Top tips for the IELTS Writing Test

Top tips for the IELTS Writing Test

This week, we’re going to take a look at the IELTS writing Test. Hope this summary helps you get the score you need.

This is the third part of the test you will take on your test day. It lasts for 60 minutes and consists of two tasks.


Task 1

This task requires candidates to describe some visual information presented as some type of chart, diagram or map or plan. You must write a minimum of 150 words covering the overall trend and the most important features shown and should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. There are 3 main types of task.

Type 1. Line Graphs, Bar Charts, Tables and Pie Charts. These show statistical information that may show a change over a period of time given on the chart. In this you need to describe the overall trend and the most important features shown, such as the biggest changes. For example, population trends in 4 different countries over a 10-year period.

Type 2. Diagrams. This task will show a process presented in a series of pictures often in the form of a flow chart. candidates are required to describe the most important parts of the process. For example, the process of recycling bottles and glass.

Type 3. Maps and Plans. candidates are given two maps or plans of the same location before and after a major development project and need to describe the most important changes between the maps or plans. For example, an airport before and after an expansion project.


Task 2

The second task involves writing an essay of a minimum of 250 words with a clear introduction, 2 body paragraphs and a conclusion on a given topic in the remaining 40 minutes of the test. There are 4 main types of essay.

Type 1. Agree or Disagree Essay. Candidates are given a statement and asked to what extent do they agree or disagree with it. For example, “The rich should pay more tax”.

Type 2. Discussion and Opinion Essay. Candidates are given two opposing opinions on a topic and need to discuss each opinion before giving their own opinion. For example, “Some people believe it is better to learn a second language in primary school while other think secondary school is better”.

Type 3. Problem and Solution Essay. Candidates are required to write about a given problem by describing its causes and possible solutions. For example, the causes and possible solutions to climate change.

Type 4. Advantages and Disadvantages Essay. Candidates write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a situation and usually need to decide if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. For example. The advantages and disadvantages of buying a home.


How to Prepare

– Learn about what is required to complete each type of task in terms of the structure of the task and the language required and practise until you are confident you can produce the required standard under exam conditions.

– By far the best way to do this is to take an IELTS preparation course with an experienced teacher to give you the necessary advice and feedback.


In the Exam

– Make sure you read the instructions carefully, so you know exactly what you are required to do.

– Identify the main features you need to include or brainstorm the main ideas you need to complete the task.

– Make sure you answer all aspects of the question completely.

– Write you answer in the time and minimum number of words required for each task but remember to give yourself time to check your writing for any mistakes.


So that’s it for the Writing Test. Hope this summary helps you get the score you need. Next time we’ll take a look at the final part, the Speaking Test!


Laura Villa
Laura Villa