The IELTS Writing Examination (General Training 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 write a letter requesting information or describing a situation. You must write at least 150 words.

In your letter you may need to provide factual information or to request it. You may be asked to express your likes and dislikes, or your needs and wants. You may need to express an opinion or to make a complaint.

Task 2

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

  • providing factual information
  • presenting an opinion, hypothesis or assessment: you may also be asked to justify what you write
  • examining a problem and presenting a solution
  • presenting and possibly evaluating an argument, evidence or ideas



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

  • Task Achievement (Task 1) or Task Response (Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

What does this mean?

1. Task Achievement and Task Response

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

In task 1 your letter must effectively and appropriately complete the task given in the rubric. What you say in your letter must be relevant to the task: you must not include any unnecessary information or comment. Any information you give must be accurate (according to the rubric). Completing the task means covering every point given in the rubric. "Appropriately" means using the right kind of English for the type of letter you are writing. "Effectively" means that the reader of your letter is likely to understand and respond in an appropriate manner.

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. EssayBuilder can help you with this: see linking words and phrases.

3. Lexical Resource

This means using a varied range of vocabulary and idiomatic English appropriate to the task. EssayBuilder can help you to choose the words and phrases you need and can help you to increase the range and accurate use of your vocabulary.

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. EssayBuilder can help you check your essay and help you to revise your work.

Assess your own Essay

EssayBuilder can give you an estimate of a probable IELTS score for your essay.

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