The IELTS Writing Examination (Academic Module)

The IELTS writing examination (both the General Training Module and the Academic Module) consists of two tasks. Both tasks must be completed in 60 minutes. It is suggested that you spend about 20 minutes on task 1, and 40 minutes on task 2.


Task 1

You will be asked to describe some information presented to you in a visual format (graph, chart, table or diagram). You must write at least 150 words.

If you are presented with a graph, table or chart, you will be expected to describe the information presented. This means organising the information in a logical way and possibly making comparisons or contrasts.

If you are presented with a diagram, you may be expected to describe how something works, or describe the steps in a process.

See Describing Graphical Information for ideas on how to approach task 1.

Task 2

In this task you will be presented with an opinion, problem or argument. You will be expected to write 250 words

  • presenting and justifying an opinion
  • comparing and contrasting opinions, evidence or implications
  • examining a problem and presenting a solution
  • evaluating an argument



The IELTS examiners will score your essay on the basis of four criteria:

  • Task Achievement
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

What does this mean?

1. Task Achievement

This means answering the question. It is important to read the rubric (question) very carefully.

In task 1 you must present the information given in visual format accurately and you must not give information which is not contained in the graph, chart, table or diagram. The main features given in the graph, chart, table or diagram must be present in your description or you will lose marks. You will also lose marks if you do not write the required number of words.

In task 2 you must draw on your own experience to develop the ideas presented in the question. You must give evidence or examples to support your ideas.

2. Coherence and Cohesion

Coherence means connecting your ideas together in a logical way, depending on the type of essay you are writing. Cohesion means using pronouns, conjunctions and reference words to tie the ideas in your essay together.

3. Lexical Resource

This means using a varied range of vocabulary and idiomatic English appropriate to the task.

4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This refers to how varied your knowledge of grammatical structures is and how accurately you use these structures in the sentences you write.


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