Describe the television
Suggest a date when your friend can come and see it

Write at least 150 words

You do NOT need to write any addresses

Begin your letter as follows:


General Training Task 2

This is the same as the IELTS writing Academic module. You will need to write an essay responding to a point of view, argument or problem.

However, on the test day, the essay will be different to the one given to those taking the Academic module.

The essays are sometimes in a slightly more personal style than for the academic essay, but you need to follow the same methods for writing the essay.

Here is an example of a question:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Children who are brought up in families that do not have large amounts of money are better prepared to deal with the problems of adult life than children brought up by wealthy parents.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Click here to find out more about the online IELTS Program provided by Guru Learning Institute.

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